The motor industry fell silent this May at the news that legendary founder of the Shelby marque, Carroll Shelby, had passed away aged 89. Even in his twilight years the inspirational motoring icon remained committed to developing the best high performance cars. Only last year, he spent more than five hours putting the most powerful production Mustang ever through its paces during testing sessions at Ford’s Arizona Proving Grounds. Not one for a quiet retirement then.
Being instrumental in the creation of Ford’s greatest performance cars such as the Cobra, the GT40 and the Mustang since the 1960s, it seemed fitting that Ford, Shelby American and Ford Racing should come together to produce a one-of-a-kind tribute in his honour. The result has finally been unveiled as the 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra wide-body Mustang which draws on the already considerable power of the 662BHP 2013 Shelby GT500 and turns it up a notch. The special edition gets a suitably colossal Ford Racing 4.0-litre supercharger that now generates more than 850BHP and enormous 13-inch wide rear wheels with high performance tyres to put down the increased power. The specially designed bonnet and new rear wide-body kit are finished in the distinctive blue with white stripes made famous by the original Cobras of the 1960’s, celebrating their 50th anniversary this year.
It seems apt that the new Cobra will be a never to be repeated one-off, mirroring the image of Carroll Shelby himself, who changed the performance world forever.