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Fifty Years of the Shelby GT350 to be celebrated at the 2015 Milwaukee Masterpiece

Milwaukee, Wis. – (April 20, 2015) — The Shelby GT350, one of the most recognizable icons of American performance car history, will be celebrated during the 2015 Milwaukee Masterpiece.

1965-Shelby-GT350-Drag-Unit“The Shelby GT350 debuted in 1965 and we’ve been privileged to have one of the foremost authorities on Carroll Shelby and his creations on our team, Mr. Colin Comer. It’s a natural that we recognize and celebrate the 50th anniversary of this icon at the Milwaukee Masterpiece this year,” said Leon Flagg, chairman – The Masterpiece Ltd.
Noted automotive author, collector and Milwaukee businessman Colin Comer is chairing the Shelby Mustang class, which will be assembled on the show grounds of the Masterpiece in Veterans Park on Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015, to compete for Concours d’Elegance honors. The class will feature numerous spectacular examples of original 1965-1970 Shelby Mustangs.

“Shelby Mustangs emerged from humble beginnings but instantly became far more than the sum of their parts. They combined a rare blend of ingredients, people, luck and success that created magic that has endured for 50 years. They are the all-American success story. I’m a Shelby guy to the core and it is truly an honor to assemble this class,” said Comer.

About the Shelby GT350

In 1964 Lee Iacocca, general manager of Ford Motor Company and often credited as the “father” of the Ford Mustang, decided the Mustang needed a performance image. It needed to go racing. So Iacocca called on his friend Carroll Shelby and instructed him to make the Mustang into a world-beating sports car. Shelby famously said, “Lee, you can’t make a racehorse out of a mule” and refused the project. But Iacocca clarified his position and explained to Shelby that it was not a request but rather a demand. The result was the 1965 Shelby GT350, Ford’s “secretary’s car” transformed into a two-seater racecar that would go on to win the SCCA B-Production National Championship. The Shelby GT350’s success in 1965, a year in which just 562 examples were produced, transformed Shelby American from a boutique builder of sports and racecars into a bona fide automotive manufacturer that went on to produce almost 14,000 Shelby Mustangs before production ended in 1970. But just because production of the original Shelby Mustangs ceased in 1970 doesn’t mean the passion for the cars did. By 2006 Carroll Shelby was back with Ford and production began on a whole new generation of Shelby Mustangs that are quite worthy of the name.

From the extremely rare, raw and raucous race-ready 1965 GT350 through the ground-pounding, 428 cubic inch-powered drag strip terror GT500 of 1970 and the high-tech Shelbys of today the Milwaukee Masterpiece is excited to host a fitting tribute to 50 years of these magnificent machines.

About Colin Comer

Colin Comer’s extensive and wide range of knowledge has made him one of the foremost experts in the collector car hobby. Comer is the author of the best-selling and critically acclaimed books “Million-Dollar Muscle Cars,” “The Complete Book of Shelby,” “The All-American Muscle Car,” “Shelby Cobra Fifty Years,” and the recently released “Shelby Mustang Fifty Years.”

Comer enjoys maintaining his own car collection, as well as being an avid vintage racer and pilot. Besides being the founder of Colin’s Classic Automobiles in Milwaukee, Wis., Comer is also a contributing editor for Road & Track Magazine, Vintage Motorsport Magazine, Editor at Large for Sports Car Market and American Car Collector magazines, and a contributing editor to Hagerty Classic Cars magazine and the Hagerty Price Guide.

Comer’s thoughts on the collector car world are regularly featured in publications such as the New York Times, Business Week, USA Today, and others along with frequent television appearances and seminars. In 2012 Autoweek named Comer as one of the automotive industry’s “Movers and Shakers” for his contributions to the collector car world and in 2013 Esquire named Comer’s “Shelby Cobra Fifty Years” the Greatest Car Book of All Time.

About the Milwaukee Masterpiece

The Masterpiece Ltd., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, hosts the annual Milwaukee Masterpiece Concours d’Elegance; Club Saturday at the M, a casual car show; and the Style & Speed Social, a social event on the evening preceding Sunday’s Concours d’ Elegance.

Proceeds from the weekend events will benefit the Masterpiece’s three designated charities – Autism Society of Southeast Wisconsin, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee and Meta House. In 2014 The Masterpiece Ltd. distributed more than $37,000 to the three organizations. Since its inception, more than $187,000 has been distributed to charitable organizations.

Now in its 11th year, The Milwaukee Masterpiece will unfold Aug. 22 and 23, 2015, in Veterans Park on Milwaukee’s lakefront.