Shelby offers souped-up F-150; wide-body Mustang later

Larry Edsall
Special to The Detroit News

We’ll start with the one you can get now, but it’s the one may have to wait for that may be the most exciting.

“Lightning strikes again …” is how the headline began on the recent news release as Shelby American unveiled its Ford F-150 Super Snake, which will be built and sold through Shelby-affiliated Ford dealerships.

Shelby American, offspring of the late Carroll Shelby and his Le Mans-winning automotive dream team, produced an F-150 based Super Snake pickup in 2009. More recently it produced an off-road special-edition F-150.

“The ‘Shelby Super Snake’ badge carries tremendous prestige because every vehicle that wears it represents the pinnacle of performance. Our new Shelby F-150 Super Snake is certainly worthy of the name,” said Gary Patterson, Shelby American president. “From the sharp handling suspension to the thundering 750 horses and pure American styling, it’s a remarkable vehicle.”

Shelby-badged vehicles — especially Cobras and Mustangs — are popular at collector car auctions. Not only does the new F-150 Super Snake launch with a whopping 750 supercharged horsepower, but only 150 of the trucks will be produced, enhancing their future value as collectibles.

For just shy of $100,000, you get a new Ford F-150, with your choice of two- or four-wheel drive, tweaked by Shelby American with a supercharged 5-liter V-8. It has an enhanced suspension, Borla exhaust and a Shelby-designed body kit that includes hood, rockers, spoilers, grilles, rear bumper and tonneau cover — and the legendary Shelby racing stripes. The interior has special seats, dash and flooring, as well as its own serial number documented in the Shelby Registry.

The souped-up F-150 gets its Super Snake nomenclature from a special drag-racing version of the original Shelby Cobra. Earlier this year, Shelby American rolled out a Mustang-based 50th-anniversary Shelby Super Snake offering as much as 750 horsepower and sub-11-second drag race sprints on street-legal tires.

For the first time in more than a decade, Shelby American has produced a concept rather than a production vehicle, the 2017 Shelby Super Snake wide body.

“Instead of being optimized for straight-line performance, the Super Snake wide body concept provides more grip on all four corners. It was designed to give drivers a serious competitive edge on the road course,” Patterson said.

The wide-body concept features Shelby fully adjustable, coil-over “spec-track” suspension, massive 16-inch Brembo brakes and wider wheels and tires so wide that a special body kit is needed with new rear and front vented fenders and rocker panels to cover those fat Michelins.

Both were showcased at the recent Carroll Shelby Tribute and Car Show in Southern California. The truck is available, and there is reason to believe that demand will lead to the wide-body kit going from concept into production.

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Larry Edsall is a Phoenix-based freelance writer. You can reach him at