By Antonio Malara
The lego version of the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 was a car that struck me immediately after seeing it in the photos. In reality it gave me the impression of being a car with its own personality and not a reproduction. A very muscular and aggressive car, much more brutal than in its original version. But there was one detail that fascinated me most of all and it was the rear light unit which, looking at it in the photo, was reproduced perfectly in the lego version. The Mustang Shelby GT has a heritage that dates back to the 1960s when the Shelby-American Group produced this sporty, powered version of the Ford Mustang. The main versions of this model have been the GT350 and the GT500 and during the last fifty years have been produced an infinite number of models of this version that it is impossible to name them all. The lego version of this Shelby is a model presented in 2019, a car with a V8 engine capable of producing 760 hp and a maximum speed of 314 km/h. Precisely because of these characteristics, the car was designed for the North American and Asian markets, in Europe it does not comply with the regulations.
But to return to the details of the rear lights design, I want to take the opportunity to underline an aspect that is now infamously popular in today's car market. The beauty and originality of the optical groups of this Mustang and in this case I am referring to the original car, was a source of inspiration for the Peugeot group which with various car models was inspired a little too much by the Mustang. The detail of the rear lights placed perpendicularly with a hint of a reflected C represents an evolution of a classic design that has roots in the sixties, a result of study and engineering. Then when I see a trivial crossover, a car that in a few years will have no historical importance, created to "hit" a certain type of clientele, it annoys me. I don't know if in the end the car manufacturers have agreements so that there can be design similarities, the fact is that personally having a wider knowledge of the history of cars, I would never drive one of these latest Peugeots or one of those Korean cars which instead are "inspired" by Porsche SUVs. I would feel like a loser, someone who drives a car that has a design which is almost copied from a prestigious car with a story behind it.
About this lego version of the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, this model is part of the Technic series and is a "Pull Back" version. Once completed, pulling the car back, some mechanism should push the car forward. I was very curious about it even if I considered it a risky thing especially for a lego. In fact, this test must be carried out in a large space otherwise if the machine crashes somewhere, it will most likely have to be reassembled.
Contrary to other legos, this was the first in which I have noticed a different numbering of the envelopes. In fact, inside the package there were four envelopes, two large and two small, but they had parallel numbering. What I mean is that there was a large and a small envelope with number 1, same goes for number 2. Inside each large envelope there were two other smaller ones so I immediately understood that the assembly process would be been long because it was foreseen in two steps. Compared to other lego cars, the tires weren't on the outside of the bags, on the other hand outside of them there were two rectangles of dark gray plastic.
It took me about ten minutes to arrange the bricks and the first phase was from step 1 to 90. In step 13 I put up a large component that would be the front axle. When assembling the first stickers I didn't have any problems, in fact I was better than usual, however I noticed one unpleasant thing. Among the stickers of the various liveries, I saw that the rear lights, the central topic of this post, were recreated entirely with the stickers and not with the bricks. That was a very disappointing thing, I was sad because I didn't realize from the photos that the lights were stickers. The passage of envelope 1 was very technical and led me to build a sort of skeleton covered only by doors and rear mudguards; the axle of the car was uniform but bare. It was clear that the two-step assembly for this car was definitely time-consuming. It took me an hour and thirty minutes to finish assembling the contents of envelope 1.
It took me a little longer to place the bricks of envelopes N.2, about 13 minutes, with steps ranging from 91 to 166. The assembly of envelopes 2 actually saw two important and highly technical phases; steps 123-124 where I mounted the front lights. In steps 152-153 instead I mounted the rear lights with the controversial adhesives. All in all though technical steps, it was relaxing to put those parts together. The time taken to assemble envelopes N.2 was one hour and fifteen minutes.
The lego Mustang Shelby GT500 once assembled is about 28 centimeters long and 12 wide, a proportion of cars that I didn't have yet. I must say that perhaps it is one of the best dimensions for a lego car; neither too big nor small like the Speed Champions. Clearly almost all the parts are fixed except for a few flaps, the hood can be lifted but it is not a particularly exciting detail. The final design is very articulated where the front certainly represents the best part with nice details and great aggressiveness. The elusive "Pull Back" is nothing dangerous, in fact it is a very small movement that the car makes forward as if to simulate motion, nothing more. I also found it useless because this detail actually blocks the rear wheels if you want to push the car forward. In general I liked the car, both the technique required for assembly and the proportions, it would be nice to see a car like this but full of accessories and with moving parts. As I said before, the real disappointment was the rear lights: the thing that led me to buy this car turned out to be the most disappointing detail.
Pictures: Antonio Malara