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August 2012: Shelby American

By  September 17, 2012

This second part from my recent trip to Las Vegas, a visit to Shelby American. This is where Shelby’s main base was and still is, for the manufacture of Shelby go-fast parts and performance vehicles. They also house the Shelby museum, which is the focus of this article.

The full set can be viewed in the Flickr set or in this slideshow: Flash | HTML5.

This was the first time I think I’ve seen real AC Cobras in person, and man were they beautiful. It was also probably the first time I’ve seen a real GT40 and a Cobra Jet, one of my favorite Shelby Mustangs. I got kind of a feeling like they hadn’t really changed much yet, since Mr Shelby’s death back in May. Not that I’m saying that the lack of change was a bad thing. It was just neat to see everything sitting there, like it was any other day. There did, however, seem to be some cars missing, so I’m not sure if they were out for service or if they will be part of some future display. They very well could be, because the first Cobra seemed to not be there, judging by the abundance of fender flares on the cars that were on display (early Cobras lacked the flares). Therefore, bear with me, as some of the years here are rough informed guesses based on the signs nearby and the bodywork of the cars nearby. Most are correct, but a couple may not be exact.

2002 Shelby Cobra CSX7000

My tour started with a revival series Cobra from ten years ago, the CSX 7000 in a very pretty metallic blue.

1966 Shelby Cobra 427

This car was placed nearby where the first Cobra would normally be, and with the flared fenders and the original looking fans in the front, this is probably a ’67 Cobra. It is a 427 for sure, as that is what it is badged as.

Early 1990’s Shelby Cobra CSX3056: “The 98 Car”

This car was made identical to the 1967 cars, with an aluminum body that originally had a 98 on the side. Later, in 2002, Carroll had it polished. It took over 1000 man hours to polish the aluminum to it’s current mirrored state, and still shows some of the blemishes of the original hand built Cobra roadsters.

2008 Shelby 85th Commemorative GT40

This GT40 was made in 2008 to commemorate Carroll Shelby’s 85th birthday.

1965 Shelby Cobra CSX3178

According to the display card “CSX3178 is a street-version big block (which should be a 428, despite the 427 side badge) Cobra, with the optional roll bar and automatic transmission. This automobile is part of Carroll Shelby’s personal collection.” Only 348 big block Cobras were produced from 1965-67 and this is one of a handful (some say around 30) that have an automatic transmission, as Carroll Shelby’s personal Cobra has.

1966 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang

Texas registered

1968 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang

1969 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 428 Cobra Jet

1986 Dodge Shelby GLHS

The GLH was one of Detroit’s early sport compacts. Built on the Dodge Omni, but upgraded to “Goes Like Hell” and in this case, the even faster “Goes Like Hell S’more.”

1983 Dodge Shelby Charger Prototype and 1989 Shelby Dakota

1999 Shelby Series 1

The Series 1 was supposed to be the reincarnation of the Cobra 289, but this time with all of the body, chassis, and suspension designed by Shelby. They ended up being a bit of a sales flop, with only 249 of the roadsters produced between 1996 and 2002. Most of them are in the signature silver color with blue stripes. This is the first black roadster I’ve seen, of the now 2 that I’ve seen.

Shelby Series 1 Aurora V8 with the post-title supercharger addition.

NASCAR Shelby Mustang Prototype R Code

I don’t know too much about this one, because I don’t really follow NASCAR, so I’m not sure whether this will just stay a prototype, with Ford recently showing the new NASCAR Fusion, or if this is for a separate series from the Fusion. I’d never heard of a Shelby NASCAR, to be honest, but it seems like an awesome idea.

2008 Shelby 40th Anniversary GT500KR Mustang

2010 Shelby GT500 Mustang Super Snake

Well, that’s all for now. I should have a new post up soon, hopefully by the end of the week, with the Exotics Racing garage that I visited just across the street from Shelby American. Until then, happy hooning.

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