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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-13-04, 04:48 AM Thread Starter
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US:Ford Shelby GR-1 hints at the future

The Ford Shelby GR-1 concept is the third high-performance concept car in two years inspired by the heritage of racing legend Carroll Shelby.

Ford Shelby GR-1 hints at the future

Execs may look to build second supercar

By Eric Mayne / The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co.’s storied relationship with racing legend Carroll Shelby has inspired the development of a third high-performance concept car in two years — the Ford Shelby GR-1.

Unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Thursday, the two-seat fastback features the same dynamic underpinnings as the Ford Shelby Cobra shown at the North American International Auto Show in January.

It also shares engineering advances the automaker developed for the 2002 GT40 concept car, which led to the 2005 production Ford GT supercar.

“The Ford Shelby Cobra concept was a small step in our plans for the Ford GT supercar architecture,” said J Mays, group vice president of design at Ford. “The Ford Shelby GR-1 is a giant leap toward the future.”

The automaker hasn’t confirmed plans to market a second supercar. But Ford executives have said the company’s investment in the GT warrants at least one more program based on its design.

Ford began shipping the $140,000 GT to dealers last month and it’s already sold out, underscoring the viability of the exotic car market — even during uncertain economic times.

DaimlerChrysler AG unveiled a two-seat supercar — the ME Four Twelve — at the Detroit auto show. And there are signs that it will go into production.

“The sports car market is not going to go away, no matter what happens,” said George Saridakis, the designer of the GR-1. “You’re beginning to see cars which have got a little bit more soul and some history associated to them.”

The GR-1, which features a 605-horsepower, V-10 engine, was built atop a spare chassis originally assembled during the Shelby Cobra’s development. It’s both a tribute to Carroll Shelby and a nod to time-honored sports car proportions, Saridakis said.

“What this car represents is a truly classic sporty proportion — the engine really up front, the wide wheels, the track, the short wheelbase, the relatively short overhang.”

Saridakis spent his early childhood in Greece before moving to Scotland.

“I have an affinity to both the vibrant and passionate Mediterranean culture and also the more restrained yet dynamic Scots,” said Saridakis, 33, who works out of Ford’s advanced product creation center in California.

A graduate of Glasgow University with a degree in aeronautical engineering, Saridakis said the GR-1 “has been in the back of my head” since he was a boy.

“When you’re growing up and you have a passion for cars like I do, all you do every day in school is draw cars on your jotter,” Saridakis said.

“George produced this completely resolved sketch — the best I’ve seen in 10 years,” Mays said.

Normally, initial sketches are reworked repeatedly before a clay model is made.

My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next Ford.....
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-13-04, 05:05 AM Thread Starter
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Re: US:Ford Shelby GR-1 hints at the future

Ford Shelby GR-1 concept displays performance art

Ford has issued the following press release:

Ford took the occasion of the world's foremost showcase of automotive splendor, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, to unveil the Ford Shelby GR-1 concept, calling the new sports car a salute to "performance art."

The Ford Shelby GR-1 is a uniquely emotional American sports car design that makes a bold statement about Ford's performance future.

"The Ford Shelby Cobra concept was a small step in our plans for the Ford GT supercar architecture and our relationship with Carroll Shelby," says J Mays, Ford Motor Company group vice president of Global Design. "And the Ford Shelby GR-1 is a giant leap toward the future."

The GR-1 concept takes the performance car genre in a new direction combining modern sculptured surfaces in a sleek muscular fastback design. The result is a forward-looking supercar with attention grabbing Ford presence and Carroll Shelby inspiration.

The Ford Shelby GR-1 is a front-engined, two-seat, fastback supercar that is based on the architecture of the Ford GT.

Ford and Carroll Shelby
More than 42 years after their original agreement to produce performance cars, Ford Motor Company and Carroll Shelby are back together producing production and concept cars. Shelby, a former race car driver and creator of numerous collectable performance cars returned to collaboration with Ford in the design of the 2005 Ford GT, which goes on sale this summer.

