The 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra (Photo : Ford Motor Company)
A one-off 850-horsepower car has been created in tribute to Carroll Shelby, the Ford design partner and racecar driver who died in May. Ford is also naming a road after the man who played an enormous part in the development of its performance vehicles - the Cobra, the GT40, and the Mustang - for over 40 years.
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Ford Motor Company, Shelby American, Ford Racing, and others have collaborated on the 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra. It was unveiled by Ford board member Edsel Ford II, Ford sales and marketing vice president Jim Farley, and Shelby American president John Luft at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion in Monterey, California this weekend.
The "Friends of Carroll" used the 662-horsepower 2013 Shelby GT500 as a foundation, and installed into it a Ford Racing 4.0-liter Whipple supercharger. To give the special edition the traction it needs, they wrapped its 13-inch-wide rear wheels in 345-section high-performance tires. The car has a special hood, a rear wide-body, and 20x13-inch rear and 20x10-inch front wheels, all specially designed for it by Shelby American. It also has Shelby Wilwood brakes.
It is painted in Cobra's iconic Guardsman Blue with Wimbledon White stripes.
"Even at 89 years of age, Carroll was an inspiration to us all," Farley said in a statement. "This year marks the 50th anniversary of the original Shelby Cobra. The one-off car we have created represents the very idea he had about making the 2013 Shelby GT500 into a true Cobra."
"Carroll Shelby changed the performance world forever," Luft added. "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."
Shelby's friends recounted that, even in late 2011, he spent more than five hours driving the most powerful Mustang during engineering validation sessions at Sebring and the Arizona Proving Grounds.
The road to be renamed Carroll Shelby Way runs through the center of the Product Development Center in Dearborn, Michigan to the entrance of the proving ground.