September 29, 2023
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Automobile and Driver

Carroll Shelby is a legend, however not every thing he constructed was legendary. Working example: the Collection 1 roadster he designed and engineered within the ’90s. The automotive’s journey to manufacturing was riddled with problems and setbacks, with Shelby American finally churning out simply 249 copies. One in every of them is at present up for public sale on Convey a Trailer, which—like Automobile and Driver—is a part of Hearst Autos.

Cobra Connection

Simply because the 1999 Shelby Collection 1, pictured right here in Centennial Silver with Garnet Pink metallic stripes, did not fairly dwell as much as the formidable targets set by its iconic creator does not imply it is nonetheless not cool as hell. Simply have a look at the factor. Its resemblance to the unique Shelby Cobras is simple, and that curvy bodywork is claimed to be extraordinarily light-weight, because it’s made from carbon fiber and fiberglass. The Collection 1 had a claimed curb weight of 2650 kilos.

1999 shelby series 1 rear three quarter

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The Playskool-like inside is not so enticing. Actually, it is fairly embarrassing for a automotive that after price about the identical as a Ferrari 360 Spider when each had been new. Shut inspection reveals components from a fourth-generation Pontiac Firebird; one want look no additional than the retrofitted gauge cluster, HVAC controls, and door handles to identify the connection.

Nonetheless, nobody who purchased a Collection 1 seemingly anticipated a luxurious inside—or apparently one which had any cupholders or space for storing by any means. The roadster was additionally notoriously unfriendly to driver’s over six ft tall, as the usual seating positions put the highest of the windshield instantly of their line of sight.

shelby series 1 interior

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It is sort of humorous to assume a automotive as costly and performance-focused because the Shelby Collection 1 would share an engine with a front-wheel-drive Oldsmobile Aurora, however that is precisely the place its DOHC 4.0-liter V-8 was sourced from.

With out the non-obligatory Vortech supercharger, which is claimed to have been an almost $20K add-on, the usual engine within the Collection 1 produced 320 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque. Sending that energy to the rear wheels is a six-speed guide transaxle, and the eight-cylinder soundtrack was delivered via a Borla exhaust system with a set of distinguished tailpipes poking out the again.

1999 shelby series 1 engine

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Again in 2000, Automobile and Driver icon Brock Yates reviewed a 1999 Shelby Collection 1 that appears similar to the instance at present up for public sale. Regardless of mechanical snafus throughout two separate checks, the supercharged roadster shot to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and cleared the quarter-mile in 13.0 seconds at 112 mph. Its Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires, measurement 265/40R18 up entrance and 315/R18 out again, helped it put up 0.92 g of grip on the skidpad. Each Collection 1 additionally had race-car-derived pushrod suspension.

But its spectacular efficiency and complex chassis weren’t sufficient to offset its different shortcomings, with Yates summarizing the automotive like this: “The Shelby Collection 1 is actually an excellent idea however stays a piece in progress. When all of the bugs are labored out, we’re eagerly awaiting one other name from the person whose identify is on this fascinating however nonetheless unproved sports activities automotive.”

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Headshot of Eric Stafford

Senior Editor

Eric Stafford’s vehicle dependancy started earlier than he may stroll, and it has fueled his ardour to jot down information, opinions, and extra for Automobile and Driver since 2016. His aspiration rising up was to develop into a millionaire with a Jay Leno–like automotive assortment. Apparently, getting wealthy is more durable than social-media influencers make it appear, so he prevented monetary success totally to develop into an automotive journalist and drive new automobiles for a residing. After incomes a level at Central Michigan College and dealing at a day by day newspaper, the years of principally burning cash on failed challenge automobiles and lemon-flavored jalopies lastly paid off when Automobile and Driver employed him. His storage at present features a 2010 Acura RDX, a guide ’97 Chevy Camaro Z/28, and a ’90 Honda CRX Si.