While the modern Shelby GT350 is an awesome car with plenty of amenities, nobody saw the consumer release of the Shelby GT350R for 2016. Some have complained it’s not like the original, but why would it be? Cars have changed and so has technology. You can’t deny the Voodoo V8 flat-plane crank sounds absolutely haunting under load. It’s a hardcore track car you can drive on the road, and what’s better than that?
This is a car that hasn’t come out yet, but the details are quite mesmerizing. With 760-horsepower on tap, this one outdoes the previous Shelby GT500, which at the time seemed absolutely bonkers. That power is generated using a cross-plane crank version of the Voodoo V8, calling it the Predator because it will be eating Dodge Demons and Chevy Camaros for lunch.
Introduced at the 2017 SEMA Show, the new Shelby 1000 kit for Ford Mustangs is a real killer way to boost your pony to the stratosphere. Swapping out the Coyote V8 for a Voodoo V8, then slapping a 4.5-liter Whipple supercharger onto that, you get 1,000-horsepower absolutely shredding those rear tires. Upgraded spindles and hubs, plus Brembo brakes are included. To make sure everyone knows you don’t just have a weakling EcoBoost model, the kit also comes with a hood, front fascia, front fenders, rockers, diffuser, etc. The result is something that looks way cooler than a Mustang and performs so much better.
While the previous two versions of the Cobra were impressive in their own rite, the Cobra 427 was a much more refined and faster car. Car and Driver measured a 0-60 time of just 4.3 seconds in 1965, easily smoking pretty much everything else at the time. The roadster could sprint from a standstill to 100 mph in only 8.8 seconds and did the quarter mile in 12.2 seconds at 118 mph. It was a serious performance car, putting everyone else on notice.
While the original Cobra put Carrol Shelby on the map, it was the Super Snake that really cemented his status as a mad scientist in the automotive world. He took two of his Competition Roadsters and attached twin Paxton superchargers to the 427ci V8s, which was plainly insane. The manual transmission couldn’t handle the 800-900-horsepower, so a more durable three-speed automatic was installed. This was the car Bill Cosby reportedly returned to Shelby after one drive because it scared him so badly.
image credit: Barrett-Jackson
With the Ford Mustang riding high, the Blue Oval wanted to take its pony car racing. It turned to Carroll Shelby, who created a stripped-down racer with a blueprinted engine and high-rise aluminum intake manifolds. To shave off weight, Plexiglass replaced the rear window and sail panels. Flared-out fenders allowed for bigger wheels, and there was an oil cooler. This was a car built not for beauty but speed, and it exceled in that area. There’s a good reason a genuine ’65 GT350R goes for a small fortune these days.
While the AC Cobra was a beastly marriage of hardcore American power and beautiful British bodywork, it was anything but aerodynamic. On tracks with longer straightaways, the Cobra struggled to get up to fast speeds, getting clobbered by the likes of the Ferrari 250 GTO. With the help of Pete Brock, the slippery Cobra Daytona Coupe body was created. This legendary racer was the first American car to win an international championship, snubbing Ferrari in the GT-class.
Inspired by Carroll Shelby beating out Ferrari in GT-class racing, Ford decided it would do the same in Group 5 after being spurred by the Italian automaker. However, the Ford GT40 MKI initially was a failure. Once Shelby and his team was in charge, the MKII got a larger 427ci V8 and numerous other improvements, which helped lead to the podium sweep at Le Mans in 1966. This will forever remain Shelby’s legendary achievement.
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