Decades before Mel Brooks' portrayal of Yogurt in 1987's "Spaceballs," one man understood the power of moichandising better than anyone else. That man was 24 Hours of Le Mans winner and noted chili enthusiast Carroll Shelby, who'd slap his name on everything from deodorant to a Dodge Lancer if you cut him a check. You'll know him from the Cobra and a whole lot of Mustangs, but Shelby didn't just rehash others' cars. No—in the 1990s, he tried his hand at an original sports car. And now, you can buy one of the last unfinished examples for the price of a whole house.
How they came to be unfinished is a long story, so let's speedrun it. In the late '90s, Shelby brought out the Series 1, a modern take on the Cobra. He meant to sell 500 of the soft-topped sports cars, but only delivered 249, and all of them as engine-less "kit cars." That left plenty of parts to make more vehicles. A convoluted process involving a buyout, a bankruptcy, and a production licensing deal followed, culminating in the updated Shelby Series 2 in 2018.
Now, for the Series 1's 25th birthday, some of the last unfinished cars and being built with a special hardtop. In a sense, that makes the Series 2 coupe like a modernized '90s take on the Daytona. But it'll have greater performance than either of its progenitors.
The Series 2 coupes will be built by Wingard Motorsports under license from Shelby, using an improved version of its aluminum honeycomb monocoque. The tweaks have cut weight, improved the suspension, and allowed it to handle more than 1,100 horsepower. How you get there is up to you, as the Series 2 hardtops will be sold as "rollers," but Shelby has a few options at the ready. Namely, a Shelby 427 Windsor V8, a supercharged 7.3-liter Ford Godzilla, or even an electric motor and battery.
The rest of the car of course has to be top-notch to take that kind of power, and it's everything you expect from the pet project of a former Formula 1 driver. All feature inboard pushrod suspension and four-corner six-piston brakes under 19-inch monoblock wheels. The paddle-shifted six-speed transmission is mounted in the rear to keep weight distribution balanced at about 50-50, while total weight is said to be under 3,200 pounds including the engine. That makes it several hundred pounds lighter than a 2024 Ford Mustang GT.
The Series 2 coupes will be available with bodies of either carbon fiber or aluminum, your choice between which determines your price point. The seven composite-bodied cars will start at $385,600, while the three aluminum bodies will start at $498,200. That's before drivetrains, mind you: Those'll start at $83,500. There are cheaper ways to get yourself a place in the Shelby American Registry, but perhaps none as hair-raising.
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