One-off GT500 Tremendous Snake Mustang heading to public sale

The only 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake ever produced

The one 1967 Shelby GT500 Tremendous Snake ever produced

The one 1967 Shelby GT500 Tremendous Snake Ford Mustang has been consigned to the docket for Mecum Public sale’s Kissimmee, Florida, public sale scheduled for February Three-13.

As Mecum Auctions tells the automotive’s story, it was commissioned from Shelby American by tire maker Goodyear, which wished to make use of the automotive as a check mattress for its new Thunderbolt line of whitewall tires.

Ford’s redesign of the Mustang for the 1967 mannequin 12 months meant there was room underneath the hood for the corporate’s 390cid big-block V8. Adequate for Ford, however not for Carroll Shelby, who opted as a substitute of supply the Shelby GT500 powered by a modified Police Interceptor 428cid V8 rated at 355 horsepower. Shelby would promote 2,048 examples of the GT500, in contrast with 1,175 small-block-powered GT350s.

The only 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake ever produced

The one 1967 Shelby GT500 Tremendous Snake ever produced

Shelby was the West Coast distributor for Goodyear, which was making ready to launch its new Thunderbolt line as 15-inch “financial system” tires. What higher option to promote the brand new tires than to check them beneath a particular one-off model of the GT500?

That particular automotive was outfitted with a specifically constructed, 427cid model of the engine used within the Ford GT40 Mk II. The unique plan was to construct and promote 50 extra GT500 Tremendous Snakes.

The Tremendous Snake was GT500 No. 544, outfitted with a light-weight 427 racing engine, particular rear axle and transmission.

Shelby gross sales supervisor Don McCain was quoted as describing the powerplant as “the mom of all 427s at the moment.” The engine featured aluminum heads and water pump, solid crankshaft, Le Mans connecting rods, all designed to allow the engine to run at 600 horsepower and 6,000 rpm for 24 hours. The automotive additionally was outfitted with stiffer suspension on the passenger aspect to cope with the forces encountered on the 5-mile oval Goodyear check monitor at San Angelo, Texas.

Inboard headlamp bezels and slim Le Mans blue racing stripes set the automotive other than different GT500s.

The only 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake ever produced

The one 1967 Shelby GT500 Tremendous Snake ever produced

The only 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake ever produced

The one 1967 Shelby GT500 Tremendous Snake ever produced

In testing, the automotive averaged 142 mph, reached a prime pace of 170, and the Thunderbolt tires, skinniest ever on a GT500 and overinflated with nitrogen relatively than ambient air to maintain them cooler, nonetheless had 97 % of their unique tread after the 500-mile run.

Plans to provide different Tremendous Snakes have been deserted as a result of the automotive would have value greater than twice as a lot as a normal GT500, which might have made it dearer than the Shelby 427 Cobra.

After testing, the GT500 Tremendous Snake was displayed at Ford dealerships in California and Texas, the place it was bought by airline pilot James Hadden and James Gorman for $5,000. The pilots changed the two.73 gearset with a four.10 unit for drag racing.

Mecum Auctions notes that the Shelby Registry reviews the automotive was bought in 197o by Texas Bobby Pierce, who owned it for 25 years earlier than promoting it to David Loebenberg, a Florida resident. The automotive went to California seven years later with Charles Lillard, then bought — displaying 26,000 miles on its odometer — to Mustang collector Richard Ellis of Illinois.

Ellis carried out a “mild restoration” that included 4 new Thunderbolt whitewalls.

The only 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake ever produced

The one 1967 Shelby GT500 Tremendous Snake ever produced

The only 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake ever produced

The one 1967 Shelby GT500 Tremendous Snake ever produced

“I wished to personal this piece of Shelby historical past worse than something,” Ellis informed Auto Fanatic Journal in 2011. “It was effectively cared for by its earlier homeowners, however I’ve put loads of effort into returning it to the state it was in on the day of the tire check.

“The Thunderbolts have been made for… effectively, boring household automobiles within the ‘60s, which is why no person reproduces them or has even heard of them for 35 years.

“I’m positive Shelby pulled the unique Thunderbolts and threw them away when the automotive acquired again to California (after its Texas check session).”

Ellis stated he had “discovered what must be the one surviving set in a warehouse in Akron, Ohio.”

Ellis bought the automotive in 2013 to Shelby collector John Wickey who, in keeping with Mecum Auctions, “has fastidiously cared for this illustrious one-of-one Shelby tremendous automotive for the previous 5 years.”

The only 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake ever produced

The one 1967 Shelby GT500 Tremendous Snake ever produced

This text, written by Larry Edsall, was initially revealed on ClassicCars.com, an editorial accomplice of Motor Authority.

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