Skip to comments.One-off 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra debuts as Tribute to Carrol
Posted on 08/18/2012 4:15:43 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
The Monterey Peninsula is celebrating all things Shelby this week as part of the company's 50th anniversary celebration. The Cobra in particular will be a part of many events including the Pebble Beach Concours and the Monterey Motorsports Reunion happening at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The Shelby celebration is also especially meaningful since founder Carroll Shelby passed away back in May. As a tribute to the legendary racer and car builder, Shelby American, Ford Motor Company and Ford Racing have teamed up to build a very special tribute Mustang. Called the 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra, the car features a custom widened body that fits massive 13-inch-wide wheels fitted with a set of 345-series tires. All of that extra traction is quite necessary, as a 4.0-liter Whipple supercharger has been fitted atop the 5.8-liter V8 to produce 850 horsepower. The look of the car is completed with traditional Shelby livery: Guardsman Blue with Wimbledon White stripes.
The 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra is currently on display at the Monterey Motorsports Reunion this weekend, and Shelby says that they plan to tour the car around the country for the next several months before it will be auctioned off for charity.
Even more awesome was seeing about 250 original Shelby Cobras at the track!
This is the Ford press release from yesterday:
MONTEREY, Calif., Aug. 17, 2012 Friends of Carroll Shelby, including Ford Motor Company, Shelby American, Ford Racing and many others have built a special tribute 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra. Ford is also announcing a renamed road in Dearborn, Mich., at the Product Development Center as a tribute to the late Carroll Shelby. Cobra has been the performance label as Shelby worked with Ford for most of the last 60 years. Shelby was instrumental in the establishment of Ford performance including Cobra, GT40 and Mustang's performance credentials since its earliest days in the mid-1960s.
This tribute vehicle was unveiled by Ford Motor Company board member Edsel Ford II, group vice president for sales and marketing Jim Farley, and Shelby American president John Luft at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion where Cobra is the marque of show.
"Even at 89 years of age, Carroll was an inspiration to us all," says Farley. "This year marks the 50th anniversary of the original Shelby Cobra. This car represents the very idea he had about making the 2013 Shelby GT500 into a true Cobra."
Using the 662-horsepower 2013 Shelby GT500 as a foundation, "Friends of Carroll" created a one-of-a-kind 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra wide-body Mustang that now generates more than 850 horsepower with the help of a Ford Racing 4.0-liter Whipple supercharger. Putting that much power to the ground requires plenty of traction, so the 13-inch-wide rear wheels are wrapped in massive 345-section high-performance tires for extra grip.
Ford Motor Company teamed with Shelby American for several key components on the Carroll Shelby tribute car. Shelby American provided a specially designed hood, new rear wide-body kit, Shelby Wilwood brakes and new 20x13-inch rear and 20x10-inch front wheels. The bodywork is finished in the same Guardsman Blue with Wimbledon White stripes that graced so many of the Cobra roadsters built in the 1960s.
"Carroll Shelby changed the performance world forever," says Luft. "And while he was proud of Shelby American's achievements, Carroll was far more interested in the next car we build. You will find the spirit and influence of Carroll Shelby in every future vehicle we build as found in the rear wide-body kit and hood integrated into the 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra."
"You might also know that Carroll was a philanthropist, noted for supporting causes that moved him," added Farley. "In that spirit, this car will be taken on tour around the country, and hopefully will be used in a special way at the end of its tour, a way Carroll would appreciate."
Before the 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra hits the road, it will be shown at the Ford display in the expo area this weekend.
...and, for good measure, a million dollar Bugatti Veyron at the gas pump!
Thanks for the post. Carrol Shelby was a one-offer.
Wasn’t he? Truly a genius. The original Cobra still looks very fresh today.
It does indeed. But Shelby didn't design it, a guy named John Tojeiro did, for the English company AC Cars. What Shelby did was to replace the crappy English motor with a Ford V8.
Is the ALMS race at Laguna Seca pretty soon?
Watch the Audi diesels, and listen to them.
850 Horsepower? “Hey lil Cobra...don’t you know you’re gonna shut’em down?”
Thanks. I didn’t know that Tojeiro did the coachwork design. So all Shelby did was take a British chassis with British coachwork design and drop in a big block V8?
I'd settle for the base 662 hp.
Yes they did design the body..but it was specially requested by Shelby before Shelby even knew what he wanted to throw into it. He asked them to design a body that would accept a V8. since AC didnt have any that could handle them at the time they had to be built from scratch.
“Like many British specialist manufacturers, AC Cars had been using the Bristol straight-6 engine in its small-volume production, including its AC Ace 2-seater roadster. This had a hand-built body with a steel tube frame, and aluminium body panels that were made using English wheeling machines.
