Jay Leno teamed up with Ford Motor Company to raise $885,000 with the sale of a preproduction 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang, driven and signed by former President George W. Bush, at the Gooding & Company auction Aug. 15 as part of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The $700,000 hammer price grew to $885,000 with additional donations from auction guests. All proceeds will benefit George W. Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative, which helps foster a successful transition and reintegration from military service to civilian life for veterans post-Sept. 11, 2001.
“We appreciate the opportunity to work with Jay Leno as a part of his efforts to increase awareness and raise funds for the Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative,” said Henry Ford III, global marketing manager, Ford Performance. “We’re indebted to the courageous men and women who have fought to preserve our freedoms. Providing this Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang – which President Bush drove and signed – is a small token of our gratitude for their sacrifices.”
Ford allocated the 2016 Shelby GT350 preproduction unit to Leno through Gordon D. Sondland and Katherine J. Durant Foundation in support of the Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative. In June, Henry Ford III joined President Bush for a walk-around of the car at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. President Bush drove the Shelby GT350 and signed the car’s dash.
Leno drove the Shelby GT350 onto the auction block and, with Henry Ford III, helped amp up the bidding excitement. Retired U.S. Army Colonel Miguel Howe, director of the Military Service Initiative, was also on the auction block and carried out his offer to perform push-ups for additional funds donated. Bidding for the Shelby reached an impressive $700,000, which was increased to $885,000 by donations from auction guests.
The 2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang features Ford’s latest 5.2-liter flat-plane V8 engine – the most powerful naturally aspirated engine in the company’s history. The car is equipped with a Track Pack featuring MagneRide suspension, stiffer springs, an engine oil cooler and transmission cooler.
“Our Ford Performance team did not hold back in the build of the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang,” said Dave Pericak, Ford director, Global Performance Vehicles. “We not only wanted to showcase Ford’s cutting-edge performance and design capabilities, but build a vehicle that is true to Carroll Shelby’s original GT350. I’m grateful Jay Leno included Ford in his efforts to support our nation’s greatest heroes with the auction of the Shelby Mustang. I’m confident Carroll would be very happy his legacy of performance vehicles and helping our veterans continues today.”
George W. Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative honors the service and sacrifice of veterans and military families post-Sept. 11, 2001, by improving their well-being and helping unleash their potential. For more information about the organization, visit www.BushCenter.org.