"Words: Charles Bamber Looking at publicity shots of Carroll Shelby from the 1950s, with Stetson and crooked smile in place, you could be forgiven for thinking him the lead man in a classic John Ford Western. In fact Shelby’s "
Five Shelby Rarities
The Shelby badge isn’t all about the Mustang and the Cobra. Here are five lesser known cars from the stable of the cowboy himself.
1968 Shelby EXP500 CSS ‘Black Hornet’ Mustang
Known for his penchant for the black stetson, Carroll Shelby donated this dark beauty from his personal collection in aid of the Carroll Shelby Children’s Foundation. This heavily tweaked ‘stang pays tribute to another famous one-off, the Shelby Green Hornet, which served as a rolling test mule for new technologies like electronic fuel injection, independant rear suspension, power antenna and four wheel disc brakes.
Shelby Series 1
The Series 1 is the only car ever designed and engineered by Carroll Shelby from the ground up. Reminding us again heavily of many TVRs, the series 1 came with an Oldsmobile 4 Litre V8 that produced around 340 BHP and took it to 170 in the top end and enabled a 12 second quarter mile. A supercharged version pushed performance into the stratosphere, with almost 600 HP and a pullaway time of a shade over three seconds. Not the prettiest vehicle ever drawn, this Nevada built platypus was the victim of legislative and financial shenanigans and was discontinued in 2005.
The Ford Shelby GR-1 concept was introduced to the public at the 2005 North American International Auto Show, and was inspired by the Shelby Daytona. Built and designed by Manfred Rumpel and developed by Ford’s Advanced Product Creation group – much of the underpinnings were based on the previous years Cobra concept. We’re feeling the chrome effect paintjob – and the fact that it came with that 6.4L all-aluminium V10 engine, perhaps the only Ford V10 ever produced?
Dodge Omni Shelby
We love this little roustabout runabout. It proved that the Shelby charisma was not only confined to big, bruising racers and hooligan derivatives thereof. When Shelby was given license to tweak Dodge’s humble hatch he renamed it the Omni GLH, which – wait for it – stood for “Goes Like Hell”! It was launched in the auspicious year of 1984 was the first year of the GLH, but it wasn’t til 1985 that the turbo version was unleashed. Other mods included Gatorback tires mounted on Shelby Centurian wheels, Koni adjustable struts and shocks, and stiffer springs. A rare and rather lovely American Hot Hatch.
The Shelby Focus came with upgraded alloys, exhaust and running gear – as well as rather attractive exterior detailing in carbon fibre. The donor car was a bog standard ST Focus – and the engine itself wasn’t pushed very far toward the usual Shelby bonkersness – but we think if you’re looking for cred amongst UK Fordists, the Shelby version of the Focus would easily outstrip that of the RS 500 Cossie.
Or would it?
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