Ford Mustang Shelby GT500s $10,000 Stripes Are Surprisingly Popular

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500s $10,000 Stripes Are Surprisingly Popular
  • about one in six ford mustang shelby gt500 orders each year choose to pay an extra $10,000 for optional stripes, ford tells car and driver.
  • there are $1000 vinyl stripes on the options list, but the more expensive choice is a hand-painted application.
  • the shelby gt500's $10k stripes are available in absolute black, kona blue, and oxford white.

    in 2020, when ford announced that the new mustang shelby gt500 would be offered with hand-painted racing stripes that cost an extra $10,000, we questioned how many people would actually buy the pricey option. however, it sounds like the hand-painted stripes are more popular than we imagined. we checked in with a ford spokesperson, who told us that every year since the start of production, about one in six shelby gt500s is ordered with the hand-painted stripes.

    the 2022 shelby gt500 carries an msrp of $78,350, so checking the box for the expensive stripes adds nearly 13 percent to the car's starting price. they come in three paint colors: absolute black, kona blue, and oxford white. for shoppers who crave the striped look but want to save $9000, a set of $1000 vinyl stripes in similar shades is also available.

    we were surprised to learn that approximately 17 percent of people who purchase a gt500 pay for the painted-on stripes. we were also surprised when ford told us that overall sales of the stripes exceed those of the $10,000 carbon fiber handling package, which included upgrades such as aerodynamic add-ons, adjustable strut top mounts, and 20-inch carbon-fiber wheels. it's not an apples-to-apples comparison, though, since the $10k carbon-fiber kit was only offered for one year. ford says it doesn't track specific production numbers by packages or models, so we obviously can't say for sure whether the stripes or the handling package was more popular for the 2021 model year, but it sounds like sales were closer than we'd have expected.

    every new ford mustang–including the gt500–is built at the company's assembly plant in flat rock, michigan. however, shelby models optioned with the painted stripes have them applied after the cars leave the assembly line; it's part of a partnership with penske. we've been told the process involves hand-prepping, painting, and then clear-coating. initially, that detailed process meant limited availability, but ford says it has since improved production and has been able to meet customer demand.

    considering the $10,000 stripes are surprisingly popular on the gt500, we asked the folks on ford's pr team if there are any plans to offer them on more mainstream mustang models. they declined to comment on future products. after all, it's hard to imagine a future when someone would pay $10k to paint stripes on a $30,000 to $40,000 pony car. then again, we've clearly been surprised by mustang shoppers' appetite for pricey stripes before.

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