PH CARPOOL: SHELBY GT
This week's Carpooler has a serious V8 addiction, very serious as it turns out...
Car: Shelby GT
Owned since: June 2011
Previously owned: Shelby GT350/500, 289 '66 Mustang, Corvettes, Triumph Stag, Pontiac Trans Ams, 3.0 Capris - total car nut since I could drive my friends down the pub when I was 19...
I restore original '60s Shelbys and Cobras for a living and Carroll Shelby is a hero of mine. I loved his hot-rodding style of taking a standard car and turning it into something special. The Shelby GT is hand-built by Shelby American in very limited production numbers using exactly the same methods as the '66 cars, so it is true to the original. Each vehicle receives special bodywork with vinyl twin stripes, hood scoop, tuned engine, lowered and stiffened suspension, big front and rear roll bars, low restriction exhaust and 3.55:1 LSD axle. Then each car is given a unique Shelby VIN number which is listed in the Shelby registry. Most people don't realise the famous modern Shelby GT500 is not built by Shelby at all but by Ford and are mass produced in their thousands.
I cannot recommend the Shelby GT enough, much more special than the GT500 although nowhere near as powerful. A much more exclusive car for those who really know about Shelby cars and are not taken in by all the hype surrounding the GT500. The GT is hugely drivable, good on fuel and follows Shelby's original '60s hot rod brief very closely ... the knowing person's modern Shelby.
Driveability, exclusivity, follows the original brief, quick in standard trim, comfortable and easy to maintain and care for. So tuneable......
Things I hate:
Standard brakes with 13-inch discs, rubbish ...easy fix is an 14-inch Brembo conversion.
Standard maintenance is not expensive at all and there's a fantastic array of aftermarket performance goodies available. Exhausts, engine parts, body trim, wheels ... a hot-rodder's dream.
But the most dramatic thing was the Roush supercharger. The most cost-effective upgrade I've ever carried out on a car - bloody amazing device. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: below 3,250rpm, good standard performance with instant throttle response, above 3,250rpm all hell breaks loose. A howl from the supercharger that even The Who at full volume can't drown out and performance of a £100K supercar ... fantastic!