Las Vegas, Nevada – Shelby American is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Carroll Shelby’s 1967 Super Snake with a limited-edition package for the 2017 Mustang GT that offers up to 560+ kilowatts, a 0-100 launch time of 3.5 seconds and a standing 400 metres in less than 11 seconds.

Just 500 will be made available globally and, while Shelby South Africa is confident a few will be allocated to this country, how many and what they will cost has yet to be negotiated with head office in Las Vegas.

Only one example of the original Super Snake was ever made. It was actually a test car for a new type of Goodyear whitewall tyre, created by shoe-horning a lightweight 427 cubic inch (that’s seven litres!) Ford GT40 endurance racing engine into a 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500. The resulting monster was good for more than 440kW and and a genuine 270km/h in street-legal trim.

Shelby and sales manager Don McCain discussed building a limited production run of Super Snakes, but the projected price of $8000 each – when a fully loaded GT500 retailed for $5043.60 – was simply prohibitive.

The one and only first-generation Super Snake still exists; painstakingly restored by Illinois Shelby collector Richard Ellis to its original glory, it was sold at auction in May 2013 for $1.3 million (then R12.3 million), the highest price ever paid for a Mustang.

The 2017 Super Snake, then, has serious pedigree; what else does it have?

It has a Whipple supercharger bolted onto its five-litre V8, boosting its output from the standard, naturally aspirated GT’s 306kW to a poisonous 497kW – or, for a few dollars more, you can have a bigger Whipple or Kenne Bell blower that’ll put “more than 550kW” under your right foot.

Each V8 also comes with a set of custom engine caps and a plaque signed by the team that built it.

The suspension’s been uprated with stiffer bushings, springs and anti-roll bars, modulated by special Shelby dampers, improving the road-holding to the point where it’ll pull 1.2g of lateral acceleration in hard cornering.

The standard brakes are replaced by floating discs with six-piston front and four-piston rear Wilwood callipers, cooled by Shelby-designed cooling ducts, behind special 20 inch forged-alloy rims shod with uprated tyres.

The complete body kit comprises a new bonnet, grille, front splitter, side skirts, rear spoiler, diffuser and lower rear splitter, finished in any standard Mustang colour to match your car, with special Shelby LED foglight/indicator clusters, 50th anniversary badging and go-fast stripes.

baseline>The interior is tricked out with a special wireless instrument cluster made for Shelby by Autometer, special door sill plates, anniversary logos on the seats and floor mats, and a numbered plaque on the dashboard.

All of which costs $36 795 (R497 500) in the United States, on top of the cost of the base Mustang 500 GT, which starts at R852 900 in South Africa. But wait, as they say, there’s more:

Extra-cost options include the bigger supercharger, either from Whipple or Kenne Bell, giving your Snake “more than 550kW”, an uprated cooling package, including a bigger radiator and overflow tank (not a bad idea in South Africa), Ford Performance half-shafts and wheel studs, a one-piece propshaft, Shelby track tuned suspension, 3.73:1 final drive, a four-point roll bar, a short-throw gear lever, Katzkin leather seats and extra stripes.

IOL Motoring

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