Let me start out by saying I love this car. Love. This. Car. When I got done with it, I wanted to buy it. Seriously. If I didn’t already have a 1969 4-speed convertible Camaro sitting in the garage I might have. The base MSRP on the GT350 starts out at $47,870 and with the gas guzzler tax, Track Package, racing stripe and delivery etc. it came out to $56,970 for the one I tested. $57,000 for this car is a steal!!!
Let’s talk specs. 526 hp DOHC 32-valve 5.2L TI-VCT V8 engine with flat plane crank matted to a Tremec 3160 six-speed manual gear box. Brembo brakes. 19-inch aluminum wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires – 295/35’s on the front and massive 305/35’s on the rears. Recaro seats. The $6,500 track package adds the magnetic suspension, a front shock-tower brace, firmer springs, and oil coolers for the engine, transmission and rear differential. So what can be better for the money then the GT350? Maybe the GT350R (note to Ford – please send us one). For an additional $7,000 to the base price, the R Package adds 19-inch carbon fiber wheels, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Tires (305/30 in front and even more massive 315/30 in the rear), carbon fiber rear wing, larger front splitter and removes the rear seat, rear view camera, air conditioning, radio, and a few other miscellaneous items Ford doesn’t think you need when you are on the track (although you can add most of them back in). Total weight savings over the standard GT350 is about 86 lbs.
Ours came in competition orange with black stripes (awesome color – my Camaro is hugger orange with white stripes). When I first sat in the car and fired up that big old V8 the first thing I noticed was how the black cloth covered Recaro seats literally hugged my body. Ok maybe that was the second thing I noticed because in track or racing mode the exhaust notes on this beast are amazing. Not as throaty as that small block Chevy 350 that’s in my Camaro, but it turns heads for sure, sounds awesome and the 526hp of the GT350 would leave my 350 small block in the dust. The clutch is super light and is just begging to be raced. As I worked my way up and down that 6-speed manual gear box I couldn’t but help but smile. Unlike the 707 hp Dodge Challenger Hellcat which really only belongs on the track, you can drive the GT350 around town and if you had to, you could even commute to work (you’d never be late, but it might be hard not to attract the attention of Johnny Law).
I took it everywhere the week I had it and even some places I didn’t need to go. It was just that much fun to drive. I haven’t been in a car as fun to drive as the GT350 in a long time. Its American. Its baseball. Its apple pie. If you have a spare $57,000 laying around and you don’t want be that guy driving around in a huge SUV, go out and get yourself a GT350. You won’t regret it.