1991 SAAC Mk 1 Ford Mustang: A Rare Gem of American Muscle Up for Auction

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In the realm of muscle cars during the early 1990s, a unique blend of Shelby’s design and Ford’s engineering culminated in a rare vehicle known as the SAAC Mk 1 Ford Mustang GT.

This vehicle was not just any ordinary Mustang; it was the Fox-body equivalent of the revered Shelby GT350, tailored exclusively for members of the Shelby American Automobile Club (SAAC).

Today, we explore the legacy of this prototype as it surfaces on the prestigious auction site, Bring a Trailer.

The Exclusive SAAC Mk 1 Mustang GT: A Shelby Enthusiast’s Dream

the 1991 SAAC Mk 1 Ford Mustang

The SAAC Mk 1 Mustang was born out of a desire to keep the Shelby spirit alive within the Ford lineup.

While mainstream muscle car aficionados might have settled for a front-wheel-drive Dodge Daytona with a hint of Shelby, true enthusiasts yearned for more.

The SAAC Mk 1 emerged as an answer, albeit exclusively available to SAAC club members.

This vehicle promised the performance and spirit of the original Shelby GT350, placed neatly into the body of a Fox-body Mustang.

Prototype to Production: The Shelby Influence

Shelby GT350 alongside the 1991 SAAC Mk 1 Ford Mustang 2

The prototype of this vehicle was an exhibit of Shelby influence, with its name proudly displayed across the body.

However, production models bore the SAAC badge alone, a strategic move to avoid legal entanglements with Chrysler.

The brains behind this exclusive car were club executives Richard Kopec and Ken Eber.

They, along with David Wagner from Ford’s Power Products Operation Group, envisioned and executed a car that Ford itself hadn’t.

Under the Hood: Where Magic Happens

Shelby GT350 alongside the 1991 SAAC Mk 1 Ford Mustang

The modifications on the SAAC Mk 1 were significant, pushing the boundaries of what was expected from a Mustang.

An aluminum GT40 intake, GT40 cylinder heads, and a bump in compression resulted in a power surge to 295 horsepower, marking a substantial increase over the standard models.

The vehicle was also fitted with underdrive pulleys, ceramic-coated headers, and a robust exhaust system to minimize parasitic losses.

All vehicles came with a manual T5 gearbox, enhanced with a clutch upgrade for a more spirited driving experience.

Suspension and Safety Upgrades

Handling was a critical focus for the SAAC Mustang. Eibach lowering springs and Koni shocks were employed to provide a tighter, more responsive driving experience.

Additionally, the installation of disc brakes all around and a roll bar significantly improved the vehicle’s safety and performance credentials.

The Rarity and Legacy of the SAAC Mk 1 Mustang

With only 62 units ever produced, the SAAC Mk 1 Mustang GT is a collector’s dream.

The prototype, serving as the press and promotional vehicle, represents a piece of Shelby and Ford’s combined history.

Despite its rarity and collectibility, many of these vehicles were driven extensively, reflecting the passion of Shelby enthusiasts who value experience over preservation.

Conclusion: A Collectible With A Pedigree

As this 1991 SAAC Mk 1 Ford Mustang prototype makes its appearance on Bring a Trailer, it’s more than just an auction; it’s a moment in history.

With its rich legacy, exclusive production, and significant performance enhancements, this vehicle is a testament to the enduring appeal of the Shelby-Ford collaboration.

The auction, ending on a note of anticipation, offers muscle car enthusiasts and collectors a chance to own a piece of this storied legacy.

No Shelby Club membership required, but a passion for American muscle is a must!