Shelby worked closely with the Ford Design team and Advanced Product Creation group to develop the Ford Shelby Cobra concept car. In addition, Shelby will produce a high-performance, limited edition, Shelby Ford Expedition, for sale through select dealers next year.

Racing inspired and wholly modern in design, this show car builds on the success of the Ford Shelby Cobra concept - the 2004 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) "Best in Show" winner - and reinforces Ford's on-going commitment to performance excellence.

The Ford Shelby GR-1 concept is a sinewy, athletic design with a dramatic front engine proportion. The long hood blends seamlessly into the teardrop-shaped cabin while the dramatic fenders dart rearwards into curvaceous haunches thrusting the car forward and enhancing the aggressive stance and width.

The car looks as if it is in motion, even when standing still. The optimized wheel arches and compact overhangs define the dramatic proportion while the sensual surfaces express the car's athletic nature. A chiseled physique is achieved with sheer and full surfaces working together, interfacing one another in harmonious lines such as the strong shoulder line orbiting the car's form.

The front of the GR-1 is dominated by an impressive air intake aperture and air flow splitter, directing cooling air into the engine bay and wheel wells, while air vents on the top surface of the hood exhaust hot air from the radiator.

The V10 engine pushes unashamedly upwards into the hood's surface exposing prominent bulges - a potent reminder of the car's powerful performance - while air vents at the base of the front screen allow the motor to breathe. Intakes and vents perforate the body side and Kamm tail, further exhausting hot air out of the vehicle.

The front corners of the GR-1 are dominated by the front wheel well and trapezoidal HISS (high intensity solid state) and LED headlamps. The distinctive Kamm tail, a strong concave section, is further defined by the bold vertical tail lights at the rear.

A visor-like side glass graphic gives a hint of the dramatic motion of the butterfly-hinged doors.

The race-inspired, ultimate high performance, Ford Shelby GR-1 is the next chapter in a long line of emotionally-charged Ford supercar concepts.

Building Another Showstopper
Ford worked closely with Carroll Shelby to develop the Ford Shelby Cobra concept for the 2004 North American International Auto Show. The show car was the brainchild of Ford's Advanced Product Creation Group, engineered in Michigan and designed in California, a partnership which is charged with developing future car concepts and technologies with an eye toward production possibilities. The group used the Ford GT architecture and fully engineered the Ford Shelby Cobra concept. For demonstration purposes, two chassis were ordered for the Cobra concept, but only one show car was built.

Before body panels were even created, the fully-operational running chassis was test-driven at high speeds at Ford's Dearborn Proving Ground. So pleased were Ford officials with the concept's chassis that they took the extra demonstration chassis and went to work on another concept before the Ford Shelby Cobra concept was unveiled in January.

The Ford Shelby Cobra and its predecessor, the Ford GT were hits of the two previous North American International Auto Shows. The Ford Design team was challenged to follow-up with another exciting concept.

The Designer
In the Irvine Advanced Design Studio, George Saridakis, a young designer, new to Ford in 2000, was known for his contributions in executing the details of some of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury's latest production and concept designs.

Saridakis created a sketch that caught the attention of the Irvine team and resonated with Mays.

"George produced this completely resolved sketch - the best I've seen in 10 years," says Mays. "When I saw it, it wasn't a matter of 'Let's do more sketches.' It was really more of a 'Let's get this into clay.'"

Remarkably, only the original sketch of the car, in three perspectives, was created.

"George nailed it in one crack," Mays opines. "This is a designer so masterful at visualizing every aspect of the car and its story that it literally flowed out of his pen. And because the design is so pure, we really believe this show car will be a hit."

