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by Tim Beissmann

Friends, fans and colleagues of the late Carroll Shelby have come together to produce a one-off Ford Shelby GT500 Cobra in a tribute to the life of the legend of the automotive world.

A team dubbed ‘Friends of Carroll Shelby’, which included engineers and employees from Ford Motor Company, Shelby American, Ford Racing and many others, developed the high-performance Mustang over the past few months, creating a vehicle worthy of honouring the Shelby name.

The team took the 5.8-litre engine from the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Cobra – already the most powerful production V8 in the world with 494kW – and strapped on a Ford Racing 4.0-litre Whipple supercharger, boosting the engine’s peak output to an almost inconceivable 634kW-plus.

To put that in perspective, the bespoke GT500 Cobra produces at least 119kW more power than the $754,000 Lamborghini Aventador.

Helping to put all that power to the ground are 13-inch-wide rear wheels wrapped in 345-section high-performance tyres.

Also unique is the car’s specially designed bonnet, rear wide-body kit, Shelby Wilwood brake package and 20-inch alloy wheels.

The Ford Shelby GT500 Cobra tribute is finished in Guardsman Blue paint with Wimbledon White stripes, the colours made famous by the Cobra roadsters of the 1960s.

Shelby American president John Luft said the special GT500 Cobra was a fitting tribute to his company’s founder.

“Carroll Shelby changed the performance world forever,” Luft said. “And while he was proud of Shelby American’s achievements, Carroll was far more interested in the next car we would build.

“You will find the spirit and influence of Carroll Shelby in every future vehicle we build just as you’ll find it in the rear wide-body kit and hood integrated into the 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra.”

Speaking of Shelby’s renowned philanthropic work, Ford sales and marketing group vice president Jim Farley said the car would be taken on a tour around the US before being used “in a special way … a way Carroll would appreciate” at the end of the tour.

The bespoke Mustang also marks the 50th anniversary of the Shelby Cobra, which started a sport car dynasty in 1962.




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