Today, Ford and Shelby are two inseparable brands in the eyes of many. The Shelby name has adorned several powerful Mustang variants over the last decade, though the two haven’t always been partners. They forged different paths in the 1980s, leaving the third-generation Fox Body Mustang without a Shelby variant. However, famed designer Chip Foose has a new video imagining the possibility of a Shelby-designed Fox Body Mustang.
The basis for Foose’s Shelby isn’t the fastback model. Instead, he’s using the less-popular notchback body style, which looks significantly less sporty. However, under his delicate pen, he begins adding all the flavors and hallmarks of a Shelby model – the stripes, aftermarket wheels, and requisite branding. There are other touches, too, such as the stylized ground effects, sporty rear lip spoiler, hood scoop, and aggressive lower valence.
Foose admits Shelby would have likely created something based on the fastback version, though Foose decided to take a different route. The Fox Body Mustang’s boxy shape – with its super-straight lines, flat surfaces, and reserved styling – limited what was possible for the Shelby model’s look. The 80s weren’t fond of curves on cars. It’s likely that if Shelby had had the opportunity to build a Fox Body Mustang, he would have been able to wring more power out of the iconic 5.0-liter mill, regardless if it were in a fastback or notchback model.
It would have been interesting to see what Shelby could have done with the Mustang in the 1980s. Instead, former Ford president and then Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca had tapped Shelby to develop several performance Dodge models through the 80s and beyond, keeping Shelby from helping Ford. It’s also always a delight to watch Foose pen a new creation. While the video is sped up to show the final result, he still makes the drawing process look like magic.