Car of the Month – April

1999 Shelby Series 1

Specs

  • Engine –   Aluminum 4.0 L L47 Aurora V8 DOHC
  • Horsepower –320 hp at 6500 rpm
  • Transmission – 6 speed transaxle by ZF
  • Curb Weight – 2,650
  • 0-60 time – 4.4 seconds
  • ¼ mile time –  12.8 seconds
  • Top speed –  170 mph
  • Number built – 249
  • MSRP price – $181,824

Description

Unlike previous Shelby cars, which were derived from another manufacturer’s base model and modified by Shelby American, the Shelby Series 1 cars were designed and engineered by Shelby American and built from the ground up. Powered by Oldsmobile’s 4.0 L L47 Aurora V8 DOHC engine, producing 320 hp, the Shelby Series 1 is capable of 170 mph top speed and can go 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds, which outpaces the original Shelby Cobra. (A few Shelby Series 1 models were supercharged, resulting in boosting the hp to over 400.)
 
The Series 1 had a nearly perfect 49/51 front-to-rear weight distribution. Its independent unequal-length control arm and front and rear suspension coupled with 18” wheels and Goodyear Eagle F1 tires produced very impressive grip and road holding. Another factor contributing to outstanding performance is the light weight of the car’s carbon fiber panels.
 
Due to severe cost overruns, Venture Corporation purchased Shelby American, Inc. while the Series 1 was being produced. The Series 1 was part of the acquisition but in 2004, Venture Corporation declared bankruptcy and Shelby Automobiles, Inc. – Carroll Shelby’s new company – purchased the Series 1 assets and with leftover components produced several more complete cars.