The name Shelby needs no introduction to performance enthusiasts the world over, and is most famously represented by Eleanor, the fire-breathing Ford Mustang driven by Nicolas Cage’s character in the film Gone in 60 Seconds.
Founded by ace American car designer Carroll Shelby back in 1962, the brand that bears his name has since 1967 become synonymous with giving ’Stangs some larger fangs in the form of high-performance kits.
Shortly after Ford in 2015 answered local enthusiasts’ prayers by finally building the Mustang in right-hand drive and offering it for sale in SA, Peter Lindenberg, of powerboat and car-racing fame, spotted an opportunity to cater for customers who wanted to make their pony cars even faster.
In 2016 he became the official Shelby agent in SA when he set up shop in Cape Town with the assistance of his daughters Paige, Chiara and Abbi.
Now he’s opened a second branch in Sandton to cater for Gauteng’s performance hounds. Serving customers who view a standard Ford Mustang as a blank canvas for their wildest high-performance dreams, Shelby offers a range of go-faster, look-cooler kits for Ford’s iconic pony car.
There are a number of packages available to transform a garden-variety Mustang into a tyre-smoking beast, starting with the 5.0l V8 Shelby Super Snake 50th Anniversary 670HP. This kit includes a supercharger that boosts engine power from 306kW to 500kW, along with a performance handling pack, performance tyres, uprated brakes and a raft of cosmetic enhancements that include a front splitter, bonnet vents, Shelby Super Snake badges, Shelby fuel cap and an engine plaque, to name but a few.
Going faster and looking meaner doesn’t come cheap, and the 670HP package adds R1,199,000 to the R872,200 base price of the 5.0l Mustang coupe.
And that’s just the basic kit; there’s a vast list of additional cosmetic and mechanical optional extras that could drain your bank account by a further couple of hundred grand including an Eibach suspension upgrade, short-throw gear shifter, differential cooler, Shelby/Katzkin premium leather interior and Brembo brakes, among others.
Next up is the 5.0l V8 Shelby Super Snake 50th Anniversary 750HP kit with a bigger supercharger that liberates 560kW of tar-shredding power, and priced at R1,329,000 without options.
This pricing can fluctuate due to the exchange rate at any time.
"When it comes to vehicle upgrades Shelby isn’t just a brand, it is the brand," said Lindenberg at last week’s Sandton dealership opening.
"Modifying cars is a disease, but a cool disease; one that puts a smile on your face."
The Shelby modifications come with the blessing of Ford and the muscled-up Mustangs carry a three-year/60,000km warranty.
Speaking at the Sandton dealership launch, Ford Motor Company’s Craig von Essen said that Shelby acquires incremental customers for Ford, as it attracts people who wouldn’t normally buy a Mustang.
Lindenberg is also the agent for Road To Race (RTR), a vehicle transformation facility which upgrades a number of different brands with particular accent on bakkies and Jeeps. It is also the sole South African representative for Hi-Tech Automotive’s range of heritage cars and undertakes such transformations as fitting a 5.0l Coyote Motor with or without a supercharger into a Ford Ranger.
The RTR outlets also sell a wide range of 4x4 accessories, suspension kits, Motul products, Sabat Batteries and First Race motorsport equipment. They also specialise in Toyota body kits and carry out performance and accessory upgrades to almost any vehicle.
Shelby SA Sandton is located on the corner of Grosvenor Road and William Nicol Drive, Bryanston — call (010) 443-9124 for more details.