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Profile: The 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra Tribute Mustang

A Tribute to Automotive Legend Carroll Shelby


2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra

The One-of-a-Kind 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra Tribute Mustang

Photo Courtesy of Shelby American
On Friday August 17, 2012, friends of Carroll Shelby, including Ford Motor Company, Shelby American, Ford Racing and many others, revealed a special tribute vehicle, the 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra, at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion where Cobra is the featured marque of show.

Ford Motor Company board member Edsel Ford II, Group Vice President for Sales and Marketing Jim Farley, and Shelby American President John Luft were all on hand as they revealed the car to curious journalists and attendees.

“Even at 89 years of age, Carroll was an inspiration to us all,” says Farley. “This year marks the 50th anniversary of the original Shelby Cobra. This car represents the very idea he had about making the 2013 Shelby GT500 into a true Cobra.”


  • Produces 850 Horsepower
  • Includes Shelby American Wide-Body Kit
  • 13-inch-wide Rear Wheels

Loud and Proud

With 850 horsepower at its disposal, thanks to a Ford Racing 4.0-liter Whipple supercharger, the V8 powered 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra (which utilizes the same powertrain at the 2013 Shelby GT500) is all about serious power and performance. Getting all that power to the road is simplified thanks to 13-inch-wide rear wheels wrapped in massive 345-section high-performance tires. Other features include a specially designed hood, new rear wide-body kit, Shelby Wilwood brakes, and new 20x13-inch rear and 20x10-inch front wheels. The bodywork is finished in the same Guardsman Blue with Wimbledon White stripes that graced so many of the Cobra roadsters built in the 1960’s.

“Carroll Shelby changed the performance world forever,” says Luft. “And while he was proud of Shelby American’s achievements, Carroll was far more interested in the next car we build. You will find the spirit and influence of Carroll Shelby in every future vehicle we build as found in the rear wide-body kit and hood that has been integrated into the 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra.”

“You might also know that Carroll was a philanthropist, noted for supporting causes that moved him,” added Farley. “In that spirit, this car will be taken on tour around the country, and hopefully will be used in a special way at the end of its tour, a way Carroll would appreciate.”

The one-of-a-kind 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra will go on tour after the Monterey Motorsports event.

Ford Renames Street “Carroll Shelby Way”

In addition to the creation of a special tribute GT500 Mustang, Ford Motor Company announced they have renamed a road in Dearborn, Mich., at the Product Development Center, as a tribute to the late Carroll Shelby. Ford product development engineers will now get a daily reminder of Carroll’s way as they traverse the newly renamed Carroll Shelby Way through the heart of the Product Development Center in Dearborn, Mich., to the entrance of the proving ground.

In a press release, Ford Motor Company said, “Countless engineers crossed paths with Shelby over the years, from those who crafted the original GT40 to those working on the 2013 Shelby GT500. Up until his death, Carroll Shelby remained committed to developing great performance cars. Even at the age of 88, he spent more than five hours driving the most powerful production Mustang ever during engineering validation sessions at Sebring and the Arizona Proving Grounds in late 2011.”

The release went on to say, “During and after test sessions, Carroll would spend hours discussing with the engineers what he liked and what needed improvement. No one who worked with Carroll will ever forget it, and his lessons in vehicle dynamics will be passed along to coming generations. Carroll Shelby is no longer with us, but his spirit lives on with the designers and engineers he interacted with over the years and he will continue to influence Ford performance cars for many years to come.”

No doubt, Carroll Shelby’s legend will live on for many years to come. The creation of a 850 horsepower GT500, and “Carroll Shelby Way” are two great tributes not soon to be forgotten.

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