06-28-06 TMN Staff / Business Wire: With 2007 Ford Mustangs and Shelby GT500 coupes rolling off the assembly line in the background, Gary Roe, president, AutoAlliance Inc., Ford performance legend Carroll Shelby, and Barrett-Jackson executives Steve Davis and Gary Bennett handed over the keys to the first Shelby GT500 sold to the public to Ron Pratte, the winning bidder in a charity auction last January, on June 23, 2006. Pratte purchased the rights to the car for $648,000 (including buyer's commissions) during the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Jan. 21, 2006. Proceeds from the sale benefited the Carroll Shelby Children's Foundation.
Pratte is a well known collector in Arizona who purchased other record breaking auction cars at Barrett-Jackson such as the $4.3 million dollar GM Futurliner Bus and the
1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special Motorama concept car that fetched $3 million at the 2006 event alone. His background in the production housing industry out in here the West has treated him well. A couple of years ago national mega-builder Pulte Homes purchased his framing company in a deal that enabled him to pursue his car collecting passions further. He has a 30,000 square foot facility that houses his rare collection.
"On behalf of the management and workers at AutoAlliance, I'm proud to hand over the keys to this Shelby GT500," said Gary Roe. "The Shelby GT500 is an instant classic and the AutoAlliance team couldn't be happier to be a part of the Ford-Shelby history. We thank Ron for his support of Ford performance and his generous contribution to a very worthy cause, the Carroll Shelby Children's Foundation."
The 2007 Ford Shelby GT500 is a modern interpretation of that iconic "King of the Road" Mustang. With Shelby's input, Ford's Special Vehicle Team engineers fashioned the fastest Mustang ever, including upgraded suspension and brakes, distinctive exterior and interior and of course, a thoroughbred powertrain.
The heart of the new Shelby GT500 is its supercharged 5.4-liter, 32-valve V-8, which shares some components with the engine in the Ford GT supercar to help make it the most powerful factory-built Mustang in history. With 500-horsepower and 480 lbs.-ft. of torque on tap, the Shelby GT500 has attained a higher factory rating than even the 1969 Mach 1 428 Super Cobra Jet or the legendary 1969 Boss 429.
"We appreciate the opportunity to be part of such an important moment in history," said Craig Jackson, president and CEO of the Barrett-Jackson Auction Co. "The greatest collector cars in the world have been sold at our automotive lifestyle events for 35 years, which is why Ford chose to auction the #002 Shelby GT500 at our Scottsdale event and #003 Ford GT at the Palm Beach sale. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Ford Motor Co. and Carroll Shelby."
Barrett-Jackson continues to set the standard for the collector car market by elevating consignment standards, breaking records and serving as the barometer for market trends. This year, the company conducted its most successful car auction to date with new records for attendance and sales in world-class street rods, muscle, sports and classic cars. Each event is broadcast on SPEED.