Jim Smart
May 1, 2009
Contributers: Donald Farr Photos By: Jerry Heasley

Every so often, companies in the position to bring us extraordinary Mustang rides introduce a Mustang for the history books. Shelby Automobiles is one of those companies, and the Don Prudhomme Edition Shelby GT500 Super Snake is one of those Mustangs. It is surely extraordinary with 800 horsepower and exclusivity - no more than 100 are expected to be built.

The Prudhomme Edition Mustang drag snake is different than any high-performance Mustang you've ever seen. It is surely a Shelby GT500 Super Snake with features that place it in a league all by itself. For the post-title Prudhomme Edition, the entire front end tilts forward like a race car for easy engine access. And who can miss the dragster-style hood scoop that crams fresh air into the Kenne Bell-blown 5.4L powerplant. With race fuel, the engine produces 800hp, making it the most powerful Shelby (or even Mustang) available today. In street tune, meaning 93-octane fuel, the Prudhomme Super Snake puts out a still-whopping 750hp.

Other equipment is also added to make the Prudhomme Super Snake ready for the quarter-mile. For hard launches, adjustable BMR front and rear suspension components are added, along with rear drag slicks (street tires are optional) on custom Bogart wheels. Aerodynamics are improved by lower side rockers and a rear drag wing, similar to what you'll find on Pro Stockers. For safety, the Prudhomme Super Snake package adds an 8-point roll cage, Shelby 6-piston front disc brakes, and a 5-point Impact safety harness. Like the original '65 GT350s, the rear seat is deleted and exhaust exits the side of the car via a Borla side exhaust system.

"Working with Don Prudhomme on this project was a great experience for our design team," noted Amy Boylan, president of Shelby Automobiles. "Carroll and Don earned their stripes in competition over the years, so we had to build a car that would continue their racing domination. Our Prudhomme Edition GT500 Super Snake builds on that legacy and gives Shelby enthusiasts today a way to rule the quarter-mile in their town."

The Prudhomme Edition Super Snake is offered for all '07-up Shelby GT500s. All you have to do is get your GT500 to Shelby Automobile's facilities in Las Vegas or buy a new one from inventory. The package doesn't come cheap; list price is $99,995 for the conversion on a titled GT500 or $149,995 for car and conversion. But for the money, you get an exclusive Shelby and the most powerful Mustang on the road.

Shelby And "The Snake"
Most Mustang and Shelby enthusiasts are unaware of Carroll Shelby and Don "The Snake" Prudhomme's long-time friendship and racing association. In fact, during the late 1960s, Shelby sponsored Prudhomme's 427 Cammer-powered dragster. It was called the "Super Snake," no doubt a double reference to Prudhomme's nickname and Shelby's reputation for building fast Cobras.

When the NHRA was getting started, Don Prudhomme was growing up in the San Fernando Valley, destined for drag racing stardom. Like NHRA founder Wally Parks, Prudhomme had a passion for speed. In 1962, Prudhomme got his first big break in Top Fuel with victories at Bakersfield, California. In 1965, he was chosen to pilot Roland Leong's "Hawaiian" dragster, taking wins at the Winternationals and the U.S. Nationals.

Carroll Shelby liked what he saw in Prudhomme and wanted to be involved with his success. That's when Shelby offered Prudhomme something he could not refuse, a great business relationship and the opportunity to drive the Ford-powered Super Snake dragster powered by an Ed Pink 427 SOHC Cammer topped with a Detroit diesel blower. The Shelby Super Snake would become the first car in NHRA competition to break the 6-second mark in the quarter-mile and went on to win the '68 Winternationals. The Shelby/Prudhomme marriage ended in 1969 when Ford pulled out of racing.