Being a native Clevelander, I hop on the chance to celebrate my city because, honestly, there's usually not much to celebrate (our river caught on fire, for Pete's sake!). But hey, we've got LeBron James, make a mean pierogi and, of course, are home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We're also home to some very important Ford production plants, mainly the Cleveland Engine Plant in Brookpark that builds the Duratec 3.0L V6 and the Lima Engine Plant that builds the new 3.5L V6.
That being the case, Ford used the Cleveland International Auto Show today to announce a special partnership with Fender guitars to produce two special limited edition guitars. The first is the Limited Edition Ford Shelby GT Standard Stratocaster, obviously inspired by the Ford Shelby GT. The first one of 200 that will be made has been signed by Carroll Shelby himself and is being donated to the GuitarMania fundraiser that benefits the Cleveland United Way and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame education fund. Ford will also sponsor two giant 9-foot Stratocasters customized by Blue Oval designers for the event.
No word on price or what the second guitar will be, but you can purchase one of the 200 Shelby GT guitars starting March 1st through the Ford Collection.
FORD 'ROCKS AND ROLLS' IN CLEVELAND WITH HOT CARS AND FENDER GUITARS
Ford donates first model in limited-edition 200 Fender Stratocaster guitars to United Way of Cleveland's GuitarMania.
- Ford donates one-of-a-kind Fender® Stratocaster® guitar autographed by racing great Carroll Shelby to GuitarMania® fundraiser in support of Greater Cleveland United Way and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame education fund.
- Ford partners with Fender Guitars to offer two customized guitars through the Ford Collection.
- Ford to sponsor two 9-foot Fender Stratocaster® guitars, customized by the company's own designers, at this year's GuitarMania.
Cleveland, Feb. 23, 2007 - Celebrating fast cars and rock and roll, Ford is turning up the volume at the Cleveland Auto Show by showcasing its hot new product lineup and revving up for GuitarMania®. The company is donating the first Limited Edition Ford Shelby GT Standard Stratocaster® guitar in support of this annual charity event to benefit the Greater Cleveland United Way and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's education fund.
"For some of our most successful, high quality products, it all starts in Cleveland with the Duratec engines built here," said Randy Ortiz, General Sales Manager, Ford, Lincoln and Mercury. "I can't think of a better way to celebrate the spirit of this city and give back to the community than to be a part of GuitarMania."
Buckeye Connection Key to Ford's Winning Formula
With nearly one third of Ford's North American engines and transmissions built in Ohio, the Buckeye State is playing a pivotal role in the success of Ford's latest hit products. Ford's Duratec 35 V-6 engine, built at the company's Lima ( Ohio) Engine Plant, powers the all-new Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers, as well as the Lincoln MKZ luxury sedan. The new 2008 Ford Taurus, Taurus X and Mercury Sable will be the next success stories to feature this award-winning engine. By the end of the decade, one in every five Ford vehicles will be powered by this engine.
The Duratec 30 V-6 engine built at the company's Cleveland Engine Plant in Brook Park, Ohio, is the driving force behind some of Ford's most critically acclaimed vehicles – including the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan mid-size sedans. It's also under the hood of the Ford Escape – which has sold more than a million units – and the Mercury Mariner, the compact SUVs that is attracting more new customers to the company as a percentage than any other product except Mustang.
In addition, Ford's Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake is home to the Ford E-Series van, the perennial best-seller that is celebrating 25 years of sales leadership. Ford's presence in Ohio includes 12,000 employees working at 10 plants, more than 25,000 retirees and 215 dealers.
Blue Oval and Cleveland Rock
Ford's support of GuitarMania is the latest example of its continued commitment to supporting the United Way. In 2006, Ford Motor Company pledged more than $16 million to United Way nationally.
GuitarMania ( http://www.cleveland.com/guitarmania ) is a greater Cleveland community public art project that has raised more than $1.5 million for its two benefiting charities – United Way
of Greater Cleveland and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's education fund. Through its participation in GuitarMania and the donation of the unique Stratocaster guitar, the company is working to increase support for United Way contributions in Cleveland.
The GuitarMania project consists of oversized Stratocaster guitars that are creatively transformed into works of art by local artists and national celebrities and displayed on the city streets of Cleveland for residents and visitors to enjoy June through November 2007. In addition to donating a unique Stratocaster to GuitarMania, Ford will sponsor two larger-than-life guitars customized by the company's designers to benefit this event.
The Stratocaster is one of two Fender® guitars that will be available through the Ford Collection (www.fordcollection.com) beginning March 1, 2007. The Limited Edition Ford Shelby GT Standard Stratocaster guitar is inspired by the custom instrument that was sold with the first production 2007 Ford Shelby GT Mustang at Barrett-Jackson® for a whopping $600,000 – all donated to the Carroll Shelby Children's Foundation. The first of these 200 limited-edition guitars will be signed by Carroll Shelby and donated to GuitarMania. Each one is individually numbered on the neck plate.
The Ford Collection also will offer the Fender Sonoran™ dreadnought acoustic guitar, crafted from a solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides. It features Venetian cutaway, exclusive blue-burst finish, Fender electronics, Stratocaster headstock and die-cast tuners and pickup.
These distinctive instruments will be on display at the Cleveland Auto Show alongside the hot Ford Shelby GT and other new Ford, Lincoln and Mercury products. Consumers can see the custom guitars and Ford Motor Company vehicles on the show floor beginning Feb. 24, 2007.