950 bhp Shelby 1000 to be unveiled in New York


April 2, 2012

The Shelby 1000 is the most powerful Shelby modification to date (Photo: Shelby American)

The Shelby 1000 is the most powerful Shelby modification to date (Photo: Shelby American)

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If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to drive an American muscle car with enough horsepower to move a small continent, then Shelby American may have the answer. At the New York International Auto Show on April 5th, Carroll Shelby and his team will present their most powerful car to date - the 952 bhp Shelby 1000. And if that's not enough grunt, there’s a track version with over 1,100 bhp. Not a bad way to celebrate 50 years since the unveiling of the first Shelby Cobra.

The Shelby 1000 is Ford Mustang conversion based on a 2012 Ford Shelby GT500. At 950 bhp, it has 200 horses more than the next most-powerful Shelby in the stable - the GT500 Super Snake. This was achieved by taking the 550 bhp Ford Shelby GT500’s 5.4 liter V8 and stripping it right down to the basic block. It was then rebuilt with new rods, cranks and pistons, the heads flowed, the cooling and exhausts upgraded and the fuel lines enlarged to feed the thirsty engine, which is fitted with a choice of a Kenne Bell 3.6-litre or Whipple 4.0-litre supercharger. Hooked to this is a new solid aluminum drive shaft connected to a new nine-inch rear end. The suspension has been treated with new struts, sway bars and bushings and overall handling and stopping capabilities improved by splitting six pistons in front and four pistons in the rear. Finally it was, according to Shelby American, “sprinkled it with a little Shelby magic.”

Magic, perhaps, but some of it is digital. Thanks to the number of computers that modern cars now use, Shelby’s team were able to not just tune the car’s engine, they could tune each individual piston. This is important not only because it allows Shelby to get the most out of the Shelby 1000, but with so much power on tap, it was vital to keep it under proper control. This was illustrated on the test track when a computer glitch sent the car into reverse at a speed of 148 mph.

Despite all this raw power and cutting edge engineering, the Shelby 1000 is deceptive. From the outside, it looks like a Ford Mustang with a bit of aerodynamic tweaking and this is just the way Shelby American want it - stealth is the style. I suppose that means that the idea is to leave people goggle-eyed when the stoplight turns green.

Carroll Shelby has been building high-performance parts and modifying cars since 1962 and his wins on racetracks around the world have made him his own one-man car genre.

“Carroll Shelby is a visionary who has pushed the boundaries of performance his entire life," says John Luft, president of Shelby American. "He challenged the Shelby American team to develop the Shelby 1000 and wanted to unveil this amazing new Shelby at the New York Auto Show celebrating 50 years since he unveiled the very first Shelby Cobra that changed the face of high performance. We will have that very car, Cobra #1 (CSX2000) along with Shelby 1000 on display in our Shelby American booth in New York.”

The performance figures for the Shelby 1000 are still under wraps, but it seems certain that it will be in the “goes like a stabbed rat” category. However, this doesn’t come cheap. The price tag for the Shelby 1000 is US$149,995 and you need to bring your own 2012 Ford Shelby GT500 that lists for $48,810, so you're looking at a total of $200,000.

You also have to get in fast because only 100 are going to be built. Shelby American will be accepting orders after the unveiling on April 5, 2012.

The unveiling is also the company's first real chance to wipe out the memory of recent embarrassing publicity after it was discovered that some images (apparently released in error) showing the Shelby 1000 raising its front wheels off the tarmac were doctored.

Source: Shelby American

About the Author
David Szondy David Szondy is a freelance writer based in Monroe, Washington. An award-winning playwright, he has contributed to Charged and iQ magazine and is the author of the website Tales of Future Past. All articles by David Szondy

I had a ride in a Shelby Cobra in the 60's, first time I ever saw street lamps bend! The noise of that 7.2 litre V8 remains in my head to this day




@robinyatesuk2003- Erm, I think you are meant to drive [i]past[/i] streetlamps, not into them!

I wonder if this car handles as well as it goes, something American cars are not exactly renowned for.


Nice! Love the aftermarket! :-)


I drove a V6 mustang for about a week back in 2005. Not bad power, though nowhere near this beast, but the thing I remember most about it was that it was scary driving it down the street because the whole car felt loose (most memorable was how upset the steering became just crossing train tracks). Can only imagine that some of those good old American, straight line fast, suspension quirks are still present in this car.

With that said it would be a helluva ride, even if the only reason would be to get the adrenaline flowing.


Last Saturday a large part of the world turned lights off for an hour.....many countries are strongly favoring zero-emissions and hybrid vehicles as well as bicycles....personally we changed our car for another with a much cleaner LPG engine, and I´m using a bicycle to move around at least 3 to 4 days a week. In our family we have changed all lightbulbs to energy-savers and try not to generate plastic garbage. Shame onyou, are only not doing your part to help this world, but you are stepping up the slope for the ones who are!

Charlie Channels

Wow. This is an article about an amazing feat of human engineering and yet all some people can do is cry about it while they make love to a tree. All the cows in this world produce more harmful emissions than all the combustion engines do. You want' to "save the planet"? Commit genocide of a species and eliminate all the beef.

Great car Shelby! Keep up the amazing work!

Derick Brown

I wonder if these cars are emissions compliant/certified (i.e., street-legal)?


Yeah, my first thought was:'does the world really need a one-thousand horsepower automobile?' Then:'I wonder what the milage is?' Then:'Damn, I'd like to drive it.'

Boys will be boys. Time to grow up, boys.

Miles Archer

with a fixed rear axle (I guess), there you have the American roulette! When you get in, it is not sure you will get out alive!


Sounds like the good ol Texan strikes again. If some is good, more is better and too much is just right. What a beast


I agree. Nice machine, but nothing on the original AC Cobra and it's 427 Ci V8


Absolutely freaking wonderful, though I must agree somewhat with the earlier comment on the loose overall feel of the later chassis mustangs. The last few I drove felt progressively looser by the year model: 1998(cobra) so-so, 2004(cobra R) more fun but looser, 2009(Shelby KR) incredible fun but scary any other way than straight line. I guess a bit of the feel is due to superfluous torque and constant lack of I overlook most of the squirreliness of the rear end, but the O.G. 5.0's feel better @ the "seat of your pants" with the lesser weight, smaller car, and tight steering. It would be cool, however, if CSE offered a tuned IRS as an option for us that would prefer it. I do think there would be a nice demand, and that there are reputable manufacturers of high hp IRS parts suitable for the job. This would, I believe, allow for better adjustments to the overall ride quality, especially handling at high speed.

Shelbe Whitaker
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