Jerry Heasley
June 1, 2005

You've seen the Cobra, but have you seen the Bull Snake? A bull snake is usually deadly, but this one makes you grin. Jeff Krueger of Lubbock, Texas, warns the curious that his '66 Mustang Shelby clone (which actually could never be a clone because it is a hardtop) is just for fun. Some people don't get it at first, like the guy who spotted Jeff's Shelby clone, hood raised, at a show and screamed, "You put a Shelby tag on that car. That ain't no Shelby!" Jeff said calmly, "Take a closer look at the writing on the tag." The man read BULLSNAKE, and was soon grinning from ear to ear.

The Bull Snake project got underway three years ago in Jeff's shop. He and Cory Harvey, his engine man, were kicking around ideas. Their intention was to go back to stock, preserve history, and keep the pilot light burning in the authentic 289ci, two-barrel, V-8 automatic with a set of real 3.00:1 peg leg gears in the 8-inch axle. Jeff and Cory even considered a set of skinny, single Redline bias-ply tires. Then, Jeff, lusting after horsepower and handling, wondered out loud, "What about making a GT?"

All this thinking was making the two men hungry, so they took a break for lunch. Commandeering the remote control, Jeff found the local cable network was airing a tribute to Carroll Shelby. As they watched, lightning struck-the perfect idea. Jeff said to Cory, "Hey, why not do our own tribute to Shelby?" Jeff meant building the '66 hardtop into a special Tribute Edition, wearing its own aluminum tag pop-riveted over the Ford serial number under the hood. Cory became inspired to bolt together a 289 Hi-Po, and the project was soon off the ground.

Jeff is crazy for Carroll Shelby autographs. He had to have a signed Cobra air cleaner lid. The glove box door was another must for a Carroll Shelby autograph. Take a closer look, and you'll see Shelby's name all over this coupe.

Jeff trailered the car to Dallas, Texas, to participate in the Texas 289. This is a rally and barbecue held at Shelby's ranch in the little town of Pittsburg, Texas, about 130 miles east of Dallas.

Dallas got 4 inches of rain the Friday night before the Texas 289. On Saturday morning, the rain was still falling. Yet, Jeff rolled the stunning red Shelby Bull Snake clone out of his enclosed trailer and hit the road with 80 other Shelbys and Mustangs. Now mind you, the undercarriage is spiffier than a cleaned dinner plate. But what's a fun Shelby tribute car for, if you don't drive it when you have the chance to go to Shelby's Texas ranch?

Luckily, the rain let up for six hours on Saturday, just long enough for Carroll Shelby Day in Pittsburg. Shelby told the crowd gathered on the red bricks in the tiny town square, "I'm not a religious man. I am religious, but not to the point that I think I can control the rain." At the ranch, Jeff got his autographs, and Shelby was delighted with the little red hardtop.

If anybody gets worked up about the heritage of this otherwise run-of-the-mill Mustang fun car, Jeff points out the nameplate under the hood and proclaims his '66 is a whole lot of bull . . . snake.