There is now an extensive aftermarket in the automotive business whose work ranges from tuning to remodeling cars. But back in the early 60s, there was only one household name that every die-hard car maven looked up to. It was the trademark ‘Shelby’ after the name of the tuner himself ie, Carroll Hall Shelby.
Carroll Shelby largely designed and worked for Ford Motor Company during the late 1960s and early 2000s but also collaborated with Dodge. He is best known for Shelby Mustangs and his famous concoctions of AC Cobra. Shelby was more than just a renowned car tuner.
His whole enterprise of tuning and designing imbues with the true spirit of racecars, given he was a successful racing driver before turning to the manufacturing arena. It is mainly due to his expert touches that Dodge Viper and Ford Mk IV became hits.
Here are some of the sickest cars modified by Shelby.
15 1964-’65 Cobra Daytona Coupe
The 1964-’65 Cobra Daytona coupe was a triumph in the Le Mans field. Motivated by competition against Ferrari, Shelby ordered a more aerodynamic body for the AC Ace to allow the car to break top speeds. As a result, the Cobra Daytona equipped with a 4.7-liter V8 engine was capable of a top speed of 191 mph.
14 1965-’66 Mustang GT350
Shelby’s vast career enjoyed massive success with Mustangs. Shelby chiseled the original Mustang’s car format to a two-seater and prepped the rest of the mechanics with Ford’s parts like four-speed manual transmission and 11-inch front disc brakes. With additions of a Holley carburetor, GT350’s V8 engine received a boost in power-producing 306 horsepower.
13 1966 Cobra Super Snake
Not satisfied by the already vicious Cobra Snake, Shelby decided to beef up the car according to his own sporty taste. With dreams of building the meanest car in the world, Shelby took his two Cobras and lodged twin Paxton superchargers and automatic transmission under the hoods. The new Super Snake Cobra blasted 800 horsepower.
12 1967 Ford Mk IV
The 1967 Ford Mk IV was built to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and it accomplished the goal when Shelby built this racecar, beating Ferrari by 32 miles in 1967 with Dan Gurney and AJ Foyt, Jr. Its Ford V-8 engine made 500 horsepower and climbed top speeds of 220 mph.
11 1984-’86 Dodge Omni GLH And GLH-S
Shelby saw potential in Dodge’s bland Omni and modified the car’s 2.2-liter inline-4, which increased the power output to 110 horsepower. The Omni was named GLH, short for “Goes Like Hell.” In 1985 the GLH’s engine received a turbocharger that cranked the power to 146 horsepower. The last 500 Omni GLHS variants made 175 horsepower.
10 1965 Mustang GT350R
Due to the SCCA racing rules, Shelby couldn’t afford any extensive tuning in the Mustang GT350, especially in the power outputs. Still, some minor modifications rendered the now GT350R as an iconic racecar. GT350R used a blueprinted engine capped by aluminum intake manifolds while its fenders were flared to fit large American Racing wheels.
9 1964 Cobra 289 (Mark II)
The rear wheel British roadster was powered by a lightweight 4.7-liter Ford V8 engine positioned in the front. Weighing 2355 pounds, the 1964 Cobra 289 (Mark II) could only make enough power for about 271 horsepower and 312 pound-feet of torque to compete against Corvettes and Ferraris. Unfortunately, the British car did not succeed financially.
8th 1965-’67 Cobra 427 (Mark III)
The 1965-’67 Cobra 427 (Mark III) became the icon its predecessor Cobra was meant to be. Keeping AC Ace’s frame, the roadster’s fenders were enlarged to accommodate massive tires. Although Cobra 427 Mark III didn’t collect many sales, it is heartily celebrated today. The car hit 60 mph in short 4.2 seconds.
7 1965-’66 Mustang GT350H
In 1965, when Shelby Mustang GT350 came to prominence, Shelby American’s General Manager, Peyton Cramer, partnered with Hertz for a deal that allowed customers to rent the 1966 Mustang GT350H from Hertz’s dealerships. About 1,001 of GT350H were produced, all used Cobra 289’s V8 engine, which makes 306 horsepower and 329 lb-ft of torque.
6 1968 Shelby GT500KR
While Ford’s Mustangs established an iconic reputation as racecars owing to their intelligent lightweight build and enormous power outputs, it didn’t stop Shelby from adding more potential in these ferocious racing legends. Out came the GT500 KR powered by 7.0-liter Police Interceptor V8 engine that, according to some car tests, made 410 horsepower.
5 1997 Shelby Aurora V8 Can-Am
The 1997 Shelby Aurora V8 Can-Am was a prototype built as an installation to continue the Can-Am series, which ran from 1991 to 1996 and had racing drivers like Scott Harrington and Memo Gidley behind its wheels. The rare one-off 1997 Can-Am prototype was equipped with Oldsmobile Aurora V8 that claimed 500 horsepower.
4 1969 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
Although variants of Mustang Shelby of the years 1965 and 1966 became massively popular and attained a stardom status among racecars, the 1969 model is lesser-known in the field. However, for the year 1969, Shelby and his team remodeled the body and bolted a Cobra Jet V-8 engine that made 335 horsepower.
3 2004 Ford Shelby Cobra Concept
Ford unveiled the Ford Shelby Cobra Concept at the 2004 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The concept was built in a matter of just five months. The 2004 Cobra Concept is reminiscent of the AC Cobra MkI and is powered by an all-aluminum, V10 engine that makes 645 horsepower and 501 pound-feet of torque.
2 1962-’65 Cobra 260 (Mark I)
The 1962 Cobra 260 manufactured by Ford, was charged by a 4.3 liter naturally aspirated V8 engine that produced 260 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. The two-door available in convertible and cabriolet trims was capable of reaching 60mph from a dead zero in 5.5 seconds and claimed a top speed of 145 mph.
1 1996 Dodge Shelby Viper
Although many of Shelby’s collaborations with Dodge didn’t work out, the modifications made the designer in the Viper variant had considerable substance to make it a powerful coupe. Shelby’s limited-edition RT/10 CS was powered by an 8.0 liter 10-cylinder engine paired to a 6-speed manual transmission. Only 19 of the Shelby Vipers were built.
NEXT: One Muscle Car That We’d Buy Over The New Mustang Shelby