You might recall that toward the end of the previous century, Shelby American produced a Series 1, this one with a more modern interpretation of his original Cobra, but, in a shock to many, an Oldsmobile engine.
What, a Cobra without “Powered by Ford” on its cylinder heads?
Remember, at the time Carroll Shelby was on the outs with Ford, and was doing projects with Chrysler (GLH, a pickup truck, the Viper).
The engine in the Series 1, the 4.0-liter produced for the Olds Aurora, was linked to a 5-speed manual gearbox, and was available normally aspirated at 320 horsepower or supercharged to 460.
Now, in a deal between Shelby American and Wingard Motorsports, new Shelby Series 2 cars will be produced — at the rate of only four per year — and this time they’re engineered to carry a Ford 427cid aluminum FE big block or Windsor small block and ZF 5-speed gearbox, though customers can install the powerplant of choice, Shelby American said in its news release.
Shelby American will sell the cars in “component form,” and the cars can be finished by Wingard.
“Carroll Shelby’s first ‘clean sheet’ car, was the Shelby Series 1,” Joe Conway, chief executive of Shelby American, was quoted in the news release. “Carroll always intended for that innovative chassis to be the first in a line of modern sports cars, which is why he called it the Series 1.
“The new Shelby Series 2 is the evolution of that minimalist car, offering breathtaking performance in a modern two-seat roadster.”
“Several years ago, Wingard Motorsports purchased the remaining Shelby Series 1 chassis and parts,” added Gary Patterson, Shelby American president. “Working with Shelby, founder Bob Wingard revised the car to reduce weight by maximizing the integration of billeted aluminum and carbon fiber components.
“He further refined the suspension, braking and drivetrain to allow an increase of more than twice the horsepower of the original car. The Series 2 is now more than 12 percent lighter and will support over 800 horsepower.”
According to the Shelby American news release, Wingard Motorsports can build the new car with the customer’s choice of aluminum, carbon fiber or titanium bodywork.
“Each commissioned Series 2 will be a unique and ‘one-of-one’,” the Shelby American news release said, with customer interiors that will allow for as much as six inches of pedal adjustment to accommodate a variety of drivers. However, the release added, the cars will not be equipped with cup holders.
“While the Shelby Series 2 is based on the first-generation car, it’s a significant leap forward,” Patterson said. “It blends old school craftsmanship and current technology, pushing the roadster into supercar territory. It is the perfect car for collectors and enthusiasts globally who want the ultimate in exclusivity and to be completely engaged with the driving experience.”
The cars will come with a 1-year warranty, and Shelby will offer driver training at the Spring Mountain Raceway in Nevada for new owners. Each car will carry a DSX5500 serial number and become recorded in the Shelby American Registry.