Listen up, you turkeys. There’s really only one car you need to be driving and it’s this, the 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350.
In my first drive, my street time with it only amounted to about 30 minutes. This time around, after spending several hours behind the wheel, doing normal car stuff, I’m going to really need you all to drive the thing and experience its greatness. In fact, we should all be driving them. Them’s the rules.
(Full disclosure: We asked Ford if we could get a GT350 for a Jalopnik track day at Monticello Motor Club. Ford said yes and shipped one down on a truck for us from Michigan.)
As wild as the GT350’s look are, they do get a little downplayed if there are six of them lined up at a racetrack. You need the context of other cars to truly appreciate how eye-catching it is, how low the front splitter is and how massive the rear wing is.
After fetching Jalopnik video producer Erica Lourd from her apartment in Brooklyn (“Holy shit,” were her words when she saw my large, American son waiting outside), we aimed the GT350 north and in the direction of Monticello Motor Club, a private track about 100 miles away that had generously agreed to let us use its facilities for our track day.
The route was a perfect blend of city streets, highway and rural backroad. As I suspected, the GT350's sport-tuned suspension reacted unhappily to the Brooklyn’s pockmarked roads. It snarled over the Brooklyn Bridge. It hammered up the FDR Drive. Over large bumps, it felt like the tires simply fell out from under me, despite how slowly I was going. Despite the stop-and-go traffic, though, the clutch never became too exhausting to work. It’s weighted nicely and engages all at one point, so you can really learn to be precise with your shifts.
The highway was where the car really shone. It sat, placid, in sixth gear, the flat-plane V8 humming along, keeping pace with everyone else. It was here, without the distraction of shifting or traveling up and down the revs, that I did notice a little more vibration than normal. It isn’t terrible, but it is there.
Reader beware: If you and this car are seen on the highway, be ready for every boy-racer in his M3/WRX STI/AMG/Camaro/SRT8 trying to race you. When you’re driving a GT350, you might as well have a huge target on the back of your head.
Finally, on the sweeping back roads leading to MMC, the GT350 rumbled along, third gear offering more than enough power and range for anything you might need to do. I kept the wheel straight with more than the usual amount of force to offset the inevitable tramlining.
Jalopnik social media editor Aaron Brown was the first to take the GT350 out on track. He returned to the pit later on with a massive smile on his face. “Good car,” he said.
One of MMC’s track instructors, who rode with Aaron, also exited it with a grin. “Good car,” he confirmed. Yes!
Even Mike Ballaban, who typically loves comfy things and cushy rides, had this to say about the GT350:
Ballaban doesn’t use punctuation unless he’s very serious. He also hisses a lot, but you’d have to talk with him in person to see that.
Look, I can sing praises about the car’s track and road prowess all I want, but here’s the gist of it. It sounds great, it’s fun to drive and I can promise it’ll put a smile on your face. Get out and drive one this minute. Tell them I sent you.