Jerry Heasley
January 1, 2008
The Shelby GT comes in Performance White or Performance Black, both with silver stripes over the top and along the rocker panels.

Horse Sense: The Mod Shop is a skunkworks operation located in a building adjacent to the production facility at Shelby Automobiles. Both are on the grounds of Las Vegas International Speedway. Top-notch mechanics hand-assemble these cars with the keen sense that they're making Shelby history - which they are.

The Performance White-with-silver-stripes fastback on these pages is the GT/SC prototype (the "SC" stands for supercharged), which we first saw leaving the line at Tulsa Dragway. Shelby Automobiles trailered its inventory from Las Vegas to Oklahoma for the Mid-America Ford and Shelby Performance Meet this past June-and part of this huge event is drag racing on Saturday.

As for this car, the blower riding on top of the Three-Valve 4.6 is a Ford Racing Performance Parts/Whipple screw blower, known for great low-rpm torque. Drivers with a need for high-rpm power can choose the Paxton centrifugal. Shelby Automobiles will add either in its post-title program.

Of course, you're wondering how this package performs. Shelby Automobiles Vice President of Operations Gary Patterson-never one to miss a hot-shoe opportunity-put the company's prototype Shelby GT/SC on the dragstrip for all to see. Running street radials on the GT/SC optional 20x9-inch Shelby Razor wheels, Gary shifted the blown Shelby to "12.70s on a crappy day." Oklahoma is hot and humid in June.

Our prototype came with standard Shelby GT side stripes along the rocker panels, but Shelby has developed a unique set of stripes for enthusiasts who jump through the right hoops to get a new GT/SC.

A few weeks later in Las Vegas, we drove the same fastback following a sunset photo shoot in the desert. This wasn't a real test drive, just a hot-shoe launch up the access road onto I-15 south, followed by a straight line shot to Speedway Boulevard and into the parking lot of Shelby Automobiles. There were few curves to negotiate, but the handling improvements were obvious, if for no other reason than the car sits lower to the ground than the Mustang GT it used to be.

No matter, straight-line get up and go is what this car is about. The acceleration is so strong, the Mustang feels as though it's going to get squirrelly unless the driver backs off the gas pedal. Of course, the car stays stable at full throttle. Gary had already proven that. At the end of the quarter, he cut the lights at 111 mph, driving as straight as a string. He believes denser air at sea level would give the SC a slight boost in acceleration, say to the low to mid 12s at 115-118 mph.

This example had the five-speed manual option. Its Hurst short-throw stick is an improvement over stock. Gears are close, so the driver can grab the next one in short order. Shelby also offers the automatic, in which case the production crew in the shop upgrades the rear gears to a set of 3.55s-already stock in the five-speed Mustang GT. Running mid 12s, the performance is obviously there.

So how does one purchase a new Shelby GT/SC? First, buy a Shelby GT from a Ford dealer. Shelby turns out this model for Ford to distribute to its dealers. Once the buyer transfers the Shelby GT's title into his or her name, the enthusiast can turn the car over to the Shelby Mod Shop in Las Vegas. The Shelby GT now becomes what Shelby Automobiles refers to as a post-title car. Gary Davis, head of production at Shelby, defines a post-title car as one that's owned by the customer before it goes to the Mod Shop.

Despite the fact that work is done after initial production and the exact specifications depend on the customers requests, the SC is a specific Shelby model. They're all blown, hence the SC logo.