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worked on the now perfected PG 1493.

And, oh yes: 1493 was also being

used in another rush project, the de-

velopment of an IRS for the soon-to-




Mustang, which took the name from

the original two-seat concept car. Its

first tests by Shelby were done at

Riverside in February of 1964, in-

stalled in an early notchback.

As verification that Ford had in-

deed intended its new Mustang to be

offered with an IRS, when Iacocca in-

troduced the Mustang to the media at

the New York World’s Fair in April of

1964, he told the press, “

An independ-

ent rear suspension is in the works


Of course, the Mustang IRS never

made it into production, but the ability

to develop a suspension system before

it ever hit the track – a capability

birthed by Arning’s Advanced Suspen-

sion and the Mustang I Concept car –

became central to Ford’s racing efforts.

When A.J. Foyt won Indy in 1967 and

then two weeks later won LeMans

with Gurney in a Ford GT MK IV, a re-

porter asked him how he could win

two big races in such different cars.

Foyt is quoted as saying, “


weren’t that different; they were de-

signed by the same guys.

” What he

could have said was they were


signed by the same computer


The Original Venice Crew built

their 2015 version of a 1965 Shelby

GT350R Mustang in Brock’s own shop

in Henderson, Nevada with an inde-

pendent rear suspension. The car was

previewed it at Willow Springs on Feb-

ruary 14, exactly fifty years from the

date of the GT350’s first race victory

at Green Valley Raceway in Texas.

interviewed Brock

and asked him specifically about the

Mustang IRS: “

Plans for Carroll

Shelby’s GT350R Mustang originally

called for an independent rear suspen-

sion, later abandoned for cost reasons.

Do you think this would have made a

significant difference in the car’s per-

formance, and do you think that costs

could have been contained to a reason-

able level?

With his reply to the reporter’s

question, Brock shed new light on the

reason that first Mustang never saw

an IRS: “

The independent rear sus-

pension that Ford’s engineer Klaus

Arning designed


the Shelby

GT350R Mustang wasn’t that expen-

sive to produce, but it was labor inten-

sive to retrofit on a car that had been

designed to use a live axle. Time was

another factor in the decision – we did-

n’t have enough of it. Then, the

GT350R proved competitive with its

original setup, and in racing when

something ain’t broke, you don’t fix it.

As any true Ford fan knows, the

all-new-for-2015 regular production

Ford Mustang finally came to market

with a factory designed, developed and

installed independent rear suspen-

sion. Klaus’ son, Ralph Arning, himself

a Ford engineer who has spent

decades supporting production of the

Mustang, was working at the Flat

Rock Assembly Plant when that very

first IRS-equipped production Mus-

tang came down the line.


Duane Carling and the re-imagined GT350

R with independent rear suspension. Car-

ling’s article was originally published by

John Clor on March 24, 2016 on Ford Rac-

ing’s website

Original illustration of Mustang IRS.

Summer 2016 66