Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsHow To Engine
Dream Garage: Darroll Meyers Owns Not 1 but 3 Rare Shelby Mustangs
The Terrible Trio
As performance enthusiasts, we are constantly in search of two things: more power and something that sets that more powerful combination apart from the crowd. Mustang owners immediately set themselves apart from owners of lesser Fords (minivans, for instance). Among Mustang owners, Coyote-powered Mustangs differ from the (300-plus-hp) garden-variety, V-6 pony cars. The vast majority of Coyote owners are satisfied with the power production of the variable-cam V-8, but a select few opt for the Shelby treatment. Among Shelby owners, fewer still opt for the more powerful Super Snake package. Only a handful of Super Snakers then step up to the rarified air where engine packages exceed 1,000 hp. When we toss in terms like wide-body, Cobra Jet, and 50th Anniversary, we start to see just how rare a Mustang can be. Owning just one of these would be a dream come true, but what if you were lucky enough to own a Terrible Trio of one-off, badass Shelbys?
We were lucky enough to catch wind of a Shelby enthusiast (fanatic might be a better word) on his way Las Vegas to pick up not one but three unique Mustangs that all received a liberal sprinkling of Shelby magic. Darroll Meyers owns a big collection of performance Blue Oval rides, including a number of classic Cobras (both FIA 289 and 427 SC) and a GT5-S Pantera, but the vast majority is more modern machinery. A huge fan of Shelby automobiles, especially the powerful Super Snakes, Meyers went so far as to have Shelby apply Super Snake technology to a 2014 5.0L Cobra Jet. The Shelby Super Snake theme was also carried over to a custom golf cart. Meyers obviously loves his Shelbys, as his list included 12 GT500s, a 2000 Cobra R, and multiple Boss 302s. Also making the list were fast Fords from Panoz and Saleen and a Focus ST (from Shelby of course).
While it is obvious that the owner of Meyers Auto Parts appreciated Shelby performance, like most of us, he enjoyed something that made him stand out from the crowd (even in the rarified world of Super Snake owners). Starting at the low end of the horsepower totem pole (if you can call 900 hp low), car No. 1 of the Terrible Trio started out life as an already rare 50th Anniversary, 2015 5.0L. A celebration of the 50th anniversary of the original 1964 Mustang, the anniversary edition was given to Shelby for the Super Snake upgrade featuring a Kenne Bell 2.8L supercharger, making it the very first 50th Anniversary Edition Super Snake ever produced. Adding to the collector status was the fact that this car also featured an automatic transmission (a first for a 750hp Kenne Bell Super Snake). Boost from the Kenne Bell supercharged Coyote was cranked up to 17 psi (the limit of the 47-pound injectors), where the 5.0L pumped out over 722 rwhp, right at the goal of 900 flywheel horsepower for the project. Impressive numbers considering the motor was otherwise bone stock (no aftermarket headers, exhaust, or cams).
The fact that this 50th Anniversary Super Snake featured an automatic transmission brings up some interesting information. From its introduction in 2011, the power output of the 5.0L has increased slightly from 412 to 435 hp, with a brief hike to 444 in the Boss 302 versions. Obviously supercharging these various configurations results in increased power with boost, but unfortunately the rated (flywheel) power output does not always correspond to an increase in wheel horsepower (measured on a chassis dyno). Why the difference? Well, obviously we must be first talking about testing on the same chassis dyno. Wheel numbers generated on a DynoJet cannot be compared with those on a Super Flow, Land and Sea, or Mustang dyno. Other factors that alter wheel horsepower include the transmission (auto transmissions show nearly 30 hp lower than stick), solid axle versus IRS (IRS shows nearly 15 hp lower), and rearend gearing (higher numerical gears shows less hp than lower, such as 4.10 versus 3.37). These changes can make it difficult to compare the chassis dyno output of your car (with or without a supercharger) to others unless both have identical equipment.
Most of us would be satisfied with a one-off 50th Anniversary Super Snake, but that was only one of three, and the least powerful of the bunch. The next spot on the transporter was reserved for a 2014 Shelby Superman Super Snake. Given the work done to the 50th Anniversary Edition, we would expect big things for the 2014 GT500. Stepping right past the 750hp package, this Super Snake rolls with over 1,000 rwhp (rated at 1,200 flywheel horsepower by Shelby) thanks to a dedicated 5.8L build (ported heads, cams, and forged internals) topped with a liquid-cooled, 4.2L twin-screw supercharger from Kenne Bell. When asked why Meyers chose the Kenne Bell supercharger for the Terrible Trio, he responded, “The Kenne Bell uses less of my engine’s horsepower to drive, runs cooler, and can easily be upgraded.” NMRA Coyote and Renegade racers have discovered the same thing, as many have replaced the original blowers with Kenne Bell units with amazing results. The Superman Super Snake version also received a wide-body kit, rear seat delete, and a Recaro interior upgrade. Given that the standard 850hp Super Snake ran 10.60s at 137 mph, we wonder what this Superman version would be like at the track with an extra 300 p?
Obviously we saved the most powerful for last. The final Mustang in the Terrible Trio was not a Super Snake at all, but started out life as a 2014 Cobra Jet. Not satisfied with the factory power output, the Cobra Jet was sent to Shelby for fitment of no less than 5.8 liters of Kenne Bell supercharged power. The combination of a dedicated race motor (forged internals, custom cams, and ported heads) and a massive 4.7L Kenne Bell supercharger has allowed the Shelby-built Cobra Jet to exceed 1,200 rwhp at just 22 psi of boost. Look for this combo to exceed 1,400 rwhp when they crank up the boost to 30 psi. In addition to the 4.7L supercharger, Kenne Bell also supplied the BIGUN intercooler and rear inlet system. The Shelby 5.8L is run with a 168mm throttle-body feeding the supercharger at low boost, but look for dual 106mm throttle-bodies when they ramp it up to 30 psi. Additional features on the one-off Shelby Cobra Jet (the only 1 built and registered by Shelby) included a composite driveshaft, custom fire system, and 30x10.5 drag slicks.