You’ve worked hard all your life, scraping together your savings, clipping coupons and eating out seldom. You’ve put in the overtime, invested well, and slept little. And now it’s time for the payoff: your 2013 GT500 Shelby Mustang.
For the rest of your life, you’ll never forget the day it arrived, grabbing your phone and seeing that wonderful sight: the dealership’s ID shining on the screen. Your car was ready. You sped over, cut that check, and the beauty was in hand. Finally. After all these years.
But do us a favor: ask yourself why. Why did you spend all those years saving up the 65 grand it took to get a track pack Shelby these days? Why not invest it in gold or a promising stock? Why not will it to your progeny? Why not remodel your house or buy a rental property?
Was it because all of that sounds boring? Because the 2013 GT500 is the fastest Snake ever, cresting 200 mph? Perhaps you were interested in that 5.8 liter V8, the one making 662 HP and 631 lb/ft of torque. Surely a 0-60 time of 3.6 seconds and a quarter mile in the 11s (stock) held some allure for you when you swiped your Cross pen across that contract.
After all, if you were looking for prestige and status in a car, you could have bought an Audi or Mercedes. But maybe you wanted that look, that classic, raked, muscle car posture that comes with the Mustang. Those big, fat, Navy racing stripes accent the handful of a body quite nicely, don’t they? And there’s all those oversized Shelby signatures and Cobra badges, gleaming in the sun like medals won on the battlefield. Surely, though, you didn’t pay tens of thousands over a stock Mustang for a few silver serpents and a nostalgic paint job. That’s not in your character. You’re more thrifty than that.
So why did you do it? Forgive us for not thinking better of you, but we must ask: Was this just an investmen? Did you buy your GT500 so it could languish in your garage under a breathable dust cover? Are you preserving it as a statue for future generations to study? We hope not, because the word stationary comes from statue, and that’s no fate to wish upon such a magnificent machine.
Nor is it the fate to wish upon us, your audience. Yes, you have one now. The moment you passed someone on your way out of the dealership, it began: a following, a mental note in the young passerby that Someone in my town owns the fastest stock Mustang ever built. We’re waiting for you, owner. We’re at your mercy, and we need you to teach us about the sound of a supercharger whine and that rumbling in the chest cavity when an exhaust starts to sing its song. We need to know the tint and hue of tire smoke.
So we, the next generation of potential gearheads, implore you, GT500 buyers: drive your cars. Take them to the track. Take them to the strip. Run them in autocross. Hoon them discreetly in parking lots on cool summer evenings. Take GoPro videos. Just get them out of the garage.
Because this is what preserves a nation’s car culture. Performance is about performing. Isn’t that what started this journey for you? Back then, did you want that ’65 GT500 because it was a good investment? No, you wanted it because of the way it made the peach fuzz on your little arms stand up. You wanted it because it was terrifying and beautiful and it made you want to cover your ears, but only at first.
You could save your new GT500, cloister it on jack stands in your garage, only taking it to the occasional car show or meet, gingerly touching the throttle, taking back roads the whole way there. But twenty years down, who will visit those car shows? Who will stop at your meet, just to take a picture with the Beast from ’13?
No one. We’ll all be too busy letting our puny electric cars drive themselves while we text our BFFs. We won’t even notice.
So let us hear that V8’s mad ruckus. Chip the paint. Wreck the tires and darken the oil. Do it for us. Drive your GT500, and we promise to pass on the favor when it’s us cutting those checks.