Shelby GR-1 Concept Car
If you ask anyone that is a gearhead, there is one name in automotive that will cause a stir. Mention his name, and any gearhead will nod their head in appreciation, regardless of their favorite brand. That name is Carroll Shelby. In 2005, he and his team developed a monster of a car that absolutely should have been made in mass quantities.. The name of this monster was the Shelby GR-1 Concept Car.
The Shelby GR-1 Concept Car was a high performance (with Shelby’s name on it, that should be assumed) sports car developed by Ford and Shelby in 2005. It was first shown to the World at the 2004 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance car show, but at that time it was still a clay mockup, like the photo above. The fully functional model was revealed a year later at the North American International Auto Show. The resemblance to its older brother, the Ford GT is obvious.
The Shelby GR-1 began life as a modified version of its older brother, the Ford GT. They used the rear-engine GT chassis as a basis, although they shortened it by 2 feet. This in turn produced a 7 inch shorter wheelbase. The fact that these two can share that chassis shows just how advanced the engineering teams are at Ford and Shelby. Much of the car came from Shelby history or the Ford Gt, so this car had the DNA to make it into a fire-breathing monster from day 1. This car was different in many ways from its lineage, however. Although it used a modified version of the Ford GT suspension and chassis, it had a brand new, mirror finish, highly polished all-aluminum body to show off. As such, it was available in any color you like – as long as you like chrome finish silver. They had no plans to make this car with any other color or finish options available. I would hate to pull up beside this car on a bright, sunny day!
The interior of this Shelby truly focuses on driver comfort and enjoyment. The dash includes a full array of old school analog gauges, including the tachometer, mixed with some digital goodies such as a digital speedometer. Other cool goodies incuded a Tire IQ display, which provides the driver and passenger animation to provides statistics such as tire pressure and tire temperature. The car also had an accelerometer for G-Force measurement.
Additionally, the interior had speakers integrated into the headrest wings for premium sound and a Noise Reducing Sound system called NRT which counteracted the noise levels inside the car at high speeds. The interior was reached via clamshell style doors which hinged up and out for entry and exit.
Now, a cool looking car like this – especially one to wear the Shelby badge – has to be able to walk the walk and talk the talk. This fire-breathing beast was able to deliver on what it looked like it could do, for sure. For inspiration, Shelby and his team decided to step way back to what really made the name Shelby an icon. They dug out the venerable 427 from the 65 Cobra. They wanted to relive the heyday of the Shelby Cobra. That 427 engine was used as an inspiration for what they would do with this beast. Although they did not use a 427 engine, some of the aspects of that original DNA are in this engine, too.
The Ford engineers, working with Shelby, crafted an all-new engine to power this car. The result was an all aluminum, big block 390 cubic inch 6.4 liter V10, which was what ultimately powered this fire breathing beast . It delivered 605 horspepower and 501 lb ft of torque – in a naturally aspirated engine. The team spent 3 years working on this engine. After all that work, they decided to put it to the ultimate test. They bolted it into a new (at the time) 2005 Mustang to see what it would do. It only took one test drive to confirm they had a beast of a powerplant. I wish I could have been on that test drive! This fire breathing power plant screamed all the way to 7,500 RPMs before hitting red line! This gave the Ford Shelby GR-1 Concept Car the ability to run from 0-60 in 3.9 seconds. It also had a top speed of around 200 mph. To get all that power to the ground, they used the limited slip, rear-mounted, six speed transaxle from the Ford GT. This was primarily to more evenly distribute the weight, and give a bit more legroom inside the rather cramped cabin.
Sadly, this monster concept car never made it to production. I must say, if it had, they probably would have sold out within minutes of hitting the showroom floor. Hopefully they will decide to bring back a beast like this soon. I know of several people that would have stood in line to get one.
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