The engine was a pre-World War II design of BMW which by the 1960s was considered dated. Bristol decided in 1961 to cease production of its engine and instead to use Chrysler 331 cu in (5.4 L) V8 engines. Although untrue, it is commonly believed that AC was left without a future source of power and that American ex-racing driver Carroll Shelby saved the company from bankruptcy. AC started using the 2.6 litre Ford Zephyr engine in its cars.
In September 1961, Shelby airmailed AC a letter asking them if they would build him a car modified to accept a V8 engine. AC agreed, provided a suitable engine could be found. He first went to Chevrolet to see if they would provide him with engines, but not wanting to add competition to the Corvette they said no. Ford, however, wanted a car that could compete with the Corvette and they happened to have a brand new thin-wall small-block engine which could be used in this endeavor. It was Ford’s 260 in³ HiPo (4.2 L) engine a new lightweight, thin-wall cast small-block V8 tuned for high performance. Ford provided Shelby with two engines.
In January 1962 mechanics at AC Cars in Thames Ditton, Surrey fitted the prototype chassis CSX0001 with a 260 ci Ford V8; the 221 ci was never sent. However, early engineering drawings were titled “AC Ace 3.6”.
After testing and modification, the engine and transmission were removed and the chassis was air-freighted to Shelby in Los Angeles on 2 February 1962. His team fitted it with an engine and transmission in less than eight hours at Dean Moon’s shop in Santa Fe Springs, California, and began road-testing....
Production proved to be easy, since AC had already made most of the modifications needed for the small-block V8 when they installed the 2.6 L Ford Zephyr engine, including the extensive rework of the AC Ace’s front end. The most important modification was the fitting of a stronger rear differential to handle the increased engine power. A Salisbury 4HU unit with inboard disk brakes to reduce unsprung weight was chosen instead of the old ENV unit. It was the same unit used on the Jaguar E-Type.
On the production version, the inboard brakes were moved outboard to reduce cost. The only modification of the front end of the first Cobra from that of the AC Ace 2.6 was the steering box, which had to be moved outward to clear the wider V8 motor.”
Amazing. These things were manufactured on English wheeling machines (basically, steel panels worked into compound curves by hand and repeatedly tested to fit) instead of using stamped steel panels. Talk about labor intensive.
Correction...I see now that they were aluminum panels. That’s probably why they used the wheeling machines...aluminum is trickier to stamp than steel, and this was probably the most straightforward way to do it.
That would mean that no two AC Ace’s or Cobras would be exactly alike.
This is Cobra Serial Number 1, which debuted at the 1962 New York Auto Show.
If this fartknocker has his way we would all be driving hybrid Lada's that suck and guys like Shelby would have been in the Gulag...
Oh wait a minute we do have a hybrid Lada it's called the Volt..
The Ford, I mean — not the I-talian crap.
I finally saw my first Miura in 2004 - on Christmas Eve, with a blanket of snow on it - in New Orleans. Long odds there. It’s my Second favorite car design, edged out by a millimeter by the GT-40.
Watching a craftsman turn out body panels on a wheeling machine is a real pleasure. There was a custom 4X4 show on a few seasons back and they were always making custom panels for trucks and Jeeps on the wheeling machines. I didn't even know about this technique until I saw the show.
Did you see today where #2286 (Daytona Coupe) crashed at Laguna Seca? Badly damaged, but salvageable.
Love my Shelby Series 1! Silver with a maroon stripe. The greatest sound these ears have ever heard!
I should add...
The original Cobra is a far better looking car than ANY Corvette that’s ever been built.
That was Shelby's niche - he took the American hot-rodding, engine-swapping approach to performance, inspired by the similar Cadillac-Allard that he drove in races a decade before he first dropped a Ford V8 into an AC Ace chassis.
Of course, the AC design changed at Shelby's direction. The 289 Coupe was prototyped in the U.S. and shipped to England to be copied, IIRC. Once they'd wrung all they could out of that 289, Shelby's team started playing with the 427 NASCAR engine. To accommodate the larger engine, new suspension and larger wheels, most of the body was changed while retaining the original AC appearance. The most obvious of the changes are the more pronounced fender flares and the larger grille opening. There wasn't much left of the car that AC initially designed underneath.
Interestingly, the 427 Cobra and GT40 were among the first vehicles to benefit from computer-assisted design, thanks to Ford's suspension guru, Klaus Arning, collaborating with a FORTRAN programmer named Chuck Carrig. Henry Ford, II deemed the experiment worthwhile regardless of cost - all part of the effort to stick it to Ferrari.
Arning wanted to put an independent rear suspension in the original Mustang, but the bean-counters nixed it. Those old accountants must get a chuckle out of seeing their successors continuing to use the same playbook.
Technically, the British chassis (with its traverse leaf springs) was found in the early small-block Cobras, but not the big-block cars. Those wore the AC coachwork (modified) but had Ford/Shelby designed frames and suspensions. There were still a lot of European-sourced parts on the 427 cars, though: Girling brakes, Koni shocks, etc.
Found this link on the TX board today.
Just what we need 850 horses under the hood and one jackass behind the wheel.
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