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  • Writer's pictureMarc A. Goldbaum

MAG Motors: MAGStang

This is not a simple vehicle. This is not a clone. This is not a 1967 Shelby GT500. However, what it isn't is just as important as what it is. This is a real deal Shelby GT500 with one absolutely insane twist: The 2012-2014 GT500 is stripped to nothing but the unibody chassis and powertrain and completely rebuilt from the ground up by backdating to a 1967 body, peppered with carbon fiber, and stuffed with more unique extras than you could ever order from your local dealership.

Not one millimeter of this beauty was overlooked by long time Mustang restoration specialist Michael Golinder and his team.

Though his experience in putting technology into 60's Muscle Car examples was extensive and effective, Michael began to focus more on his unique backdating style. The end product with a modern chassis and powertrain always blew away the modernized classics.

The strip down before the buildup involves taking a perfectly functioning 2012-2014 Shelby GT500 and turning it into a barebones chassis and drive train. The few steps to follow (in the most basic of ways to explain) involve chassis strengthening, tons of sheet metal fabrication and application, and the first stages of wiring. From a complete Dynamat interior to integrated Mobileye Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), this made to order technology bomb is then infused with everything you could ever want for your next road trip, track day, or car meet. Honestly it doesn’t make sense to go over all of the options he offers when it comes to this build since it has everything you could ask for. Instead I’ll just mention the most requested modern options I’ve heard from my days in the car sales business.

-Heated and Cooled Seats


-Back up camera

-A killer sound system

-Keyless entry and push button start

-ADAS (Lane departure and collision detection warnings)

-Every little courtesy interior light you could want

-A security system to appease the Pope

-Uncompromising Reliability and Safety such as airbags and 4 wheel ABS

And let's not forget...

-Horsepower ranging from 662HP to track packages tuned to over 720HP

After completing his own vision of the perfect GT500 (dubbed the GT500R) Michael began getting orders for more all through word of mouth. Over the past 5 years Michael has developed 4 additional examples of this GT500R for his clients and has since perfected a method to build each example in 7-8 months.

When discussing these build times, we cannot forget to mention the hard-working talent that goes into each one of these creations other than Michael. One of these talents is Cole Newcomb. He is Michael’s Head Fabricator and helps to devise each build. In addition to Cole’s many qualifications with fabrication, he also happened to be my wheel man for this shoot. As I hung out of the back side of my Fiat 500, Cole kindly drove us through Angeles Crest allowing me to capture some awesome shots of the GT500R.

Now what does that “R” at the end of GT500R mean anyways? Well I’m sure if you follow the backdating community at all you’ve encountered a number of Reimagined and Restored vehicles. So for MAG Motors it’s simple, R means Reimagined/Restored. This does however bring attention to the Elephant in the room. What about companies like Singer and ICON? Isn’t MAG Motors just doing the same thing as them?

Well in a way, yes. MAG Motors is one of three companies using uncompromising passion and engineering expertise to create an incredible piece of automotive art that no one on the entire planet of Earth has attempted creating before. And, if you ask me, we as a car community are better off for it. Something else helping the car community right now is an app called RoadStr. It's where Michael and I first got in contact and eventually used to meet up for the shoot. RoadStr users create their "Garage" and can choose to display car meets they're attending, cool roads they're driving on with a "Road Share" feature, and it works all over the world. Honestly, I don't know why this app didn't come out sooner. Keep it up guys, RoadStr has saved me more than once already!

One distinctive characteristic that must be rehashed about Michael's GT500R is the reliability aspect. Far too often we see supercars and exotics visiting the local vehicle specialists for some type of unique yet frequently occurring flaw. This unique GT500 is different because it is extensively a new Shelby GT500. Despite being rebuilt from the ground up this vehicle can be driven and operated just as any other GT500 Mustang would be. It can even be brought to any Ford dealership or qualified Ford mechanic to be worked on for its mechanical, electrical, and routine maintenance.

Now for the price. It starts at $185,000.

Is that a lot of money? Absolutely.

Is that a lot of money for the vehicle you're acquiring? Hell no!

Companies with a similar process aforementioned range from $250,000-$600,000+ per build and hold a completion time surpassing 2 years in some cases. This GT500, by comparison, is an absolute steal. Did I mention the build time is only 7-8 months? Yes, yes I did. It is that impressive.

Striking ground in a market category as niche as this can put one in an interesting place. Not only is MAG Motors creating a reliable and modernized version of the iconic 1967 GT500 but following through with their plans to expand further into this Muscle Car world would solidify them as the go-to Muscle Car guys for these types of builds.

So, what's next for MAG Motors? Currently more GT500R builds are in progress and branching out into classic Chevrolet Camaro SS(R) and Dodge Charger R/T(R) creations are on the horizon. With each of these original classic examples well surpassing the $200,000 mark it certainly gives enthusiasts a new and exciting backdate option by way of MAG Motors.

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