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 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.
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.