Long at the top of the Mustang food chain, Shelby GT500s of any era are potent performers. That said, they can always use a bit more muscle.
While Shelby American is best known for its complete vehicle builds, the company offers a full line of upgrades, which the company decided to showcase on a special 2008 Shelby GT500 project.
“We’re busy building world-class performance vehicles in Las Vegas based on the Ford Mustang and F-150 truck,” Joe Conway, Co-CEO of Carroll Shelby International and CEO of Shelby American, explained. “Occasionally we also accept a commission project for a 2007 to 2014 Shelby GT500. I asked Shelby American President Gary Patterson and Vice President Vince LaViolette to personally collaborate on this project and they created a custom car that serves as a rolling billboard for the Shelby brand.”
In this case, the Clark family turned to Shelby American to customize its S197 with a host of gear from the company’s Shelby Performance Division. The results of the modifications would help the Clarks celebrate their 57th anniversary, and the GT500’s modifications were designated in the Shelby American Registry.
“While the 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 is a marvelous car, the Clarks wanted to make it even more unique,” Shelby American President Gary Patterson said. “Since they did not want to transform their car into a Super Snake, we embraced this opportunity presented by Mr. Conway to demonstrate the incredible expertise inside our parts group. We offer many spectacular components that can be expertly-matched to create a car or truck tailored to the owner’s specifications. It was exciting to help the Clarks create their dream Shelby by leveraging those proven components.”
To that end, the Shelby American team added a laundry list of parts to amplify its appearance, engine output, and handling. Dressing up its exterior are a carbon fiber front splitter and rockers, quarter panel scoops, a Shelby Super Snake hood with painted stripes, and sequential taillights. It now wears Shelby wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport tires which benefit from a Shelby Super Snake suspension upgrade. Under the hood, the supercharged 5.4-liter engine gained a smaller pulley and a high-flow Shelby exhaust which pushes its output to 520 horsepower.
“The Clark family likes to drive their car on the street, and they don’t plan to track it,” said Shelby American Vice President of Production and R&D, Vince LaViolette. “That’s why we gave their Shelby an aggressive suspension tune to make it more responsive, but still comfortable. Then we added a bit more power, sharpened the styling, and made the interior even more distinctive. We even created special one-off badges for them. This car demonstrates how our SPP division can guide anyone seeking to tailor their car with components from our extensive catalog.”