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Shelby American Transforms 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 Into A Piece Of Rolling History

Shelby American collaborates with owner of 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 on special project that also serves as showcase of Shelby’s High-Performance Parts Division. One-off custom muscle car was special commission job for Shelby enthusiasts’ wedding anniversary.

The 2008 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 has always been a special car. Most Shelbys from that era bring a lot when it comes to collectability. I wrote a while ago about how the 2007 Mustang GT500 was one of the best Mustangs ever.

So when I saw a special modification project done by Shelby American on a 2008 Shelby GT500, I was interested.

The special project created a one-off-custom muscle car that also serves as a rolling showcase for Shelby’s Performance Division. Joe Conway is Co-CEO of Carroll Shelby International and CEO of Shelby American. He worked closely on this project to create a custom 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 that was commissioned by the Clark family Whitewright, Texas.

“We’re busy building world-class performance vehicles in Las Vegas based on the Ford Mustang and F-150 truck,” said Joe Conway. “Occasionally we also accept a commission project for a 2007 to 2014 Shelby GT500. I asked Shelby American President Gary Patterson and Vice President Vince LaViolette to personally collaborate on this project and they created a custom car that serves as a rolling billboard for the Shelby brand.”

Speaking of the GT500, that is now the last of the Shelby Mustangs left as Ford got rid of the outstanding GT350 and GT350R. I wrote my own little eulogy for this excellent track car here.

Now let’s take a closer look at this one-of-a-kind muscle car and how it got built and what it has with it.

2008 Ford Shelby GT500 customCustom-built one-of-a-kind 2008 Ford Shelby GT500
Beginning with the Clark’s low mileage fastback, Shelby American updated the car’s styling and capabilities to give it more performance and visual panache.

“While the 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 is a marvelous car, the Clarks wanted to make it even more unique,” said Gary Patterson, president of Shelby American. “Since they did not want to transform their car into a Super Snake, we embraced this opportunity presented by Mr. Conway to demonstrate the incredible expertise inside our parts group. We offer many spectacular components that can be expertly matched to create a car or truck tailored to the owner’s specifications. It was exciting to help the Clarks create their dream Shelby by leveraging those proven components.”

The custom Shelby GT500 boasts new matched components that include:
• Shelby Super Snake hood with painted stripes
• Quarter panel scoops
• Shelby wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport tires
• Sequential taillights
• Custom Shelby interior
• Custom one-off badges
• Carbon Fiber front splitter and rockers
• Supercharger pulley and tune that boosted the V8 to 520 horsepower
• Shelby high flow exhaust for a more aggressive sound
• Upgraded Shelby Super Snake suspension

“The Clark family likes to drive their car on the street, and they don’t plan to track it,” said Vince LaViolette. “That’s why we gave their Shelby an aggressive suspension tune to make it more responsive but still comfortable. Then we added a bit more power, sharpened the styling and made the interior even more distinctive. We even created special one-off badges for them. This car demonstrates how our SPP division can guide anyone seeking to tailor their car with components from our extensive catalog.”

Shelby American completed the car and delivered it to Whitewright in early mid-December, just in time for the Clark’s 57th anniversary. The Shelby and its modifications will be noted in the official Shelby American Registry.
“We’ve been fans of Carroll Shelby for a long time,” said Jim Clark. “This unique piece of Shelby history will give our family countless years and many miles of driving pleasure.”

2008 Shelby GT500 custom backAbout Shelby American
Founded by legend Carroll Shelby, Shelby American, a wholly owned subsidiary of Carroll Shelby International Inc. (CSBI:PK), manufactures and markets performance vehicles and related products. The company builds authentic continuation Cobras, including the 427 S/C, 289 FIA, 289 street car, Daytona Coupe and Shelby Series 2 component vehicles; it offers the Shelby GT, 1000, Super Snake and Carroll Shelby Signature Edition Mustang post-title packages for the 2005-2020 Ford Mustang. Shelby American also offers the Shelby Raptor, Shelby F-150 Super Snake and Shelby F-150 trucks. Heritage cars include the continuation 1965 Shelby GT350 competition model, 1967 Ford Shelby Super Snake and 1968 Ford Shelby GT500KR. For more information, visit

So, here’s something fun I want to hear from you? If you could build any Mustang muscle car, customized and tricked out, how would you make it? Leave me your comment and maybe I can turn your dream build into a story, just like this story on Jim Clark’s dream turned anniversary present.

The better question is, how many wives out there would allow for a custom Shelby to count as a wedding anniversary gift?

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.


jerry D adams adams (not verified)    October 18, 2023 - 11:31AM

I have a torch Red Mustang Shelby GT500. When I purchased this car I did not know how much had been done to it and neither did the previous owner because he did not price it higher and he did not talk about any of the upgrades done to it. The upgrades include sequential taillights, which I thought were factory for this year and they weren't, Shelby shifter with white knob, flow master cat back exhaust with chrome tips, Shelby logos in the interior to include a dash plate signed by Carrol Shelby, Ford Racing Cold Air Intake with a Ford racing tune to 550 or more hp, Mccleod performance clutch kit, tinted windows all around, and lastly a short antenna, factory navigation. Does this come close to a Shelby Super Snake? Curious.