It has been well over a year now since the first Shelby GT350R Mustangs went on sale, and it took no time for ambitious Ford dealers to add substantial price markups on these limited-production cars. It’s not an entirely unexpected practice, given the newness and rarity of the new GT350R, but you’d think after a full year on sale, the prices would have come back down to Earth, at least a little bit.
Unfortunately, you’d be wrong, as a recent story in Autoweek featured a 2017 Shelby GT350R with a $40,000 markup, turning the $68,120 Shelby Mustang into a $108,120 vehicle. Far from a statistical outlier, this practice appears to be par for course, despite Ford having the tools to prevent it.
Right now on eBay there are nearly a dozen 2015-2017 Shelby GT350R Mustangs with asking prices at least $20,000 over MSRP, and seven of those are asking over $90,000, or 50-percent over Ford’s MSRP. Although most of these Shelbys fall under the “essentially new” category, a few of them have already crossed the 1,000-mile mark. At that point, you’ve crossed from “collector car” territory into “might as well drive it everyday”, making those nearly six-figure price tags seem all the more outrageous.
Now far be it from us to question the free market or feel bad for people who can even consider buying a car that costs more than most American families earn in a year. But as Ford has demonstrated with the 2017 GT supercar, it has the ability to control its dealer networks and prevent (or at least discourage) them from adding outlandish markups. Furthermore, the GT is in an entirely different price bracket than the GT350R, and Shelby Mustangs have always embodied the concept of affordable high-performance.
Should Ford do more to rein in dealer mark-ups? Or should they stay out of it and just let the free market dictate the price, as they have always done?