STEVE COLQUHOUN August 20, 2012
Shelby GT500 Cobra.
One-off muscle car goes over-the-top on power – just the way Ford’s performance king Carroll Shelby would have liked it.
A posthumous tribute to Ford performance king Carroll Shelby unveiled on the weekend appropriately raises the muscle car bar with a 625kW version of the Mustang-based Shelby GT 500.
Named the Shelby GT500 Cobra, the one-off car marks the 50th anniversary of the original Shelby Cobra and is a joint project between the Friends of Carroll Shelby, Ford, Shelby American and Ford Racing.
The latter-day Cobra is based on the Shelby GT500 that already produces a healthy 487kW from an aluminium 5.8-litre supercharged V8.
The addition of a Ford Racing 4.0-litre Whipple supercharger helped coax out an additional 138kW – that’s more extra power than a Ford Focus.
Helping to get all 625kW to the ground are 13-inch-wide rear and 10-inch front tyres, while a unique bonnet, rear body kit and distinctive blue paintwork with white stripes add visual impact to the Cobra.
Shelby died in May at the age of 89 and is credited as being an inspiration to Ford’s designers and engineers over the past 50 years, influencing cars including the iconic GT40 supercar and the current Mustang.
Ford has just renamed one of the roads at its Detroit headquarters in his honour – Carroll Shelby Way – and global vice president for sales and marketing, Jim Farley, says Shelby’s influence will carry on throughout the company.
“Even at 89 years of age, Carroll was an inspiration to us all,” he says. “His spirit lives on with the designers and engineers he interacted with over the years and he will continue to influence Ford performance cars for many years to come.
“The one-off car we have created represents the very idea he had about making the 2013 Shelby GT500 into a true Cobra.”