In the battle of the pony cars, Ford’s Mustang for me has always been 2nd (or 3rd, RIP Trans AM) to its competition from GM. Unlike true Camaro fanbois, I don’t hate the Mustang, it’s just not my first choice. As that relates to my collection, it means that I like the Mustang enough to buy them, but not enough to buy a high-end version, instead being content with mostly Maistos. Until now. I have Maisto’s rendition of the current Mustang, and it what you’d expect, good, but not great. But for some reason, with this generation I wanted better than Maisto. I looked at the AutoWorld Mustang, but I wasn’t wowed by it. Then AUTOart announced their intent to make the Shelby GT350R and I found myself in a pickle. I wanted better but did I really want AUTOart better?
Well obviously I did as you can tell, so was it worth it? It seems that no discussion about an AUTOart model can happen these days without discussing the elephant in the room; it composite body. Yes, we are years into this and still talking about it. And that’s mostly cause AUTOart keeps giving us reasons to talk about it. The main point for me was that composite was supposed to deliver tighter shut lines, but this has been rather hit or miss. In the case of the Mustang I am glad to say it’s a hit. Another hit is the paint quality, specifically due to it being yellow. You would expect an AUTOart to have good paint, but yellow is a challenging pigment. Paint it thin, and you have coverage issues; paint it too thick, and you dull your details. Aa has mostly got the balance right, but close up you can see some thinness in the paint. Grilles are open mesh all around with a couple of tiny exceptions. Wheel, tire and brake detail continue to be strong suits for the brand, though I wish they would use black plastic backing panels instead of grey for the brake discs so that the cross drilled pattern was more obvious.
The interior is well done, though there’s nothing particularly noteworthy about its execution. The black color does look black, which has been a challenge for Aa in the past, and AUTOart did go through the trouble to mold in the controls on the door panel, something they’ve tried to cheat at with just paint in the recent past. The door panel also receives a passable attempt at replicating the suede insert of the 1:1. AUTOart also included floor mats, which I think is a first from them in my collection. Under the hood, you’ll find a decent rendition of the Shelby’s “Voodoo” V-8. I don’t know if it’s a full casting, but it does go down as far as my light and admittedly bad eyes can see.
The other elephant in the room when discussing AUTOart is pricing. They are seemingly always at the forefront in this area, and the Shelby is no exception. While I don’t feel cheated for what I paid (thanks Model Citizen), this is still an expensive model that seems even more expensive when you compare it to what some of the Chines market brands are doing at half the price. If you are a diehard Mustang fan, your decision has probably already been made. But if you’re just a casual Mustang fan, I’ll just mention again that Maisto and Auto World make non-Shelby Mustangs as well.*
*No I didn’t forget GT-Spirit, but if you got GT-S money, you probably have AUTOart money.