Donald Farr
Former Editor, Mustang Monthly
May 15, 2012
Photos By: Jerry Heasley

According to Nevarez, the only parts reused from the original 5.4L are the block, heads, and intake manifold. For bottom-end strength, the entire reciprocating assembly is replaced with a Ford Racing crankshaft, Carillo H-beam rods, and Diamond pistons with ceramic coating on top for heat deflection. The heads are treated to CNC porting for a 30-35 percent increase in flow before being reassembled with heavy-duty valves and Comp Cams' valvesprings with titanium retainers. Nevarez supplied the specs to Comp Cams for the blower-specific camshafts.

A 1,000hp engine produces a lot of heat, so Nevarez and his crew were challenged to control air inlet, charge air, and coolant temperatures. "C&R designed and developed a new heat exchanger core for the intercooler," Nevarez says. "It's twice the size of the ones we've been using. That, along with a 50 gpm pump, keeps the air charge temperature down so you can run 20 minutes on the track without engine detonation."

The rest of the Shelby 1000 is also prepared for serious abuse. Some of the upgraded components can be found as either standard or optional equipment on other Shelbys, but others, like the Currie 9-inch rearend, are designed specifically for the Shelby 1000. In fact, along with the engine, the entire drivetrain is removed for modifications.

"The factory 8.8-inch rearend is great but when you get to the 1,000hp level, you need the insurance from the old-style 9-inch with 35-spline axles," Patterson says. "The axles have the big 9/16-inch studs, so when you put a set of drag radials on it--and we truly hope our customers do--you can be reasonably sure that this car is not going to break."

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The chassis is stiffened with triangulated bracing along the inner rockers, and the stock K-member is ditched in favor of a 100-pound lighter tubular K-member. The Shelby 1000 comes standard with Eibach's R2 coilover suspension that provides double adjustable shocks along with adjustable ride height to allow plenty of setup flexibility. There's also the full complement of Shelby suspension mods, including Watts link, billet control arms, anti-hop kit, and sway bars, along with huge Wilwood brakes.

Compared to G.T. 500 Super Snakes, the Shelby 1000 looks tame with only a taller hood dome (designed by Shelby American's Vince LaViolette to clear the large supercharger) and reflective side graphics to differentiate it from a regular G.T. 500. That was on purpose. "We've done some over-the-top styling things with cars like the Prudhomme Edition with its tilt front end," says Patterson. "But customers told us they want something that's understated, something you've got to study to realize what's different about the car."

During our visit, the Shelby 1000 was equipped with chrome 20-inch Super Snake wheels; it will get its own three-piece forged wheels when they become available.

1,000 hp on Las Vegas Boulevard

My first drive in the Shelby 1000 is only a few feet at a time while positioning and repositioning the car for Jerry Heasley's camera. Every time, the engine fires at the first twist of the key and idles aggressively thanks to the blower-spec camshafts. Although the 3-inch JBA exhaust is not loud or obnoxious, you definitely know that something special is under the hood.

While Heasley snaps photos of the engine, I inspect the interior. Other than the trio of A-pillar gauges--boost, fuel, and oil pressure--and the white ball on the MGW shifter, there's not much difference from the standard G.T. 500, although there will likely be more Shelby content by the time the car goes into production.

Deciding that discretion may the better part of valor, I offer the driver's seat to Patterson for my first experience of 1,000 hp at full boost. Maneuvering slowly between the Shelby buildings as we make our way toward Las Vegas Blvd., the Shelby 1000 is well-behaved with no drivetrain bucking or shaking, proving Patterson's point that the car is fully capable of serving as a "grocery-getter."

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