Even though the company’s namesake passed away earlier this year, Shelby American is still hard at work developing new performance cars and parts. Our colleagues from Motor Trend sat down with Shelby American CEO John Luft to learn what the company has in store for the future.
Luft explains that the late Carroll Shelby is still at the helm, in a sense. Before his death, Shelby worked with Luft to write a “playbook” guiding Shelby American over the next few years. With that in mind, CEO Luft tells Motor Trend that the company has a business plan at least through 2020.
For now, Shelby’s product offerings are the GT500 Super Snake, available with 750 or 850 hp, and the somewhat tamer GT350 (the 2013 version is pictured here). Luft says the company will have a modified version of the GT500 Super Snake on display at January’s Detroit auto show, but he won’t reveal any more details. Expect at least 850 hp, possibly more.
Another aspect of the playbook calls for Shelby to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Daytona Coupe and 427 Cobra, meaning some sort of commemorative event is due in 2015. And it’s likely that the company also will play up the 50th anniversary of the Le Mans-winning Ford GT40 a few years later, too.
In the years leading up to his death, Carroll Shelby worked hard to restore his company’s relationship with Ford Motor Company. The two have had a fraught relationship over the years, but models like the 2007 Ford Shelby GT500, the 2010 version, and now the 662-hp 2013 GT500 show that Ford and Shelby had once again cemented a working relationship. However, there could be more in store. Luft reveals that Shelby always wanted to apply his expertise to other Ford models. The most likely targets were the midsize Fusion and compact Focus, and Shelby was especially interested in tweaking the EcoBoost turbocharged engines. No surprise: Carroll Shelby was tinkering with turbocharged pocket rockets way back in the 1980s.
Shelby American also is working with Ford on a project for the Mustang’s 50th anniversary, but Luft wouldn’t reveal what that might entail. More recently, Ford and Shelby worked together to build a Carroll Shelby tribute car that was based on a production 2013 GT500.
In addition to building post-title cars, Shelby American also has a successful parts and licensing business. The company sells everything from branded wheels and body kits, to supercharger and handling kits that are often co-developed with Ford Racing. On top of that, Shelby has a “speed shop” catering to customers who want their cars modified for track or drag racing.
Even without Carroll at the helm, it sounds like Shelby American is in good shape and will stick around for a few years. Click here to read the full interview at Motor Trend.
Source: Motor Trend