The Ford press conference at the 2006 North American International Auto Show started off with a lot of happy talk about how the Fusion/Milan twins are making plenty of Camry conquest sales and F150 success stories.
As the “we’re doing fine” jibba-jabba blathered on, our attention began to wander. We started to read the posters that were scattered around about the new, limited-edition Shelby Mustang GT-H, which turned out to be the big news of this event. Available for rent only through Hertz, these 330-horsepower machines hearken back to the 1966 special-edition Shelby GT-350H, which made a stir as the first hot-rods available at rental counters nationwide. (As the old stories go, many of them were returned with their 300-plus horsepower engines replaced with stock Mustang 289 V8s.) Ford is making only 500 of these ponies, all with Sirius satellite radio ad the special black/gold paint scheme.
Ford also showed the GT500 coupe and convertible, which go on sale in late summer packing 500 horsepower. Carroll Shelby himself came onstage to talk about these ultimate Mustangs. Still, even such a storied personage as Mr. Shelby was eclipsed by the classic 1966 GT-350H next to him.