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Ford’s Jim Owens Talks Barrett-Jackson Mustangs

The 2013 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Event


Jim Owens, Ford's Shelby/Boss Brand Manager

Jim Owens, Ford's Shelby/Boss Brand Manager

Photo Courtesy of Ford Motor Company
Recently Jim Owens, Ford's Shelby/Boss Brand Manager, sat down with us to talk about the 42nd Annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction at Westworld of Scottsdale. Owens, a Mustang guy through and through, was very excited about this year’s show.

About Mustangs: Jim, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us. How’s the show been so far this year?

Jim Owens: They have more cars this year and they have more people. If you like the car culture, it is a great way to spend the week. It truly is.

About Mustangs: Anything special in store for Ford fans at this year's Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction?

Jim Owens: This year we have a couple of really neat things going on. One is what we're doing for charity. For the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) we're auctioning off the Carroll Shelby Tribute car which was unveiled in Monterey. We had Henry Ford III, who is the great grandson, and we had Aaron Shelby, who is the grandson of Carroll, driving this car as the pace car for the Monterey Historics last year. We put this car together as a tribute to Carroll from all different friends of Carroll Shelby. He had a vision for this last 2013 GT500. He really wanted it to have a wide body so he could put bigger tires under there. We’re auctioning off that car to benefit JDRF. Edsel Ford’s youngest son Albert suffers from Type 1 Diabetes. We've raised millions of dollars for JDRF and the Carroll Shelby Foundation by doing these auctions.

About Mustangs: Carroll Shelby seems to be a big focal point of this year’s show.

Jim Owens: This week, the Barrett-Jackson team celebrated what would have been Carroll Shelby's 90th Birthday. The event featured items we had at the Carroll Shelby memorial. The GT500 tribute car went center stage. We had Aaron Shelby and his wife there. It's going to be neat for people to be able to see the last car Carroll worked on with us. We're excited about that.

About Mustangs: I hear the Shelby Green Hornet Mustang will cross the block this year. Are you excited to see this car sold?

Jim Owens: It had a special place in history. It truly did. For the right person, that car will make somebody's lifelong dream come true. That's really what Carroll was all about. Somebody's going to get a good large chunk of history with that car.

About Mustangs: What other things do you have in store for those attending this year’s auction?

Jim Owens: For the visceral experience, we have our dynos going again this year. We've been running Mustang convertibles over there as well. So far today the fastest lap time was 12.2 [seconds], which isn't too bad on a standard automatic Mustang GT with no modifications to it. Fans can literally get a chance to come out and do their drag race and dyno side-by-side. They can race inside the building and do a quarter mile on a holeshot, so we think that's a lot of fun.

About Mustangs: Will Ford offer up hot laps to attendees again this year?

Jim Owens: For the first time in Scottsdale, we have two new cars that we're running hot laps on, and one car that we've used in the past. Last year we did the 2012 GT500 hot laps here. This year we have the 662-hp fire breathing monster 2013 Shelby GT500s available for hot laps. We have professional drivers where folks can come out and get a hot lap from a professional race driver on a course here that features some of the Corvettes from our brethren over at GM. Of course, we've got the highest horsepower on the block. You can truly feel that torque!

We also have a roll-caged Focus ST. We did this in Orange County but we did not do this in Scottsdale last year. Fans can also get hot lap rides in that car as well. For the younger performance enthusiast, the performance fan who likes front wheel drive, they can do a really good hot lap when the turbo goes to 30 pounds of boost right off the starting line! Those are all activities that you will see.

About Mustangs: Tell us about the SPEED Channel GT500 being given away.

Jim Owens: We're doing the SPEED Channel Hagerty Fantasy bid again this year. Last year we gave away a 2012 750-hp Shelby GT500. It was modified by Shelby. For this year, we pulled a whole bunch of Carroll's friends together and came up with an 800+ horsepower 2013 Shelby GT500. That car is also on display on the turntable. While they’re over there, fans can see how you can customize your Shelby GT500 to make it even bigger and badder when 662-hp just isn't enough!

About Mustangs: Any other highlights from this year’s auction?

Jim Owens: As for other cars, they’re selling the George Barris Batmobile this year. And of course, they’re selling the George Bush F-150 at this year’s show. It’s really special to us. A President of the United States, who owns a vehicle manufactured by Ford, is choosing to partner with Barrett-Jackson. It’s an excellent opportunity and we’re glad to be a part of it.

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