In preparation for the 1997 London to Sydney Rally the car received modifications to the suspension, brakes, steering, transmission, rear end, and fuel system. A full FIA spec roll cage was fitted, along with FIA approved seats, rally computers and a fire system. This is a turn key race car in the truest sense of the phrase, and though it’s street legal, you’ll want to get it out on the track to fully enjoy all 450-horses offered by the 289ci OHV V8.
As one always hopes would be the case, but is often not, the cosmetic quality of this example matches its performance capability. The car was resprayed in its original Sapphire Blue color and it appears to have held up quite well over the past 19 years. The 7×15 American Racing wheels are par for the course, and while they don’t look bad, I’d personally swap them out for an OEM set of Shelby 10 spokes with Goodyear rubber on them. That’s just me.
The overall aesthetic of the car is very much on point, it’s eye catching, but not over the top like so many Shelby projects tend to be.
Although this car was prepped specifically for the 1997 London to Sydney Rally, it didn’t participate because the transport plane it was on broke down. Following that bizarre turn of events the car went unused until it was sold to the current owner who has limited mileage, and kept the car in top notch condition.
As mentioned at the outset of this article, the car comes with an extra 305 engine, and it’s also worth noting that when the car was sold to the current owner it was reported that the 289 was a Roush built unit. I assume that means that Roush rebuilt the original engine, but it’s definitely something worth getting to the bottom of if you’re seriously interested in this car.
Either way, it’s a very appealing package that will bring some Mustang fan a lot of joy, especially if they make full use of its capabilities. I’d hope to see this car out at some vintage motorsport events and not stashed in some warehouse collection collecting dust. Anybody got a spare $130k they want to loan me?