Looking positively luminescent...
Looking positively luminescent in the hazy Utah sunlight, Shelby's King ot the Road version of the GT 500 was positioned front and center of the top of the paddock. Its 540 hp and merely expensive price tag should make it an aspiration for Shelby enthusiast.
There were hundreds of cars running the open track, with plenty more showing up for the judged and people's choice concours. Aside from that, we saw one of the largest collections of significant Shelbys and Fords for the first time in ages. Everything from Daytona Coupes, Dragonsnake Shelby drag cars, and Ford's own collection of R-model Mustang Cobras were lined up for inspection in the paddock. Many of these were thanks to track owner and charter SAAC member Larry Miller, but many others brought their treasures to be seen. There was plenty to see and do.
Things got underway on Friday with a swap meet, instructor and parade laps on the west track, open-tracking on the east track, judge's meetings, and so on. On Saturday, the opentrack continued on the east track, which is the more interesting of the two short tracks. Instructors and vendors gave rides on the west track, the swap meet was underway, and the Shelby concours was judged. Sunday was the same except with a people's choice car show, which was more popular with the late-model crowd. Instead of Saturday's vintage-car race, there was a late-model Mustang race. Monday was the final all-SVTOA day, which proved a ghost town as far as vendors, displays, shows, and everything in the paddock were concerned, but the track was there for the taking. Furthermore, the east and west tracks were combined into their full 4.5-mile, 24-turn glory, so the lap-happy among us were busy burning up the last of our gas, tires, and brakes on Monday. It was a veritable track-time overdose.
Not to be overlooked were the two banquets at the host hotel. The SAAC's was Friday night and the SVTOA's was Saturday night. Shelby team members and drivers highlighted the SAAC dinner and Ford engineers and marketing specialists from SVT and Ford Racing gave everyone a direct line to the factory at the SVTOA gathering. Ford promised a "stay- connected" initiative to keep communication clear between the factory and enthusiasts.
Shelby'S Super SnakeLurking in the shadows at the back of Shelby's display was the Super Snake prototype. With the hood down and the doors locked, the Big Hiss was there to be noticed, but we garnered some details with careful eavesdropping. Power is from a blown 5.4 V-8 in two versions. Fitted with an Eaton blower, expect 600 hp; the screw-blower option bumps that to 725 hp, an attention-grabbing number in a production car. Redline is held to 6,250 rpm in either case, and the unit should run 11s out of the box and 10s on pump gas with some prep (and possibly spare axles).
At press time, Shelby was working on driveline details, such as getting the driveshaft to take more than 630 hp. Furthermore, details of the underhood ram air system were still being figured out.
We expect the styling details to remain unchanged with the exception of the missing quarter-window scoops. The interior shouldn't suffer from nesting birds what with coiled snakes everywhere, and the tri-gauge dashpod is a sharp touch. The huge hood bulge matches the car's projected personality: big and overwhelmingly powerful-a real muscle machine.
Ultimate ToyBruce Griggs stood in the door of the team motorhome, looking like everyone else at Miller Motorsports Park: rather tired of the relentless 100-plus degree heat. It had been one of those days mechanically, and we had picked his brain too long, rummaging around for details on the new Griggs Racing Products Track Toy Mustang.
We were pecking away on the laptop when Bruce escaped our pestering by stepping outside. That's when he looked up and said, "Some people want to build a car, others want a car already built. We're trying to fill the second need with this car-that's the bottom line."