2020 Shelby GT500 Becomes Vehicle Extrication Trainer
This Supercharged Shelby Test Mule Turns into a Valuable Training Tool for the Dearborn Fire Department.
A Buff and Shine with the Jaws of Life
This week, Michigan’s Dearborn Fire Department posted on their Facebook page photos of a Rapid Red 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 test car being used as a training tool to practice vehicle extrication. Unfortunately for the 5.2-liter supercharged V8 test-mule, this meant firefighters had to buff and shine the Shelby GT500 with the jaws of life. A tragic fate for a desirable modern-day super-muscle car, usually a car of this caliber gets wrecked at the hands of a driver with more credit score than skill. But so often is the case for test cars, prototypes, and concept vehicles - rarely do they get to retire at a museum.
Auto manufacturers can’t sell these cars because they are pre-production models. The risk of putting these vehicles out on the street is too great even for a die-hard collector waving a blank check and a stack of signed liability waivers. They have to be destroyed, which is a tear-jerking send-off for vehicles that put in the oil, paint, and sheet-metal on the track so that we can enjoy the finished product in the showroom.
One bright point is that while so many other vehicles in this position often celebrate their retirement party at the hands of the crusher, this Shelby GT500 went out doing one last valuable service for Dearborn, Michigan. According to the post, Dearborn FD was sad at the idea of cutting up the GT500, but the knowledge gained from this exercise can save lives out in the field. Vehicle extrication is the process of removing the vehicle around an injured occupant pinned down or trapped after a car accident. Cutting the car away reduces further injury while moving the occupant out of the vehicle. It requires more than just attacking a car like a rookie chop-shop - training is essential.
The post went on to thank Dennis Lark and Ford Motor Company for helping to put this together. As for the Shelby GT500, well, that will probably be metal flakes in the wind by next weekend.
A job well done.