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Gooding to auction 2016 Shelby GT350 to benefit vets

Gooding & Company will be auctioning off a brand-new 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 on August 15 at Pebble Beach. The chance to own Dearborn's new flagship muscle car is surely enough all on its own to garner some serious bids. Combine that desirability with a hefty dose of star power and the desire to support a good cause and we're sure this particular pony car will be boosted even further.

The GT350 is being sold to support the Military Service Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute, a program that seeks to support post-9/11 military veterans and their families as they transition into civilian life. The car's dashboard has been signed by the former president, and will be auctioned off by none other than Jay Leno – who in addition to being an unsurpassed showman and car nut is also known as a passionate supporter of American servicemen. Gooding expects the super-Stang to fetch between $75,000 and $100,000 for the cause – or roughly twice the car's $47,870 MSRP.

The 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang debuted late last year at the LA Auto Show. It packs a new 5.2-liter V8 with a flat-plane crank, kicking out 526 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. That makes it the most powerful naturally aspirated engine Ford has ever made.

"This is one of the most exotic engines ever produced by a major American manufacturer plus the fact that it's going into the most American of cars," said Jay Leno. "I am proud to help auction this car off where the proceeds will go to helping our veterans."

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