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Shelby GT500 Super Snake Continuation

1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake continuation

By Dean Larson

Photos courtesy of Shelby American

Some things in life are just too good to leave relegated to the pages of history, and if there’s one company that understands this, it’s Shelby American. The company still thrives as a modern day tuning operation, tweaking Mustangs, Raptors and other vehicles, but the bread and butter of the business is recreating the chicken farmer’s most famous classic vehicles. Throwback offerings currently include several different Cobra roadster and Daytona Coupe iterations and the GT500KR introduced earlier this year. But now Shelby is resurrecting another heavy hitter, the one of one 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake.

Back in early ’67, Shelby was commissioned to build a high-profile promotional vehicle to test Goodyear’s new Thunderbolt tire. The vehicle chosen for this test was a new 1967 GT500, but with a few interesting tweaks. The crew yanked out the stock 428 ci engine and replaced it with a bona fide race mill, an aluminum 427 ci race engine from the Le Mans-spec GT40. With aluminum heads, a forged crank, solid lifters and a 780 cfm carburetor, the aluminum FE was clearly intended for sustained high-rpm use on race tracks like Le Mans. The engine even received “bundle of snakes” style headers that were modified to fit in the Mustang. Other modifications included heavy-duty disc brakes, traction bars and a Detroit Locker with 2.73 gears for top speed.

Gt500 Super Snake2

The highly modified Mustang would prove the performance of Goodyear’s Thunderbolt tire by turning 500 miles on Goodyear’s San Angelo test circuit at speeds of 120+ mph. Rounding the five mile track for over four hours, driver Carroll Shelby pushed the car hard, occasionally exceeding 140 mph.

One might expect that a hefty investment like a GT40 Le Mans race engine would be pulled from the Mustang after the promotion ended. But instead, the car was sold for the sum of $5,000. Former Shelby employee Don McCain saw the potential in the unique GT500 though, and urged Shelby to offer a run of 50 similarly equipped GT500s. However, Shelby pointed out that the car was far too expensive, and the lone GT500 Super Snake went on to be the most valuable Shelby-branded Mustang ever built.

Recently, Shelby American announced a run of just 10 GT500 Super Snake continuation cars to honor this ultra-rare Shelby Mustang. The new cars will start out as original 1967 Mustang fastbacks, which will be striped bare and rebuilt with the appropriate Shelby GT500 goodies. The race-spec 427 engine holds huge significance to the Super Snake name, and the 550 hp aluminum 427 ci engine supplied by Carroll Shelby Engine Company doesn’t disappoint. Other unique touches, such as the heavy-duty disc brakes, triple stripes and unique grill, will also be found on the continuation series cars. However a more modern set of Goodyear tires hold the place of the now-vintage Thunderbolts (not a bad thing with 550 hp on tap). All cars will also bear signatures from Carroll Shelby and Don McCain. 

If you’re looking to bag a Super Snake continuation of your own, you’ll to be one of the first 10 with a spare $249,995 to do so.

See the spec sheet here at Shelby.com for more details.

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