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Issue Fifteen
January 26, 2005
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Best of Show: Chevrolet Corvette Z06
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Best Concept: Ford Shelby GR-1
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Best Concept: Ford Shelby GR-1
By Steve Litscher
Editor in Chief

(January 15, 2005)

Shelby GR1

Shelby GR1 Concept Car

Ford Shelby GR1

Ford Shelby GR-1 Photo Gallery
The key to any great concept is rather simple. Make it undeniably cool, pack it plum-full with performance and excitement, wrap it in a body that's punch-your-momma-in-the-mouth-sexy, and you'll have a winner every time. Ford did just that with the Ford Shelby GR-1, and for their efforts, we're pleased to award them with our Best Concept award for 2005.

For those of you keeping score, we awarded Ford with our Best Concept award last year. As far as we were concerned, their Bronco was the coolest thing since sliced bread, and since that's the case, the Shelby GR-1 takes things a step farther, with a look and finish that's smoother than a warm knife through butter.

We overheard that the all aluminum body took more than 2200 hours to polish to that show stopping shine. And more impressive than the polishing is the actual metal work - we'll give anyone a dollar if they can find a single ripple, dent, seam or any other type of imperfection in the GR-1's shell. Throw in some doors that open butterfly-style and our choice for Best Concept is a no brainer. The boys at Ford know how to do a concept right, that's for sure.

Of course, no concept car would be complete without a radical powerplant, and once again the Shelby GR-1 doesn't disappoint. With a venomously potent, front mounted 6.4-liter V10 that delivers (are you ready for this?) 605 horsepower and 501 lb-ft of torque, the GR-1 might possibly develop an appetite for tires (and speeding tickets). According to Carroll Shelby, who not only lent his name to the GR-1 but was also in attendance for the unveiling, the GR-1 is, "One of the best cars [he's] ever driven."

And we can see why. With a six-speed transaxle (ala the Ford GT), double-wishbone suspension, and a chassis also borrowed from the Ford GT, the Shelby GR-1 is all but guaranteed to be one heckuva performer. Hinting further at the potential for performance are massive 19-inch wheels that cover monstrous disc brakes with multi-piston aluminum block calipers.

So there's more than just good looks with the GR-1. That's another bonus in our book, and when it comes time to tally up the score cards, the GR-1 is firmly in front of all other contenders for our 2005 Best Concept award. Sure, the Jeep Hurricane was cool, with its twin Hemi motors, but come on - this is a Shelby! Ford Design VP J Mays says that the GR-1 is "One of the nicest we've done in the last five or six years." We agree.

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