Why Racing Stripes Cost $10,000 on the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

Alexander Stoklosa
Photo credit: Ford

From Car and Driver

  • The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 has optional painted-on racing stripes that cost $10,000, and when we spec'd the car for a story, we chose them.
  • Available in black, blue, and white, the stripes cost 10 times as much as the stick-on vinyl stripes Ford also offers on the GT500.
  • Due to the labor-intensive application process, Ford is limiting the option.

Want to inflate the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500's $73,995 base price by 14 percent with only one option? Buy the optional painted-on racing stripes, of course! They cost $10,000, which seems, um, decadent for a non-performance-enhancing feature on a pony car's option sheet.

But wait, you might be asking: What's the going rate for factory-applied stripes these dayd? The GT500's option sheet provides insight by way of its available stick-on vinyl stripes, which run $1000. On the less powerful GT350, those same vinyl stripes cost $495. Curious what the 1000 percent markup for the GT500's painted-on versions was all about, we reached out to Ford for clarification.

Photo credit: Ford

Apparently, the stripes are hand painted onto GT500s so ordered. Per a company spokesperson, the stripe job is "hand-prepped, painted, and then clear-coated." He adds that "Due to the specialized nature of the process, [Ford has] a very limited production capacity." Indeed.

Even though we've yet to experience these hand-painted stripes firsthand, we can say that stripe aficionados shouldn't dismiss their $10,000 price out of hand. Being integral with the car's paint job, the stripes shouldn't peel or start to come off, as those cheaper vinyl ones did on our 2017 Mustang Shelby GT350 test car. (The decals began forming bubbles beneath their surfaces and peeling up at their edges after less than a year.) Granted, that car lived in salty, harsh Michigan—but so does the Ford Motor Company. Our point, besides still feeling salty over our GT350's failed stripes? Get the painted-on stripes if you seek racing-stripe object permanence. They're available in the same colors as the vinyl pieces: black, blue, or white.

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