The last retail 2014-MY Ford Shelby GT500 convertible auctioned by Ford Motor Company to benefit the Brain Injury Association of America fetched $500,000 at the inaugural Hot August Nights Auction Presented by Barrett-Jackson in Reno, Nev.
On Saturday, August 10, Don Damon of Great Bend, Kan., purchased the Shelby in a spirited bidding war, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the BIAA. Parnelli Jones, 1963 Indy 500 winner and advocate for the charity, cheered on the competition.
“It was thrilling to watch the bidding unfold,” said Steve Ling, North America car marketing manager for Ford. “The moment showed the power of a great charity and a great car, and the tremendous generosity of the Damon family and our friends at Barrett-Jackson.”
Jones was introduced to the BIAA when his son Page Jones, a rising star in racing, suffered a severe brain injury in a Sprint Car race. His prognosis was grim, yet with the support of his family, Page has gone on to have a fulfilling, productive and joyous life. With the upcoming documentary, Godspeed: The Story of Page Jones, both the family and BIAA hope to raise awareness of the importance of rehabilitation for those who suffer from a traumatic brain injury.
“It’s my 80th birthday, and I can’t imagine a better present,” said Parnelli Jones. “We worked hard to help Page recover from his injury, but we couldn’t have done it alone. We received help from the BIAA, and this funding will aid so many others who have suffered from similar injuries.”
The Ford Shelby GT500 is another in a line of vehicles sold by Ford Motor Company to support charities over the past several years. Other recipients have included the Carroll Shelby Foundation and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
“We at the BIAA are overcome with gratitude,” said Susan H. Connors, president and CEO of the BIAA. “This Ford Shelby GT500 sale provides vital funding for research, treatment and education to help the 3.5 million Americans who suffer from traumatic brain injuries. It’s been a pleasure to collaborate with Ford, Barrett-Jackson, Parnelli and Page.”
With 662 horsepower, superb handling and a 0-60 mph time of under 4.0 seconds, the Shelby GT500 is one of the world’s greatest muscle cars. As the winning bidder for the 2014 Shelby, Damon can choose any interior, exterior and stripe color combination offered by Ford, making this a one-off factory custom car. Additionally, Parnelli Jones will sign the Shelby in appreciation for the BIAA donation. The car is scheduled to be delivered to Damon by year’s end.
At Hot August Nights, Ford also celebrated America’s love affair with cars and rock ’n’ roll. During the festivities, Ford offered both Ride-and-Drives and hot lap experiences at the parking lot of Atlantis Casino Resort. The Ride-and-Drives featured Ford’s elite stable of vehicles – including Explorer, Focus and Mustang – and Ford fans were able to run hot laps in the Shelby GT500, Focus ST and Fiesta ST. Ford also showcased its vehicles in the Reno to Sparks cruise-in.