Ford Shelby GR-1 - Preliminary Specifications
(Measurements in inches, unless otherwise noted)

Length 173.7 (4413mm)
Width 74.6 (1834mm)
Height 46.0 (1168mm)
Wheelbase 100 (2540mm)
Track Front 63.0 (1598mm)
Track Rear 61.3 (1558mm)
Front Overhang 35.6 (903mm)
Rear Overhang 38.2 (970mm)
Min. Ground Clearance 5.9 (150mm)
Curb Weight 3900 lbs est.
Tire Size 275/40/R19 front 345/35/R19 rear
Engine Ford 6.4L V10
Max RPM 7500RPM
Horsepower 605 @ 6750RPM
Torque 501lb/ft @ 5550RPM
Transmission 6-speed transaxle with LSD
Final Drive Ratio 3.36:1

My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next Ford.....
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-13-04, 07:39 AM Thread Starter
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Re: US:Ford Shelby GR-1 hints at the future

Put Up or Shut Up: Ford unveils the Shelby GR-1 coupe, and we say, "Build it!"

When it comes to concept cars, manufacturer's typical modus operandi often grates our nerves: Project team designs and develops outrageous concept. Publicity team quietly leaks buzz-building info to media. Executives pull wraps off outrageous concept at name-that-auto-show, then stand around looking far too pleased. There are exceptions, some quite notable, but all too often, show circuit ends, car disappears-until it surfaces years later when its once proud parent company realizes there is money to be made at auction. You didn't expect them to build it, did you?

Take Ford Motor Company. Remember the 1994 GT90 supercar concept? Or the radical, Champ Car-inspired 1996 Indigo? Both-okay, at least one-looked damn good, and each promised supercar thrills at a time when few associated high performance with most of Dearborn's lineup. But Ford intended neither car for production, though it likes to say the V12-powered GT90 paved the way for the 2002 GT40 show car and Ford GT production version being delivered to customers as we speak. Even if you buy this linear corporate spin, 10 years is a long time to wait for the initial project's payoff.

The Ford Shelby GR-1 (short for Group Racing-1) revealed Thursday at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, could very well represent Ford's next concept-to-roadgoing car, and, thankfully, in far less development time. While company officials neither confirm nor deny production plans, several factors indicate this homage to Carroll Shelby's iconic 1960s era Daytona Coupeis more than a typical designer's indulgence.

Built on the Shelby Cobra concept's chassis, the GR-1 went from paper to Pebble Beach in six months. This example is crafted in fiberglass, though aluminum or composite bodywork would likely be used in any production version. Beneath the soul-stealing exterior, which Ford design vice president J Mays calls, "one of the nicest we've done in the last five or six years," the Cobra concept's aluminum spaceframe remains virtually unchanged.

Like the Cobra, the GR-1 shares its suspension, rear suspension mounts, extruded aluminum chassis rails, rack and pinion steering gear, steering column and four-piston Brembo brakes with the Ford GT. We know from experience that the GT's underpinnings provide world-class ride and handling, and should easily cope with the GR-1's extra power. The 6.4-liter V10, which might not survive if production goes ahead, began its life in the 427 sedan concept shown at Detroit in 2003. The engine makes 605-hp at 6750 rpm and 501 lb-ft at 5500, the same output Ford boasted for the Cobra and enough to run from 0 to 60 mph in less than four seconds. The six-speed transaxle (also lifted from the GT), wheelbase, and track are also unchanged from the roadster, as is, according to Mays, the 52:48 (front/rear) weight distribution. The car rides on the same 275/40 R18 front, 345/35 R19 rear tires, with the rubber mounted on unique, 12-spoke alloys rather than the Cobra's seven-spokers.

While Mays penned the almost conservative Cobra, Ford designer George Saridakis brought a whole new take on the concept to sketch the GR-1. Despite many positive reviews, word is the roadster did not blow away all within Ford, product chief Phil Martens included.

"We had this niggling feeling that we wanted to come back and take a shot at a really sensuous, barn-burner of a car," Mays says. "About once every 10 years, all the pieces just seem to fall together in the right place…George has really cracked the code on finding an almost perfect profile for this car."

It's hard to argue the point, as the GR-1's sharp lines and smooth bulges are the kind you can spend half-a-day staring at without ever turning the key. Besides obvious nods-such as the Kamm tail and side-mounted vents-to Shelby's original Daytona coupe, the GR-1's bodywork harkens back to numerous Italian legends, notably the Giorgio Giugiaro-drawn (on Bertone's behalf) 1964 Alfa Romeo Canguro. According to Ford's press materials, the GR-1's doors open in "butterfly fashion," but Mays is so secretive he won't tell or show us what that means. The car shown at Pebble Beach is simply a rolling chassis with incomplete interior, but Mays assures us a full-on running prototype is just around the corner.

