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1967-68 Shelby Carbon Fiber Concept “Dream Car” Becomes Reality

Limited Edition Carbon Fiber Heritage Shelby GT500 Roars Into Production. Carbon Edition supercar being produced by Classic Restorations to honor Carroll Shelby’s dream car. Some proceeds to benefit Carroll Shelby Foundation.

The late Carroll Shelby was a huge proponent of carbon fiber. He was quoted as saying that “carbon fiber would be the future of American sports car manufacturing.” So it’s only natural that Classic Recreations in coordination with Shelby American has put a carbon fiber concept of the classic 1967 Shelby GT500 into production.

Dubbed the Carbon Edition, only 25 of these limited edition supercars will be delivered by the company at the Shelby American facility in Las Vegas and are available for worldwide distribution. Upon delivery, a donation will also be presented by Classic Recreations to the Carroll Shelby Foundation.

Check out this story on a Limited Edition Carroll Shelby Mustang that makes more than 800 horsepower. As for this limited-edition Carbon Edition, it will also have a powerful engine. More on the engine below.

“We believe the introduction of a carbon-fiber GT500 Mustang and Cobra is a natural next step in the evolution of these iconic vehicles and builds on the legacy of the same innovation that Carroll Shelby was known for,” said Neil Cummings, Co-CEO of Carroll Shelby International.

Officially unveiled by Classic Recreations in May, this visionary, re-imagined American muscle car moves the iconic 1967 Shelby GT500 into the 21st century with a powerful contemporary engine, upgraded suspension, better braking systems and the latest automotive technologies. The Shelby cars combine the best of classic and contemporary worlds, all wrapped in a lightweight and ultra-strong carbon fiber body.

Carbon Edition Shelby Mustang GT500World’s first carbon fiber heritage Shelby GT500
“We’re excited that the world’s first carbon fiber bodied heritage Shelby GT500CR has moved from dream to reality; a true inspiration for future models” said Jason Engel, founder, co-owner and lead designer at Classic Recreations. “Far too often, car companies tease the public with concepts that never go into production. Our first car of this spectacular new series is being assembled and we look forward to presenting it to its new owner at the Shelby American facility in Las Vegas. This carbon fiber bodied continuation heritage Shelby GT500CR will carry the Shelby DNA into every model we build.”

In a constant effort to innovate and advance the art of custom car building, Classic Recreations has teamed up with SpeedKore Performance Group to produce the world’s first carbon-fiber-bodied Shelby GT500 CR models.

“Carroll Shelby was a proponent of carbon fiber and leveraged its benefits in everything from lightweight wheels to the Shelby Series 1 sports car,” said Gary Patterson, president of Shelby American. “We’re pleased that Classic Recreations is now applying that exotic technology to continuation heritage Shelby muscle cars. Shelby’s sales team will make them available to customers and we plan to help prep the cars for delivery when they arrive in Las Vegas. As with all Shelby cars built by Classic Recreations, we will document each one in our Shelby Registry. Carroll would’ve been proud of this collaboration.”

The option package is available on the GT500 CR 545, 900C and 900S. And the result, according to Classic Recreations, is a Shelby that is both lighter and stronger than an original steel-bodied car but with classic American styling forged from cutting-edge, aerospace-grade carbon fiber technology.

Working with SpeedKore Performance Group, Classic Recreations directed the process to create the woven carbon fiber bodies using original Shelby molds to meticulously reproduce the iconic lines of the classic 1967-68 Shelby Mustang. It is the first time that the technology used by supercars, exotics and aircraft has been applied so extensively to an American muscle car.

“By wrapping this featherweight carbon fiber body over the original steel substructure, we can create perfect panels, seams and lines,” said Engel. “The result is stunning perfection in a car that is an astounding 600 pounds lighter than stock. The power-to-weight ratio is on par with the most exotic vehicles, making it a modern world-class supercar with American muscle at its soul.”

Stage 2 Whipple supercharged Coyote engine
These Shelby muscle cars will be powered by a Stage 2 Whipple supercharged Ford 5.0L Coyote engine mated to a Tremec six-speed manual transmission. The potent car has an adjustable coil-over suspension, tubular subframe connectors, high-performance Wilwood brakes, roll bar and hydraulic steering rack. The cars will rumble with a stainless-steel MagnaFlow performance exhaust system and roll on American Racing forged wheels wrapped with high-performance Michelin Z-rated tires. The stunning interior features an Alcantara headliner and console.

To commemorate this radical new approach to American muscle, Classic Recreations is offering this hand-painted, limited edition model. The exterior stripe color can be customized, and the body will be treated with UV protected clear coat to show off the perfect carbon weave patterns. Each will also receive special badges that will be applied by Shelby American to the cars when they arrive in Las Vegas.

The package includes transportation of the car to Las Vegas and a special client delivery experience. This will include accommodations for one night in a luxury hotel, private tour of Shelby American, photo opportunity with the vehicle and a specially-curated Shelby gift package. A meaningful donation in the customer’s honor will be made to the Carroll Shelby Foundation, which is dedicated to providing medical assistance for those in need, including children, educational opportunities for young people through automotive and other training programs and benefitting the Shelby Automotive Museum.

Carbon Edition Shelby Mustang GT500 hoodApplying Supercar Technology to American Muscle
It is well established that carbon fiber is a key component used by many of the world’s premier modern motorsports teams. The quality, consistency and even tone of carbon fiber is undeniable. Partnering with SpeedKore was key to ensuring perfect panel fitment and consistent quality throughout the entire shell.
• Combined Strength – using pre-impregnated (Prepreg) fabric reinforced with a resin system, typically an epoxy, makes the material much denser and much stronger. The key is the autoclave where all the impurities are vacuum-sealed out. This ensures a pure, perfect piece every time. Combining this high performance outer shell with a steel substructure provides the driver with the confidence to perform when it counts the most.
• Perfect Weave Orientation – SpeedKore’s process ensures that all panels match up perfectly. This means that the weave transition from panel-to-panel is seamless – providing a consistent look across the entire vehicle.

How to order a carbon fiber Shelby GT500
The Carbon Edition Shelby GT500CR package is ready for order and will begin at $298,000. Production requires about 12-18 months and select customized upgrade options are available.

For sales and ordering information, contact Shelby American at (702) 942-7325 or Classic Recreations at (877) 235-3266.

For more Mustang news, check out the exclusive Mustang page at Torque News including news of this limited edition MKIII-R Restomod that pays tribute to the 1965 Cobra.

Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since the high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. He is also co-author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Also, Jimmy works in the social media marketing world for a Canadian automotive training aid manufacturing company. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, Twitter, at his special Ford F-150 coverage on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can read the most of Jimmy's stories by searching Torque News Ford for daily Ford vehicle report.