During the 2009 SEMA show, Classic Recreations founder Jason Engel announced plans to work with Shelby American on the first series of officially licensed 1967 Shelby Mustang continuation cars. One year later at SEMA 2010, Engel brought not one but two G.T.500CR customer cars to the show after invitations from Ford Motor Company and Cobra Electronics to display vehicles in the company’s respective booths. The car from the Ford display was also called out as an “Ultimate Street Car” when Optima batteries asked Engel to participate in the annual Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational (OUSCI) track shootout and television show at Spring Mountain Raceway in Pahrump, Nevada, the Saturday after SEMA.
“Having two customer cars in major booths at the SEMA Show was really a coming out party for the G.T.500CR,” Engel said. “We are in full production and have shipped Shelbys all over the world, but having vehicles in the Ford and Cobra booths, then being chosen to take part in the OUSCI was a great thrill for us. Everyone knows we can build a beautiful car – this was our chance to show that we also build a fast car with the performance and reliability of a modern supercar. I think we proved that at Spring Mountain Raceway and we were truly honored that the crew at Optima chose us out of thousands of vehicles on display at SEMA.”
Both G.T.500CR Shelbys on display at SEMA were 545 horsepower Performance Models, one finished in classic wimbledon white and guards blue, the other featuring a two-tone gloss and matte black paintjob. Both cars are powered by fuel injected, naturally aspirated, hand-built 427 cubic inch engines. Other features include a Tremec overdrive transmission, modern coil-over suspension with rack-and-pinion steering, modern vented disc brakes, a custom handcrafted interior featuring Carroll Shelby signature seats, custom gauges, brushed aluminum trim, and five-point harnesses. Each car is built by highly trained craftsman in the heart of America and require well over 1,000 hours of manual labor.
The stealth car was a key part of the Cobra Electronic booth display, where it was constantly surrounded by admirers and photographers. The white car was part of the Ford Heritage Display directly across from the Ford drift exhibition next to the Monster Energy stage, where modern Mustangs demonstrated Ford performance in a cloud of tire smoke.
Saturday after the close of the SEMA Show, the white Shelby competed at the OUSCI in four competitions: autocross, road course, speed stop and engineering. As one of only three Fords in a field of 60 top-tier supercars, the G.T.500CR stood out and made an impression. When the tire smoke cleared, the Shelby finished in the top 20 on the road course.
“The G.T.500CR is meant to be driven,” says Engel. “Although the overall look is vintage Shelby, essentially this is modern sports car technology wrapped in vintage Shelby GT500 sheet metal. We had a blast watching the car do what it was built to do. Classic Recreations offers additional options on all our builds and next year we’re bringing out one of our supercharged, 780 hp “Venom” models with four-link rear suspension and we’ll really show them what we can do.”
The entire Optima event, from the pre-SEMA builds to the awards ceremony, was shot for a national TV show, which will air in early 2011 on a national cable network. For full event results, more information on the OUSCI results, TV show, participants, official rules and more, visit http://www.optimainvitational.com/
Source: Classic Recreations