Shelby GT350 Turns Into a Great Ball of Fire

Michael Accardi
by Michael Accardi

Roebling Road Raceway in Georgia was the scene of a Shelby GT350’s self immolation after it began puking oil at vicious velocity.

According to HiPo Joe on Facebook, a catastrophic engine failure was at fault. Supposedly a snap ring in the Shelby’s oil cooler thermostat let go, sending buckets of oil streaming out of the block–when the free falling oil found the catalytic converter, Joe got ignition.

SEE ALSO: Ford Performance Power Packs Add GT350 Parts to Mustang GT

Fire will freak you out enough; but how about when it happens at 100 mph and boils your brake fluid? This is exactly what happened to Joe in his own words:

“The heat from the flames must have been very intense as the brake fluid boiled and the brake pedal went to the floor. So now I’m still running 100+ MPH on fire with no brakes.”

This is where situational awareness and smarts come into play. With no brakes, Joe tries the emergency brake, but knows he can’t just yank the lever and risk a 100 mph spin while on fire:

“With no hydraulic brakes I tried to use the emergency brake. I knew that I couldn’t yank it up because it would lock the rear wheels causing me to lose what little bit of control I had. About 20% through the travel of the lever, the cable snapped.”

Now what?

“Sometime during all this, I had turned the car off. So I’ve got zero brakes and no power steering. By now I’ve also got fire in the cabin and I’m still hauling ass burning like a meteor on reentry. I did the only other thing I knew to do. I put the car in first gear and dumped the clutch. Some how I was able to get the car stopped without losing control less than 30’ from corner station and the fire extinguishers.”

Luckily the incident happened on track where safety staff could reach him quickly with the necessary equipment.

Ford has actually purchased the 2016 GT350 back from Joe and he’s currently in the process of bringing home a 2017 GT350R.

A version of this article originally appeared on

Michael Accardi
Michael Accardi

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  • Eco Bust Eco Bust on Aug 02, 2016

    POS almost kills he buys another; sounds like mustang owner logic at work. The entire lineup just sucks, from the Avis/Hertz special v6, Hoover powered ecobust, GT, which is the camaro ss's b1tch, and this thing, which seems more prone to failure than a trump owned business.

    • Dariansdad Dariansdad on Aug 04, 2016

      Even more amazing is that he was on a racetrack performing a highspeed run, which is specifically disavowed in the warranty handbook, and STILL Ford bought him a new car. WTF? So, you're wrong: he didn't buy another, it was gifted to him by Ford And I'm a Chevy fan.

  • Chris Daigle Chris Daigle on Aug 03, 2016

    Good on Ford for buying back the car. Improve the breed.