• joshcompton367

Carroll Shelby Was An Absolute Lunatic, And I Mean That In The Nicest Way Possible

Carroll Shelby was and still is, extremely famous in the car world, even though he is sadly no longer with us. He is the man responsible for turning Ford's into racing cars for the road. His most notable work being the infamous GT500 mustang, which is still being made, albeit much much faster. My personal favourite car by Shelby is the Cobra.

It started life as a British sportscar, the AC Ace. It wasn't the fastest car in the world but it had enough grunt to get you around. Shelby felt this was an issue so he signed a deal with AC to drop large Ford engines into it, for the US market. This model was later called the Cobra. The original Prototype had a 4.3 litre V8 (260 ci) producing 264 hp. Not too bad. However in the actual road car, a larger 4.7 litre V8 (289 ci) was put in it's place. Now it produced 275 hp which allowed 60 mph in less than 6 seconds and a top speed of nearly 140 mph. However, that still wasn't enough, because in 1965, Shelby dropped a gargantuan 7 litre V8 (427 ci) into it. Bearing in mind it weighed less than 1200 kg (2645 lbs), this beast could do 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and rocket all the way to 165 mph. You'd think it would be unnecessary to go any further then this, right? Shelby didn't agree.

That's because, in 1967, Shelby created the 427 Super Snake. 2 in fact, 1 of which he kept for himself, the other was given to his friend, Bill Cosby. So the standard 427 had 410 hp which frankly, is plenty. But how much extra did Carroll give? 100? 200? No. How about an extra 390 hp. That's a total of 800. In 1967. How is that possible? The engine was still 7 litres, but now it was heavily modified with not one, but two superchargers. Bear in mind, the Cobra was a notoriously dangerous car to begin with, so who in their right mind would double the power of it? Absolute madness. And what did this do to the performance? Well, how does 0-60 in 3.2 seconds sound? Oh, and 190 mph. This was the fastest car in the world by about a million and one. Nothing came close. The Lamborghini Miura is said to be the fastest car of 1967. Officially yes, as it was mass produced, but it's measly 171 mph (on average across all tests) is absolutely nothing in comparison. It's sad the Cobra never had an official run, because it's record would have stood until 1986, when the Porsche 959 would have finally beat it.

This isn't the last time Shelby put a stupid amount of power in a car. In 2012, the same year that Carroll sadly passed, a 1000 hp version of the mustang was released. It wasn't the fastest car in the world and was built to show off more than anything, but it still topped out at 217 mph, which is significantly faster than any production Mustang. The Shelby company is still around today, and are still putting 1000 hp in Mustangs and even 700 hp into pickup trucks, which is definitely unnecessary. He may not be around. but him and his company have put a smile on thousands of petrolheads around the world. He is responsible for some of the most iconic and beautiful American cars ever made, and he will always be a legend.

Carroll Shelby (1923-2012)

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