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Driving a Mustang Shelby GT500 at the Nurburgring Made Me Jealous of Americans

The window of my Nürburg office begins to vibrate menacingly. I look up from the screen. Strange resonances, never seen before in my 11-year tenure, flow back and forth along the shelves. Cameras, trophies and assorted motorsport detritus all begin to harmonize with the hand-built 5.2-liter Predator motor lurking on the street outside. Even the screen of my computer blurs momentarily as the owner blips the throttle again. My ride is here.

I grab a helmet, a GoPro, and a Nürburgring lap ticket. Only my last dregs of self-control prevent me from running. Instead, I stroll outside to witness my first-ever 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 in the flesh.

Considering how much my over-500-year-old office building just rattled, it’s really no surprise to me that this 760-hp beast didn’t make it to Ford’s official European lineup. Back in 2019, as Vaughn Gittin Jr. blasted an early example up the hillclimb at the refined and gentlemanly Goodwood Festival of Speed, Ford Performance marketing manager Jim Ownes confirmed that the headline Mustang wouldn’t make it to the Old Country. Ownes cited environmental and pollution standards far stricter than those in North America, Mexico, and the Middle East. That may not be a surprising start to this story, but trust me when I say everything that comes next is part of the biggest surprise of my long automotive career. For the full story, check out this article from Road & Track.

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