Jerry Heasley
August 1, 2009

"I had the nickname The Snake. Of course, [Carroll] had Snake, too. In my mind in drag racing, it was the Super Snake," Don explains. "There was a connection, but I believe Carroll was the one who named the car on the dragstrip." More than 40 years elapsed and the two men remained close friends. They recalled the Super Snake and talked about building a car together. Finally, they did it. Amy Boylan, president of Shelby Automobiles, put the wheels of production into motion.

"[Don Prudhomme] sent us some pictures of his old Funny Cars," Gary says. "We sent him this and that. He said `I like this. I don't like that.' So we put them all together and that's what we ended up with. `Pretty bitchin'' is what Don would say."

"[Shelby Automobiles] sent drawings to me, back and forth," Don recalls. "What do you think about this and that? I wanted something that,would be, number one, real fast, and number two, look cool." Cool to The Snake" meant a vintage "Funny Car look," featuring just the right rake and a flip top. The tilt front end is great for engine access at the strip.

This intake and custom-built Shaker scoop give the Prudhomme Edition a meaner Funny Car look. Kenne Bell tested the blower with this intake manifold and found it to be 50-state legal. With a race tune and race fuel onboard, the Prudhomme Edition is good for 800 hp. Reigned in for pump gas, you'll have to make due with 750 hp.

"We did the whole car as we went," Gary says. "We used a lot of foam and cardboard for templates and bondo to make the parts for making molds." Shelby Automobiles finished the job in a scorching five months. Overall, the design revolved around a Funny Car body style, which describes the ground-effects rake, the Shaker hoodscoop for ram air, and the tilt front end. Shelby Automobiles went to great lengths, building one-off custom mechanical and body parts to achieve grand objectives.

Vince and Andrew fabricated a wild glass, tilt front end that created a new Shelby with a different front end than any other. The fenders, although they appear stock, are new and made of fiberglass."They are stock-appearing from the outside, but the inside is all different. They have the latches and everything else on the inside," Vince said. "We totally made those completely out of fiberglass and rebuilt the whole thing."

In addition to the lightweight front end, the Prudhomme Edition features fiberglass rockers (to incorporate true side-exit exhausts), a fiberglass rear decklid, and a fiberglass rear-fascia appliqu. The rear spoiler is reminiscent of a Funny Car's rear wing and is completely custom and unique to this model. The custom rockers also provide the needed Funny Car rake and at the same time facilitate the size of the rear tires. The bottoms of the rockers are taller in the back than they are in the front. This rake gives the car its wedge appearance, more like a Funny Car than a road racer.

"One day I went up there to look at it in Las Vegas, and Carroll was out in the shop leaning on it. I walked in and there was dust all over the floor, these guys working around the clock, and there he was with it," Don says. "He was a lot of fun with the project." And fun is what anyone lucky enough to own this uber Snake will have at the dragstrip.