Shelby GT, Urban Racecar of Choice for Arrested State GOP Party Director, Built for "People Who Put Performance First"

The Ford Shelby GT Mustang that helped cause the arrest of the Arizona Republican Party director Brett Mecum was made for people who love a good thrill.

Though the DPS news release on Mecum's alleged April 10 speed-camera violation states his car is a GT 500, the body style -- judging from the photo enforcement picture (below) -- seems to most closely match the GT (though Mecum's appears to be the coupe, not the convertible).

A Motor Trend magazine profile on the GT also seems to show a hood scoop more like that of Mecum's car, while pictures of the GT 500 depict a wider scoop.

"500" or not, the Shelby GT is obviously a sweet car. The styling is so iconic, a cartoon vehicle just like Mecum's poses in a Chevron ad (see picture below) that immediately followed one local TV news Web video about Mecum's arrest.


Here is how one Mustang fan site describes the Shelby GT:

* Only available in Vista Blue with Silver stripes
* Production will be around 2,300 units for exclusivity
* Convertible model available this year

The magic duo of Ford Mustang and Carroll Shelby bring open-air excitement to the road for the 2008 model year as the Ford Shelby GT returns with a new convertible body style and a new standard color combination. Like all Shelby Mustang models, production will be limited to assure exclusivity for collectors. The 2008 Shelby GT will be available in coupe and convertible from select Ford dealers beginning in August 2007.

The 2008 Ford Shelby GT convertible will be formally introduced to Shelby and Ford enthusiasts at the Mid-America Ford Performance and Shelby Meet, which opens today in Tulsa, Okla.

"The Shelby GT was engineered for people that put performance first," said Carroll Shelby. "Working with Ford Racing, we created this Shelby to be an everyday driver that's tuned for fun at the track. Those who value a well-balanced package will appreciate it. Those who don't will be left behind staring at its tailpipes."

In 2007, Ford Division, Carroll Shelby and Ford Racing joined forces to create a retail version of The Hertz Corporation Shelby GT-H coupe called the Shelby GT. Fewer than 6,000 total 2007 Shelby GTs were built and were only available in Performance White or Black.

For 2008, the highly-coveted Shelby GT is available in a new paint combination of Vista Blue with Silver stripes and the choice of two body styles, coupe or convertible.

"The Mustang convertible is the number one selling convertible in the U.S.," states Robert Parker, Ford Division Car Marketing Manager. "Since the Mustang program never stands still, we wanted to continue offering consumers what they want, and they told us it was a Ford Mustang Shelby GT convertible. "

Shelby GT models begin life as a specially-equipped Mustang GT assembled at the AutoAlliance International assembly plant in Flat Rock, Mich. The cars are then shipped to the Shelby Automobiles facility in Las Vegas for transformation before delivery to Ford dealerships nationwide.

"The birth of the Ford Shelby GT was so well received last year, especially by young enthusiasts, that we brought the car back for the 2008 model year," said Amy Boylan, President of Shelby Automobiles. "The enormous response to the Shelby GT-H convertible convinced us to offer a drop top Shelby GT. And we had so many requests for blue that we decided to make it our signature color in 2008."

But does it come with the magnet?

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.