These are the most venomous of Shelby American's upgrades.
Carroll Shelby emerged from humble beginnings before embarking on an adventurous life, a stratospheric career, and, ultimately, becoming an automotive folk hero. Speed and cars were his true passion, so once he returned from serving in the air force and following an attempt to farm chickens, Shelby turned his attention to auto racing. In 1952, he entered his first race and steadily worked himself up the hierarchy of racing drivers to eventually drive for Aston Martin in Europe.
Medical issues ended his driving career at the age of 37, so he started Shelby School of High-Performance Driving, and, more importantly, Shelby American. That small shop is where Shelby realized his dream of shoveling a big American V8 into a tiny British sports car, and the Shelby Cobra was born. It became a huge success, and Ford Motor Company approached Shelby to develop a high-performance Ford Mustang. Shelby Mustangs have become an icon of American car culture, but the first Super Snake was a special project that showed just how far Shelby could take the technology of the time.
Shelby's first special project used cutting edge technology to take the first-generation Mustang to new heights of outright speed. The base car was a 1967 Ford Mustang GT500, with the engine swapped out for a lightweight Le Mans-proven 427 cubic inch V8 from a GT40 Mk II, including a variation of its "bundle of snakes" exhaust system. A stronger transmission handled the 600 horsepower the engine was designed to deliver at high rpm for sustained periods of time. The suspension was also upgraded along with the cooling system, and a run of 50 was planned.
Goodyear got in on the act to showcase its tires, and the Super Snake sustained a five hundred mile run at an average speed of 142 mph in a promotional event. Despite that staggering achievement for the time, only one model was built as it was deemed too expensive to build and sell. That single original model still exists, and we last saw it changing hands for $2.2 million. However, in 2018 Shelby announced it would be building ten new continuation 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snakes based on donor 1967 Mustang chassis.
A sales decline and creative differences between Shelby and Ford led to the partnership's dissolution in 1969. Shelby dabbled in the food industry for a while and had success with a self-named Texan style chili mix, but he couldn't stay away from cars for too long. In the 1980s, Shelby started working with Dodge but returned to the Ford fold in 2001. The Shelby Mustang returned in 2007, and owners could send their cars to Shelby for a Super Snake treatment. "I told them that I wanted to build a vehicle that could blow the doors off of almost anything on the planet. By partnering with Ford Racing, we're giving enthusiasts a Mustang with that level of performance," Shelby said at the time.
The car was outfitted with a Ford Racing Supercharger and tuned to make 600 horsepower and 590 ft-lb of torque. A six-speed manual transmission delivered the power to the rear wheels, and the Ford Racing Handling Pack with its dynamic adjustable dampers and other upgraded parts kept it glued to the road. Customers that didn't mind an unwarranted engine could have the engine tuned to an even more monstrous 725 hp.
Drag racer Don "The Snake" Prudhomme started his racing career in a Shelby built car, and in 2009 Shelby honored him with a special edition. "Don is an exceptional drag racer, and I'm proud that he drove my first Top Fuel car in 1968," Carroll Shelby said. The shop used Prudhomme's knowledge and experience to build a street-legal dragster making 750 hp on 93 octane gas, or over 800 hp on race fuel. Along with a Kenny Bell supercharger attached to the 5.4-liter Ford V8, the Prudhomme Edition features a Ford Racing 3.73 rear end, a short-throw shifter, a Borla side-exhaust kit, custom suspension with adjustable front struts, Bogart custom wheels, and a new rear wing. Inside, Shelby ditched the rear seats, installed racing seats in front, and an eight-point roll cage.
If you were looking at the Mustang GT500 in 2013 and thinking that 662 hp seems a little weak, Shelby had your back. The 2013 Super Snake swapped out the factory 2.3-liter supercharger unit sitting between the banks of the 5.2-liter SVT V8 for a 3.6-liter blower Kenne Bell blower. The final result is over 800 hp being laid down through a new final drive ratio of 3.73:1 instead of the stock GT500's 3.31:1. Those two stats put together have inspired people to put a set of radials and net a quarter-mile time of 10.66 seconds @ 137.60 mph. However, it's not just for driving in a straight line. Along with carbon-fiber aero pieces, the 2013 Super Snake also got upgraded suspension, Wilwood brakes with six-piston calipers, and forged-aluminum 20-inch wheels.
The Super Snake got an upgrade in 2018, starting with the front fascia. The main focus performance-wise was aerodynamics, so the rear wing, rear diffuser, side sills, and chin spoiler all got a redesign. It also got 820 hp out of the box, as well as the cool ducktail rear spoiler. It also got a turnkey price, which came in at $113,445 before optioning either the Penske-tuned track suspension or wide-body kit that adds 4-inches across the rear-end.
If you think anything but a 1967 Mustang GT500 base Super Snake is heresy, you're going to hate the Shelby F-150 Super Snake. For everyone else, it packs a Shelby designed body kit, upgraded suspension, brakes, and a supercharged 5.0-liter Ford V8 making 770 hp in the top specification. What started as an R&D exercise has become a reality that will hit 60 mph from zero in 3.45 seconds and go from 0-100 mph-0 in 8.3 seconds. That means you can tow your boat or blow anyone away from the lights. You could probably do both, but that sounds like a terrible idea.
For 2020, Ford will sell you a Mustang GT500 with a more than generous 760 hp under the hood.But Shelby American will happily take a customer's Mustang GT and crank the power to an awe-inspiring 825 hp. But, for 2020, Shelby is offering retro color packages based around 1970s-era Shelby Mustangs. Known as the Bold package, 30 customers can choose Shadow Black paint with Green stripes and Green interior accents, Green Lime paint with Black stripes and Green interior accents, or Twister Orange paint with Black stripes and Orange interior accents. The Bold package comes with blacked-out 20-inch forged aluminum wheels, and for 2020, Shelby has also made some tweaking in the suspension and brakes.