In July, the Ford Motor Company hosted an internal event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Mustang. This was not a car club event nor was it sponsored by any vendors. Further, the motor sports media was not invited to cover this historic event.
In April, the Ford Product Development Center phoned the owners of prototypes and special vehicles to ask if they would be available to participate in the Mustang 50th Display. This was followed by a more formal invitation specifically asking for my 1969 Shelby Boss 302 Sportsroof Prototype.
This spectacular one day show was on Friday the 18th of July 2014. The Mustang 50th Display included a "Horseshoe" (year-by-year) and Feature Displays.
The horseshoe of 50 Mustangs represented one model from each year. The first was a 1964 1/2 white convertible serial #1, which was also from the Ford Museum. The last was a 2015 white Mustang GT supplied by Ford.
In featured displays, the first two cars in a group of prototypes were Ford's concept 1962 Mustang I, and the 1963 Mustang II. Both cars were brought from the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. The group also included a 1965 1/2 Mustang lll fastback, two 1965 Mustang convertibles made especially for Henry Ford ll, and a Dan Gurney Cougar. The center piece of the display was three Shelby's. The first was 5R002, which was the second R model built. The second in the group was 5S003, which became the first street version 1965 GT 350 built. The third in this group was 9F02G482244 1969 Shelby GT 350 Boss 302. This particular grouping represented the first and the last Mustangs in a Ford-Shelby collaboration. Wow...what a trio!
Other cars in a separate display of prototypes included a Falcon Sprint, a Pinto Runabout, a 1974 Mustang Gia, a 1979 Mustang Daytona, a 2015 Mustang GT convertible, a 1989 Mustang 25th Anniversary, a 1977 Monroe Handler, a 2005 Shelby prototype GT500, and a 2007 Saleen police Mustang made for the Transformers movie.
This special event was held at Ford's Product Development Center in Dearborn, Michigan. In all over 500 vehicles were on the property included Mustangs, Galaxies, T-birds, Fairlanes, Lincolns, Edsels, and one original 1964 Thunderbolt. There were also over fifty Pinto's, arriving by caravan with a police escort.
My thanks to the Ford Motor Company for reaching out recognizing this 1969 Shelby GT 350 Boss 302 authenticity and confirming its special place in Ford's and Shelby's history. Ford made signs for each of the 15, along with a descriptive plaque that was placed in front of each car. Each owner was presented with their plaque and sign as a token of Ford's appreciation.
The Ford Motor Company has significantly assisted with the research and documentation of this 1969 Shelby Boss 302 GT 350. Both Edsel B. Ford ll and Carroll Shelby have recognized this Mustang as the only one built, representing the end of an era of Ford and Shelby collaboration.