Ford Motors is getting ready to get the first 2015 Shelby GT350 Mustangup for auction on Jan. 17, with the proceeds to be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

In a statement, the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker will be auctioning off the first new-generation Shelby GT350 Mustang as Lot No. 3008 at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale. The proceeds, likely to go into the range of hundreds of thousands of dollars, will be given to the JDRF, the country's biggest research organization focusing on type-1 diabetes.

The auction is in celebration of the Shelby GT350's 50th anniversary. In 1964, Ford and Carroll Shelby introduced the first-generation Shelby GT350 as the performance version of the Ford's Mustang, which was sold through dealers from 1965 to 1970. Since then, the Shelby GT350 has become one of the world's most popular cars for serious car drivers and enthusiasts.

"The all-new Shelby GT350 is a thrilling, world-class car," says (pdf) Ford car marketing manager for North America Steve Ling. "From the all-new independent suspension - a first for a Shelby, to the powerful engine and superb brakes, this car is simply amazing. Just as the Shelby GT350 did in 1965, we expect this new-generation pony car to demonstrate Ford Motor Company continues to lead the world in innovation and performance."  

The winning bidder will become the first person to own the coveted supercar, which sports a 5.2-liter V8 engine and a flat-plane crankshaft combo that delivers 500 horsepower and more than 400 pound-feet of torque. Ford says it is the most powerful naturally aspirated engine it has produced. The Shelby GT350 is designed to be driven on the city roads on the weekdays but taken out to the tracks on weekends.

No minimum bid is required, but the car is expected to raise serious money for JDRF. At Ford's Barrett-Jackson auction for the 2015 Mustang GT, the company raised $300,000 also for JDRF. The reinvented Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 coupe brought in $650,000.

"Ford and Barrett-Jackson have raised millions of dollars to benefit local and national charities for many years," says Barrett-Jackson chairman and CEO Craig Jackson. "The auction of the new Shelby GT350 promises to be electrifying, while helping raise necessary funding for JDRF."

It is not uncommon for automotive companies to auction the first high-performance vehicles to roll off their production lines. The auction of first 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is known to have raised the highest proceeds, with NASCAR driver Rick Hendrick making the winning bid of $825,000 and the Engelstad Family Foundation matching the bid, making the total donation a whopping $1.65 million. 

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