2016 Shelby GT350 signed by President Bush raises $885,000 for veterans
By Steve Turner
Photos by Brian Henniker and courtesy of Gooding & Company
As we told you last month, Jay Leno auctioned a pre-production 2016 Shelby GT350 at the Gooding & Company back on August 15 as part of the Pebble Beach Concours dâ€™Elegance. Henry Ford III and Peter W. Chiarelli, retired U.S. general who served as the 32nd vice chief of staff for the Army, were on hand to excite the bidders. The retired general even did push-ups on the stage to spur on more donations.
â€œI thank the Sondland-Durant Foundation, Ford Motor Company, Gooding & Company, and Jay Leno for their generosity in supporting the Military Service Initiative at the Bush Center,â€ President George W. Bush said when the auction was announced. â€œI also want to thank whoever buys this beautiful car for contributing to a worthy cause. You are helping ensure that our transitioning veterans and their families get the support they need and deserve, and Iâ€™m grateful.â€
The $885,000 raised from the sale of this special Shelby benefits George W. Bush Instituteâ€™s Military Service Initiative This charity is designed to honor the service and sacrifice of veterans and military families post-Sept. 11, 2001, by â€œimproving their well-being and helping unleash their potential.â€
â€œWe appreciate the opportunity to work with Jay Leno as a part of his efforts to increase awareness and raise funds for the Bush Instituteâ€™s Military Service Initiative,â€ said Henry Ford III, global marketing manager, Ford Performance. â€œWeâ€™re indebted to the courageous men and women who have fought to preserve our freedoms. Providing this Ford Shelby GT350 Mustangâ€”which President Bush drove and signedâ€”is a small token of our gratitude for their sacrifices.â€
The car was taken to President Bushâ€™s ranch in Crawford, Texas, back in June. There Henry III gave the former president a walk-around tour of the car. After that, President Bush signed the dash and took the car for a spin.
â€œOur Ford Performance team did not hold back in the build of the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang,â€ Dave Pericak, Ford director, Global Performance Vehicles, said. â€œWe not only wanted to showcase Fordâ€™s cutting-edge performance and design capabilities, but build a vehicle that is true to Carroll Shelbyâ€™s original GT350. Iâ€™m grateful Jay Leno included Ford in his efforts to support our nationâ€™s greatest heroes with the auction of the Shelby Mustang. Iâ€™m confident Carroll would be very happy his legacy of performance vehicles and helping our veterans continues today.â€