2013 Shelby 1000: Because Carroll Wants 1000 HP Before He Dies

It's nice to know that there's still car customizers that will make a new model just because. No focus groups, no careful studies, just the very basic idea that some things would just be cool to do. Like making a 1000 HP car that's not a Veyron. Mostly because it's only $250,000.

The genesis of the new Shelby 1000 came about, according to Shelby VP Gary Patterson, when Carroll Shelby was testing the 850 HP Super Snake. The team, who had worked long and hard and were hoping for maybe, just maybe, a little bit of praise from the Big Man, instead were treated to one question from Shelby. "When are we getting 1000 horses?"

Back to work, everybody!

There's no rational reason why anyone would need 1000 (well, in street-legal trim, 950) horses. If you want to force your brains out the back of your head by stomping a pedal, you'd think the 850 HP Super Snake (which is the required donor car for a Shelby 1000, plus an extra $150K) would do the job just fine. And while it does, an extra 150 ponies certainly can't hurt.

The result is a brute of a car, but supposedly a surprising level of refinement. A new liquid-cooled Kenne Bell supercharger helps drag those extra horses out of the 5.4-liter V8 barn, and almost everything else gets a substantial upgrade to handle all the extra power. In fact, it works so well, they had to photoshop it just because no mere mortal can witness the awesomeness in person.

There's a special aluminum driveshaft (with a reinforced tunnel to twist in, just in case), a custom-designed rear end suspension setup (though still an old-school live axle), uprated front suspension, brakes, etc. They even have to use special heavy-duty wheel lugs, since tests with the one-off Code Red proved that 1000 HP is enough to bend the stock lugs into tasty little pretzels.

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The end result is a car that Shelby says will actually handle well and be capable of much more than straight-line drag racing.

After factoring donor car costs, a Shelby 1000 costs in the $250,000 ballpark. That's a lot of money, but a bargain if you're comparing it against other near 1000 HP cars, like the Veyron. So, for bargain hunters with a 900+ HP primary requirement, you're gonna save some serious cash. If you existed.

"We don't give a shit" is what I was told regarding gas mileage of the Shelby 1000. That said, driven like a rational human on the highway, you can likely get about 15 mpg. In context of 950 HP, that's not awful. If you're a loon (and, behind the wheel of a 950 HP monster, who isn't?) you could empty the tank with a Veyron-like thirst. VP Patterson did say while no one's really looking at gas mileage numbers for something like this, Shelby has experimented with such novel things as a hydrogen-powered Cobra, so who knows what the future may hold.

"[Fuel economy?] We don't give a shit."

The torque numbers for the Shelby 1000 are amazing as well, at about 850 lbs-ft. That translates to spacecraft-grade acceleration and, in what could be an interesting niche market for Shelby, better towing capacity than almost any full-size diesel pickup sold today.

Shelby didn't confirm the existence of any special towing hitches or packages for the Shelby 1000, but if you're looking for a badass way to pull your old Boeing 707 or small home, I say give the Shelby 1000 a look.

There is a special racing version that sacrifices street legality for breaking the magic 1000 HP barrier, but I think a 950 HP car that you could actually use as a daily commuter is even more impressive. Of all the industry people I've talked to, the people at Shelby had the most barely-contained delight regarding their product. Gary Patterson told me that "the good old days are today" with regard to usable very fast cars. If I heard that from almost any other industry executive's mouth I would have rolled my eyes. But watching the look on the man's face, I actually believe it.