No automaker is known for packing sheer power into a car like Shelby American, and on its 50th anniversary, the company did not disappoint at the New York International Auto Show 2012 with its Thursday debut of its highest horsepower ever car, the new Shelby 1000.
Last year, the company brought the Super Snake and reflected, In the day of EVs and Hybrids, of course Shelby brings an 800 horsepower car.
But that wasn't good enough for the storied company. Shelby American founder Carroll Shelby, now 89, wanted more. When he rode in the Super Snake he said, When am I gonna get 1000?
The answer is now.
We're back again with even more horsepower, John Luft, president of Shelby American, said Thursday.
The new Shelby 1000 is exactly what Carroll Shelby asked for. It comes in two versions, a street-legal version with 950 horsepower, and a track only S/C edition with 1100 horsepower. The Shelby 1000 starts its life as a 2012 GT500, before the company refines and upgrades it like coal transforming into a diamond, albeit a loud, brawny, roaring, steel and carbon fiber diamond in the rough.
The Shelby 1000 is understated in styling, but the power lies under the hood, Luft said.
From the engine, we completely tear it down, Garry Patterson, Vice President, Operations for Shelby American said, describing the steps that the company takes to disassemble and retune and upgrade its cars at its headquarters in the desert around Las Vegas.
The fact that the studs holding the car together have to be upgraded to 9-inch steel from the standard ones used on the GT500 is representative of the changes the car undergoes during its transformation into a Shelby 1000. At 1000 horsepower they (Shelby 1000s) bend the factory studs, Patterson said.
The Shelby 1000 does not have any kind of launch control system, although it does come with traction control to try and help keep the galloping herd under control. The company did not release a top speed for the car.
On the fiftieth year of the company, and in Carroll Shelby's 89th, the newest edition to the over-the-top lineup of Shelby American was built from the mind and the heart and the soul of Carroll Shelby, according to Luft.
The car certainly shines like a diamond as well. The Shelby Cobra logo on the Shelby 1000 was made to be reflective so that it would catch the headlights of cars, making the Cobra flash in the night. We put them (the logo and stripes) in the back because we figured that was the only way anyone would see it, Luft said.
The Shelby 1000 costs $149,995 for the street version, or $154,995 for S/C racing version, after the $52,400 for the base 2012 GT500. Only 100 Shelby 1000s will be produced.
The Shelby 1000 may not be eco-friendly, it may not be classy, but it is probably the one car out of all the models at the New York International Auto Show 2012 that is most American, most captivating and most representative of a true, deep-seated love of driving fast.
Carroll Shelby was originally going to debut the Shelby 1000 at the New York International Auto Show 2012, but was unable to for health reasons. However,' he has recently begun to do get a little bit better, following multiple organ transplants, according to Patterson.