Which brings us back to production. While Mays admits Ford debuted the car at Pebble Beach to predictably and appropriately steal some thunder from honored marque Ferrari, that doesn't explain the plan to build a fully functioning car in the near future. Mays also says Ford will likely bring the GR-1 to the 2005 Detroit show to further gauge public interest. If reaction warrants, the large amount of parts shared with the GT should make production a relative cinch and would help Ford amortize the cost of its supercar project.

With the GT unlikely to continue past the 2007 model year (depending upon whom you ask, Ford still has not decided when it will cease building the car), would not that be the logical, ideal time to launch a production GR-1?

"Internally, there is a hell of a lot of enthusiasm for this car," Mays says reassuringly. "Over the last couple of years, we feel as though we've done a pretty good job of putting our money where our mouth is. You saw the Mustang as a prototype, and we built it. You saw the GT prototype, we built it. And now we've shown a couple versions of a car with the Shelby name on it, and that must probably mean we're pretty serious about it."

To that we say, just build the thing and prove it.

My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next Ford.....
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-13-04, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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Re: US:Ford Shelby GR-1 hints at the future

Ford Motor Company and Carroll Shelby - Making Beautiful Cars Together Again

The Auto Channel

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif., August 12, 2004 - Carroll Shelby didn't enter his first automobile race - a quarter-mile drag meet - until he was nearly 30 years old. But the hot rod Shelby drove to the finish line that day in 1952 was powered by a Ford V-8.

More than a half-century later, Shelby is one of the most recognized names in performance car and racing history and is back in the Ford family producing concept and production performance cars and trucks.

Shelby's first Ford derivatives were the legendary Cobras and Shelby Mustangs of the 1960s. Today, he is one of the key collaborators on the "dream team" that built the 2005 Ford GT, which goes on sale this summer. Shelby was heavily involved in the design and engineering of the Ford Shelby Cobra concept car, which was introduced at the North American International Auto Show in 2004. He recently announced that his specialty car company will produce a limited edition Shelby Ford Expedition for sale through select Ford dealers next year.

Ford is stoking the passions of enthusiasts again by unveiling an all-new, all-modern Ford Shelby GR-1 concept car at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, signaling more excitement in the future for Ford and Shelby.

"Carroll's input is reflected in the performance underpinnings of this concept," says J Mays, Ford Motor Company group vice president, Design. "I see the Ford Shelby GR-1 concept as a gift to Carroll. We took the chassis he helped create and put this fantastic body on it."

The Legend Begins
Shelby may have started late, but he was a winner from the beginning. Just two years into his driving career, Aston Martin's racing manager, John Wyer, recruited him to co-drive a DB3 at Sebring. Within months, the chicken farmer from Texas was bumping elbows and trading paint with the likes of Juan-Manuel Fangio, Phil Hill and Paul Frčre. He won Europe's prestigious 24-hour endurance race at Le Mans in 1959, driving an Aston Martin DBR1 with Roy Salvadori.

Early in 1962 Shelby drove his second Ford-powered race car. It was the first mockup for the Cobra, Shelby's now-legendary marriage of a lightweight British roadster body with a small-block Ford V-8. By January 1963, he had homologated the car under the FIA's GT Group III class, and that month a Cobra won its first race, beating a field of Corvette Stingrays at Riverside, California.

In January 1965, Ford hired Shelby to lend his expertise to the GT40 campaign. Three cars had run the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans, but none of them finished. Shelby began work on installing the more reliable 7-liter stock-car engine in what would be known later as the GT40 Mark II. It proved to be considerably faster than the Mark I, and, although 1965 was another unsuccessful year at Le Mans, GT40 had become, in just two seasons, a strong contender.

