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A VIN Decoder Reveals Some Bad News About Our Favorite Mustang

Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

According to a VIN decoder pointed out by Hagerty, the S550 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 will not live to see another year. The same goes for the Mustang Bullitt, which has already been reported. By our own account, the Shelby GT350 is our favorite S550 Ford Mustang of them all. This is because of its wildly unique and intoxicating character, thanks to its shrieking flat-plane crank 5.2L VooDoo V8 engine pushing out 526 horsepower. The mix of a slick six-speed manual transmission, perfect pedal placement, grippy shifter, and optimal driving position otherwise makes the GT350 a driver’s most intimate connection with a machine they are likely to find in today’s (shrinking) American muscle car segment. Alas, our tastes seem to be in the minority.

The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Heritage Edition.

The Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 doesn’t seem to have an immediate replacement, while the Bullitt will likely be subbed out for the legendary Mach 1 nameplate. It could be that Ford had one too many Mustangs, and with the 760-horsepower Mustang Shelby GT500 stealing the top of throne last year, the GT350 is likely stuck without much attention from buyers (not that many people are buying cars right now in the middle of a global pandemic). But in an effort to show it some love, Ford did update the Mustang Shelby GT350R for the 2020 model year with some performance bits pulled down from the GT500, as well as an eye-catching Heritage Edition.

2021 Ford Mustang VIN Decoder.

Ultimately, the entire S550 Mustang family will have to be put out to pasture by 2022, when Ford plans on introducing the all-new S650 Mustang. In other words, the life span of the current Mustang Shelby GT350 and 350R have been cut short by just one year, compared to the rest. It still would have lived a longer life in the timeline than the GT500, with Ford eking out a scant 137 units of the GT350 at the end of the 2015 model year. Of that, only 37 of them wore the GT350R badge. Indeed, the flat-crank pony is one for the collectors and the connoisseurs.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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