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Ford plans retail version of Shelby GT-H Mustang


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From the newsroom of Automotive News



Ford plans retail version of Shelby GT-H Mustang

Ford Fairlane, Lincoln MKS get green light


Amy Wilson


DETROIT -- Ford dealers will get a retail version of the Shelby GT-H -- the 325-horsepower Hertz Mustang rent-a-racer announced at the New York auto show in April.


The retail car will be called the Shelby GT and will be available for the 2007 model year, say Ford dealers who were told about the car at dealer meetings last week in Las Vegas. Ford executives also told dealers that production versions of the Ford Fairlane and Lincoln MKS concept vehicles are on their way.


Volume numbers for the new Shelby GT haven't been finalized, but Ford plans to distribute at least a few thousand, a Ford source said.


The Shelby GT will be available in black or white paint with silver stripes. It will have similar features to the Hertz Mustang including hood pins and special side scoops.


The cars will be finished at Carroll Shelby's shop in Las Vegas, the Ford source said. That shop is making 500 units of the 2006 Shelby GT-H for Hertz.


The Shelby GT will be the focus of one of Ford's Bold Moves mini-documentaries. It is expected to appear on the www.fordboldmoves.com web site this weekend.


Ford also showed dealers the Ford Fairlane and Lincoln MKS concept vehicles in Las Vegas. The Lincoln MKS sedan is slated to arrive in early 2008, said Duke Brubaker of Champion Ford Lincoln Mercury in Owensboro, Ky. The Fairlane crossover also has been expected in 2008, though its name may change.


Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas, is likely to talk about some new product at a speech scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 9, at the Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich.


Fields and CEO Bill Ford were both at the dealer meetings last week. Bill Ford answered a series of taped questions from dealers at one event, attendants said.


The sessions left Robert L. Thibodeau Jr., a Ford dealer in Center Line, Mich., "cautiously optimistic."


"I think they seem to get it: that product is absolutely essential," Thibodeau said. "It's just a question of we've got to get from 2006 to 2008."


You may e-mail Amy Wilson at awilson@crain.com

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