Prior Convictions: Shelby or not to be


Quite a long list of manufacturers including Ford, Volkswagen, Bentley and McLaren opted not to show up at this week's Paris motor show. But weirdly, in not-getting-the-memo-that-traditional-motorshows-are-dying news, Shelby wasn't among those to abandon a stuffy old motor show hall.

It brought along the Shelby Series 2, making what PH would regard as a quite surprising appearance, if only because a Series 2 Shelby would be a surprise appearance anywhere it emerged.


To recap: do you remember the Shelby Series 1? It was Carroll Shelby's first from-scratch sports car, but still, essentially, a bit of a muscle car. It had an aluminium chassis, with a composite body, a big V8 engine in the front driving the back wheels via a five-speed transaxle. The idea was to make 500 but, in the end, between 1998 and 2005 only about 250 ever reached the road.

Then, "several years ago", according to Shelby American, a company called Wingard Motorsports, which looks after Series I Shelbys and cars of that ilk, bought all of the old Series 1 parts. And now the two companies together have come up with the idea of putting the car back into production, albeit at a rate of only four a year, and modified to reduce weight, update the inside a touch. 


Wingard can offer the cars finished. Buyers can choose from a Ford Windsor small block, or a Shelby Engine Company 427cu.in (7.0-litre) big block, which Shelby says it can up to 800hp. Weight is said to be from 1,140kg. Prices are from £270,000 with an aluminium body, to £650,000 with a carbonfibre body, of which there'll only be one a year.

All of this slightly nostalgic weirdness brings a muscle car to the centre of a European capital, which is odd, but given you can buy a Chevrolet Camaro and a Ford Mustang in the UK, and a few big pickups with some grumpy looking accessories, maybe we're in a phase of peculiarity. The sensible ones among  us already know that a big, lazy engine that you don't stress too hard can return as good fuel economy in the real world as a smaller, highly stressed turbo. 


And perhaps new WLTP, rather than the old NEDC legislative drive cycles, if they really are more representative of real world driving conditions, might free the shackles from downsizing and turbocharging, which have brought us a four-cylinder Porsche turbo that, in my hands, is less economical than a naturally aspirated six. 

Or maybe, more likely, that has nothing to do with the Shelby appearing at a Paris motor show and it's more down to do with the organisers having space available for any takers. Either way, you know where to head for random, big-engined sports car goodness for a heady premium. 




 

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Comments (6) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Sine Metu 07 Oct 2018

    The Paris Motor Show is a catastrophe. It's way too crowded, you can't see any of the cars. Jut ridiculous at times. And loads of makers don't even bother. Total waste of time. The one saving grace this year was a little bit of a classic car through the ages type walk through zone with one or two cars of interest. IT's really a display and corporate branding show with some cars in there somewhere behind the scrum of bored looking mainstream car buyers scrambling desperately to get a seat in a new Peugeot 508. At least you could see the big Ford trucks if that's your thing. Huge and no one bothered with them.

  • Johnspex 08 Oct 2018

    That is amongst the most revolting interiors I've ever seen. A sea of multi-tone brown. Like the contents of a baby's nappy. Apart the tasteful screen in the middle. The gear lever couldn't be any more to the left without actually missing the tunnel.

  • TooMany2cvs 08 Oct 2018

    Johnspex said:
    That is amongst the most revolting interiors I've ever seen. A sea of multi-tone brown. Like the contents of a baby's nappy. Apart the tasteful screen in the middle. The gear lever couldn't be any more to the left without actually missing the tunnel.
    Never mind the interior, is that some really bizarre reflections, or is it the world's weirdest wrap?

    It looks like one of those silverish plastics that moulds with a very uneven distribution of pigment.

  • Michael77 08 Oct 2018

    That Shelby truck looks like someone took 3 front bumpers and just stacked them on top of each other.

  • Fury1630 08 Oct 2018

    I looked at that interior & immediately thought of Burt Reynolds

    I wish I hadn't.

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