Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
December 1, 2009
Photos By: Peter Linney

Most of us don't consider a V-6 Mustang when it comes to Mustang performance, but Shelby Automobiles has shown just what can be accomplished with the right planning, the right parts, and perfectly executed strategy. The Shelby Terlingua Mustang accomplishes all that, and though this is an '07 model, you can pick up your own '05-'09 S197 six-shooter and have Shelby build you your very own Terlingua-edition Stallion.

Terlingua is actually the name of a small town in Texas near the Mexican border, where Carroll Shelby became part owner of a 200,000-plus-acre ranch. He eventually named one of his racing teams after it, and Shelby team member Bill Neale penned the now legendary fighting-rabbit coat of arms logo-some say the rabbit is passing on more peppers in his chili.

The Terlingua livery eventually found its way on the team's '67 Mustang Trans Am entry. With Shelby reviving old models using the S197 platform, it was only a matter of time before the colorful Terlingua livery found its way back into the fold.

The latest Terlingua Mustang comes in two distinctly different packages, with the base package starting at $8,995, not including the price of your Mustang. Said base package starts off at the engine with a Ford Racing Performance Parts Performance Pack, which includes a cold-air intake kit, a dual-exit exhaust, and a retuned engine calibration. FRPP's short-throw shifter is bolted in, as is the company's Suspension Pack. Shelby bolts on a quartet of 18-inch wheels that wear 235/50/18-inch rubber.

Behind the steering wheel, you'll find Terlingua doorsill plates, floormats, and a shift knob, along with a Shelby numbered dash plaque and a special Terlingua key chain hanging from the ignition key. On the outside, the Terlingua racing team livery jumps out at you with Shelby's unique fiberglass hood, Terlingua 1860 hoodpin kit, rear lip spoiler, CDC taillight valance panel, and the Terlingua sticker package.

The Terlingua V-6 Performance Pack steps up the performance considerably in all areas of vehicle dynamics. The S197 rolls with 20-inch Shelby Razor wheels wrapped in 255/35/20 rubber, and the front fascia and grille are swapped out in favor of unique Shelby pieces. The rear fascia is changed over to the stock GT500 piece, and the taillights now operate sequentially. Shelby also bolts up its aluminum quarter-window-delete panels with matching interior block-off plates. The interior is spiced up with Momo Supercup racing seats, among other mods, and the brakes are upgraded to Baer six-piston units, which are fed cool air from Shelby's brake duct kit.

Under the hood, Shelby outfits the 4.0L V-6 with Paxton's centrifugal supercharger, which elevates horsepower output to 375. The V-6 also benefits from a slightly better front to rear weight balance. And with 75 more horsepower than a stock GT, it should be a formidable opponent on the road course or at the autocross.

We called Shelby Automobiles to get the skinny on its latest products, and Gary Patterson tells us Terlingua conversions are currently offered on '05-'09 Mustangs, but the company's '10 Mustang models should be available shortly. "The Super Snake will to go into production in September, followed by the supercharged GT," says Patterson. "The new Terlingua will come towards the end of 2009. The idea behind it is to be competitive on the road course with a V-6 Mustang, with V-6 economy, and V-6 insurance-great performance and appearance for less cost."

Shelby's investment in the Terlingua Ranch has come and gone, but his interest in Mustang performance has stayed the course, and the Terlingua Mustang package from Shelby Automobiles is living proof.

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