New York show: Shelby GT1000

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.

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Comments (83) Join the discussion on the forum

  • XitUp 10 Apr 2012

    Still not said which suspension is less outdated either...

  • Kawasicki 08 Apr 2012

    AdamPT said:
    SSBB said:
    AdamPT said:
    I was going to leave it, I really was, but there is a huge difference in the analogy you have given. The Mustang model I drove (a 2010 model as I understand) is the basis of this car, albeit with vastly up rated suspension and engine. The interior was made out of some of the nastiest plastics I have come across, leather from what could only have been a very sickly cow, it rattled and was generally not a nice place to be. It didn’t handle well (I KNOW it has a different suspension system before you start)and for all that power and engine size, it was pretty average in terms of outright pace down a normal road. It did however have terrific air con, the seats were pretty comfy and the stereo wasn’t at all bad though. In my view, if they can’t get the base model right, how can they be trusted to do something special? I have driven both the lastest 520d and an M5 and believe me when I say that the 520 forms a very solid basis for the big boy’s toy at the top of the range. But that is my opinion, which you do not have to share. A point I have made ALL along is that with cars, all cars, its a matter of personal taste. I merely questioned the validity of using what could be described as a rather outdated suspension on a modern performance car. You very kindly and eloquently decided to show me the error of my ways and pointed out that this super-duper Mustang has a different suspension from the rest of the Mustang range (bar the GT500). I am now more knowledgeable than I was when we started this, but I do question your maturity when you are patently unable to have a bit of friendly banter and debate. That you like Mustangs is terrific and I applaud you for your passion. But please, to infer I don't know what I am talking about because I have a differing opinion is somewhat juvenile. Cheerio!
    I love how this guy keeps saying cheerio and ta ta as though he is walking away from and argument and taking the higher ground, but keeps coming back for another bite hehe

    In Motorrad's defence, you don't know what you're talking about as you jumped in right away spouting nonsense about live-axles that this car doesn't have, and continued to go on about them even after you were initially corrected.
    Certainly not 'walking away' from anything. And I hardly 'jumped in', I gave my opinion. I was wrong about the live rear axle on this particular model of Mustang, which I have admitted. Hardly the crime of the century is it? (especially when all other Mustangs DO have a live rear axle) It doesn't change my opinion of this car or the Mustang in general. I say cheerio and ta ta in a light hearted way, I am sorry if you think it means something that it doesn't. I have obviously rattled the cage, unintentionally, of the American car fans on this site who feel duty bound to defend the Mustang's honour. Which is actually rather positive. Its funny however that you can't seem to understand that all along I have stated that cars are all about personal choice. I wqas under the impressin the forum was all about debate and banter, which doesn't seem the case her at all. Over to you (y'all)
    I also think you are wrong about base model mustangs, I think they handle pretty well, and the base v6 does 60 in a little over 5 seconds. What exactly about the handling was sub standard? Please be specific.

  • aeropilot 07 Apr 2012

    In a world of far too much sterile, technofest numbness..... it's monumentally mad, and as such I'd have one in a heartbeat if I could.

  • speedster1950mr2 07 Apr 2012

    I was lucky enough to drive the original GT 500 shelby MUSTANG in the 60,s,I should think this one could give you a simular ear to ear smile with that 1000 odd bhp.or should it be Horsepower for a MUSTANG <horse>.YEA LOVE IT !!!!

  • Debaser 06 Apr 2012

    I love almost everything about this car. If I could afford one (and it was RHD) I'd have one in a flash!

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