Ford and Shelby tested the GT40 Mark II extensively - both in the wind tunnel and on a special dynamometer that simulated a 48-hour run of the Le Mans circuit. At the start of the 1966 season, GT40 began a four-year domination of endurance racing.

While Ford and Shelby took on Ferrari at Le Mans, they fought Corvette at home. The first effort was the legendary Shelby Cobra, a Ford-powered and Shelby-engineered derivative of the AC Ace. Production of the vehicle, which had a one-ton weight advantage over the Corvette, began in June 1962 and continued through March 1967.

The Shelby Mustang
In August 1964, Ford asked Carroll Shelby to develop a street-legal, high-performance Mustang to compete against the Corvette in SCCA B-production road racing. Shelby-American, Carroll Shelby's Californian racing shop, completed its first Mustang GT350 by September.

The 1965 Shelby Mustang GT350 was a fastback production model with a functional scoop in its fiberglass hood and 306 horsepower from the 289-cubic-inch V-8 underneath - an increase of 35 horsepower over the stock Ford engine. Suspension upgrades included a larger front stabilizer bar, Koni shocks and rear traction bars and race-ready features, such as competition safety belts, a large oil-pressure gauge, tachometer and a trunk-mounted battery. It sold for $4,000 and was instantly recognizable by its Wimbledon White paint and blue GT350 side stripes along the rocker panels.

For 1966, the GT350 was offered in white, red, black, green and blue, and Hertz purchased nearly 1,000 special 1966 GT350H weekend "rent-a-racer" models. In the 1967 model year, the Shelby Mustangs sported unique fiberglass bodywork that extended the front end with an aggressive dual scoop and finished the trunk lid with an integrated spoiler.

But most important in 1967 was the new GT500, a big-block version with 355 horsepower. More than 2,000 of those 428-cubic-inch Mustangs were delivered in the first model year.

1968 was the first year the name "Cobra" was officially used on a Shelby Mustang. That year, a convertible body style became available. Although the Shelby Cobra GT350 was essentially unchanged, later GT500s were powered by the new "Cobra Jet" 428 engine and thus became the GT500KR, for King of the Road.

For 1969, the penultimate year of the Shelby Mustang, the engine choices included the optional 351 Ram Air engine, and the bodywork incorporated a total of nine scoops - five on the hood, one at the front of each fender and one on each quarter panel. In 1970, with sales slowing, the final Shelby Mustangs built for 1969 were updated to 1970 specifications and sold, ending the famed run.

Key Moments in the History of Ford and Carroll Shelby

January 1952: Carroll Shelby enters first race at the wheel of a Ford-powered hot rod.
February 1962: Shelby tests his first Ford-powered AC 260 Roadster - the car that would become the Shelby Cobra.
March 1962: Shelby-American begins operations in Venice, California.
June 1962: Cobra production begins.
August 1964: Ford asks Shelby to develop a high-performance Mustang derivative.
September 1964: First Shelby prototypes are built.
January 1965: The 1965 Shelby GT350 is introduced.
Ford hires Shelby American to oversee the GT40 program.
November 1965: Hertz begins buying GT350H versions for its "rent-a-racer" program.
June 1966: Ford GT40 Mark II wins Le Mans.
November 1966: First 1967 Shelby GT500s are delivered.
June 1967: Ford and Shelby American again win Le Mans.
November 1967: 1968 Shelby Mustang convertibles debut.
November 1968: 1969 model-year production begins.
September 1969: Shelby Mustang production ends.
February 1970: Ford and Shelby end their long-term racing agreement.
March 2001: Shelby is invited by Ford to consult on new GT40 concept for 2002 NAIAS
March 2002: Ford gives green-light to production of Ford GT based on the concept
April 2003: Ford invites Shelby to collaborate on a concept car that pays homage to the original Shelby Cobra.
January 2004: Ford Shelby Cobra steals the show at 2004 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
January 2004: Ford asks Shelby to consult on a follow-up concept.
June 2004: Shelby announces plans to build a limited edition Shelby Ford Expedition.
August 2004: Ford unveils the Ford Shelby GR-1 concept at Pebble Beach.

My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next Ford.....
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