Thursday 5th April 2012


Mighty 1,100hp Mustang found cowering under a sheet in the show foyer but PH gets the inside line

Well, it didn't go entirely according to plan - we had but one day at the New York International Auto Show, and Shelby American wasn't actually scheduled to take the wraps off its 1,100hp Mustang until after we were due to leave.

Big horsepower means big work under here
Big horsepower means big work under here
In fact, in keeping with much of the opening press day at New York 2012, there was a kind of lackadaisical disorganisation about the Shelby stand. All the cars were covered - though that even the covers had racing stripes was pretty cool - none of the literature was out, most of the signage was still being assembled.

And for some reason, the stand itself is located in a quiet part of what is basically the Javits Center lobby. Just around the corner from the Terrafugia flying car (no kidding). This is a company celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2012. If the Shelby 1000 didn't have such a huge pedigree supporting that four-digit horsepower output you'd be forgiven for not taking it very seriously.

But this IS a very serious piece of kit indeed, starting with the price. The regular version - which comes complete with cats and is fully emissions compliant in all 50 US states (no mean feat) is $149,995. The 'Shelby 1000 S/C', which isn't so strict about the greenery in order to turn that 1,000hp claim into a minimum figure, costs $154,995.

'Send us your GT500 now!' says Shelby
'Send us your GT500 now!' says Shelby
Neither amount includes the cost of the donor car. Which in this particular instance is a 2012 Shelby Mustang GT500, priced around $50,000.

Anyway, we persevered, popping back to the stand every half hour or so. And eventually we caught the car out in the daylight, and grabbed a quick chat with Shelby Vice President of Operations, Gary Patterson.

The Shelby 1000 is notable for not looking that showy at a glance. But then you spot that even the cladding below the windscreen wipers appears to be carbon fibre, those are 20-inch three-piece billet aluminium wheels, and, in the local parlance, OMG that's a lot of shiny kit under the bonnet.

The list of engine modifications is naturally extensive, starting with the supercharger. But as Patterson pointed out, this car "is not just about horsepower." Care has been taken to make it run properly - even on "regular pump gas" - and, more importantly, prevent it from tearing itself apart.

20-inch wheels and Wilwood brakes included
20-inch wheels and Wilwood brakes included
Changes under the skin include additional reinforcement welded to the chassis, a much stronger 'drag' spec back axle, and fully adjustable suspension all round. Bigger brakes, developed with Wilwood, are an obvious requirement.

Shelby describes the 1000 as a "limited production" vehicle - but we're guessing that's a given since there surely can't be too many certifiable yet well moneyed Mustang fanciers on the planet. Hell of a thing, though.

Author: cjhubbard
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