As with any new high-performance car, it was only a matter of time before someone crashed the 760-horsepower 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. We just weren't expecting it to happen like it did on Tuesday, when a car carrier hauling two new GT500s spun out on a Detroit highway, flipped its trailer, and dragged the poor Mustangs on their sides before grinding to a stop. Now The Drive has obtained exclusive photos of the damage and the identity of one of the unlucky owners: a member of the Ford family. Yes, the Ford family.
UPDATE 12/22: Though it originally declined to comment "on individual customer matters," Ford reached out days later to strongly deny the car in question was bound for a Ford family member. "Neither of those cars have any connection whatsoever to anyone in the Ford family," spokesman Mike Levine said. "Your sources are completely wrong." Ford declined to provide further evidence. The original story continues below.
Despite the meme spreading around social media with an excited new owner seeing a screencap of our article, it appears the would-be owner of the Grabber Lime GT500 is not a random man named Juan Perez, but in fact the great-great grandson of founder Henry Ford himself. Pretty much a worst-case scenario for that poor truck driver.
Our source, who works in the Detroit towing industry, first passed along word that the green car was "a custom build for a close family member of Martha Ford"—billionaire businesswoman, widow of Henry Ford's grandson, and owner of the NFL's Detroit Lions. Martha Firestone Ford is also an heiress to the Firestone Tire fortune, and her son William Clay Ford, Jr. is currently the executive chairman of Ford Motor Company. We were able to confirm the tip and nail down that it was intended for one of her grandsons. If he didn't know about it beforehand, he sure does now.
For its part, Ford declined to confirm our reporting. "Ford does not comment on individual customer matters," its statement reads.
Authorities are eyeing excessive speed and an improperly balanced load as causes for the crash, something we speculated on yesterday. The 2020 Mustangs had just been built and were being transported from the Flat Rock assembly plant by Penske Vehicle Services via a fifth-wheel trailer hooked to a Ford F-350 heavy-duty pickup. In addition to the information above, the tipster passed along a few close-up photos from the scene:
It's impressive how well the cars were strapped down—at least someone was doing their job. Unfortunately both still hit the pavement, flattening the passenger side fenders and scouring the paint. Both cars are also newly free of their passenger mirrors. As for what we can't see, suspension damage is all but guaranteed given the forces and angle of impact.
Our source's final bit of information might be the most tantalizing for those reading right now and dreaming of a junkyard GT500: both cars are in an indoor storage facility right now awaiting inspection by an insurance adjuster. Should Ford decide to let them go, there's a chance these two Mustangs could go for pennies on the dollar at a salvage auction.
If you're at all familiar with the Ford Mustang's notorious reputation in the hands of inexperienced drivers, the jokes about the Shelby GT500 crashing before it was even delivered write themselves. But it's only fair to point out that this car is but the latest in a line of recent smashes involving newer-than-new performance cars. This year alone, it's already happened to the mid-engine 2020 Chevrolet Corvette and the 2020 Audi RS Q8—so if anything, the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 was due.
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