Shelby built a one-off 1997 Shelby Mustang called the Red Racer for Joseph Tice of Central Texas. (Photo Credit: Shelby American)
Joseph Tice of Central Texas owned a 1997 Mustang GT and approached us to build a one-off car, as if there was a Shelby version… — Gary Patterson, Shelby
What would the cars be like if Shelby American was building its own line of Mustangs back in the SN-95 era? That’s just what a customer found out when he took delivery of his 1997 Shelby Mustang called the Red Racer.
“Joseph Tice of Central Texas owned a 1997 Mustang GT and approached us to build a one-off car, as if there was a Shelby version offered that year,” Gary Patterson, President of Shelby American, explained. “He wanted it to look OEM, but feature contemporary technology and performance. It was much more of a challenge than anyone initially thought.”
Apparently this one-off vehicle is a sign of Shelby diversifying a bit from its primary business of upgrading new Mustangs with its signature packages.
“Shelby American has an extensive history of creating experimental cars and one-off customer vehicles during the 1960s,” Joe Conway, Co-CEO of Carroll Shelby International and CEO of Shelby American, said. “Because we’re still hot rodders at heart, we accepted this project in that tradition as part of our global business expansion initiative. Our goal was to create new opportunities for the company with projects that inspire the staff as we apply new technologies to other programs.”
A built 4.6-liter engine boosted by a ProCharger P-1SC supercharger powers the Red Racer.
Shelby Red Racer Mods
•Rebuilt 4.6-liter V8 engine
• P-1SC ProCharger with intercooler
• Flowmaster exhaust
• Eibach suspension upgrade
• Adjustable clutch quadrant
• Short-throw shifter
• Performance driveshaft
• New Shelby paint with factory racing stripes
• Body appearance package
• Performance wheels and tires
• New hood
• Shelby engine badge
• Interior components
• New complete interior, including seats, carpet and dash pad
• Shelby gauge pod
In the case of Joseph’s car, he brought them an in-process project car and met with the Shelby team to develop a vision for completing the project. From there the car was disassembled and rebuilt with a complete suite of upgrades. While the teardown was more aggressive, the build was quite similar to what Shelby does with new Mustangs — upgrading functional and appearance attributes.
“We literally took the Mustang down to the bones,” Vice President of Operations Vince LaViolette said. “We hand-built a supercharged 4.6-liter engine, rebuilt the transmission to handle it, transformed the suspension and added an incredible braking system. Inside and out, it became a showcase, but retains a factory feel. It even has a special badge, ‘CSM100SPECIAL’ with a serial number for the official Shelby Registry. It’s the ‘Shelby that might have been’ if we’d been turning out Ford Mustang based cars in 1997. It’s a total sleeper that can kick tail on the street and mystify people with its unique provenance.”
For more on Shelby’s offerings, you can check out the company’s official site here.