Shelby American CEO Looks for Growth: Initiative Results in Special One-Off Vehicle

  • Business expansion initiative results in serial numbered 1997 Ford Mustang
  • Special one-off is a spiritual descendent of the hand built, one-off and experimental cars created by Shelby American during the 1960s
  • The first car to emerge from the division, delivered in Texas

Shelby American created a one-off 1997 Mustang (Photo: Business Wire)

LAS VEGAS--()--An initiative to explore new business opportunities has resulted in a special one-off Shelby version of a 1997 Ford Mustang by Shelby American, Inc. The car was recently delivered to its owner in Central Texas after the team at Shelby American reimagined the car as if the company had built it new in 1997.

“Shelby American has an extensive history of creating experimental cars and one-off customer vehicles during the 1960s,” said Joe Conway, Co-CEO of Carroll Shelby International and CEO of Shelby American. “Because we’re still hot rodders at heart, we accepted this project in that tradition as part of our global business expansion initiative. Our goal was to create new opportunities for the company with projects that inspire the staff as we apply new technologies to other programs.”

Shelby American’s roots with these types of projects stretch back to one-off cars like the “Green Hornet” and “Little Red” from Shelby fifty years ago; the company’s history includes experimental cars like the twin turbo Ford Shelby GT500 named “Code Red” in the 2000s. An unusual opportunity from Central Texas was the latest in this line.

“Joseph Tice of Central Texas owned a 1997 Mustang GT and approached us to build a one-off car, as if there was a Shelby version offered that year,” explained Gary Patterson, president of Shelby American. “He wanted it to look OEM, but feature contemporary technology and performance. It was much more of a challenge than anyone initially thought.”

The car was in a state of partial assembly when it arrived at Shelby American in Las Vegas. First, a “creative brief” with the parameters, goals and vision for the car was created. Then a handpicked team of craftsmen, led by Vice President of Operations Vince LaViolette, completely took the car apart. No system was left untouched, from the interior to the new drivetrain, brakes, cosmetics and suspension.

“We literally took the Mustang down to the bones,” said LaViolette. “We hand built a supercharged 4.6L engine, rebuilt the transmission to handle it, transformed the suspension and added an incredible braking system. Inside and out, it became a showcase, but retains a factory feel. It even has a special badge, ‘CSM100SPECIAL’ with a serial number for the official Shelby Registry. It’s the ‘Shelby that might have been’ if we’d been turning out Ford Mustang based cars in 1997. It’s a total sleeper that can kick tail on the street and mystify people with its unique provenance.”

Delivered on May 16, 2017, to a very satisfied Mr. Tice, the “Racer Red” 1997 car includes:

Performance equipment

  • Rebuilt 4.6L V8 engine
  • P1SC Procharger with Intercooler
  • Flowmaster Exhaust
  • Eibach Suspension upgrade
  • Adjustable Clutch Quadrant
  • Short Throw Shifter
  • Performance Driveshaft

Body components

  • New Shelby paint with factory racing stripes
  • Body Appearance Package
  • Performance wheels and tires
  • New hood
  • Shelby engine badge

Interior components

  • New complete interior including seats, carpet and dash pad
  • Shelby gauge Pod

Custom programs are not new as Porsche has its “Exclusive” tailoring program and even Aston Martin has its “Q” program. But this project went much further than most carmakers.

“We built this car for someone who believed the only limits should be his imagination,” said Conway. “We’ve not yet determined if we’ll repeat this type of project again, but it certainly challenged our team. The success of this car certainly demonstrates the technical prowess and capabilities of Shelby.”

For more information about the Shelby Special Division and the company’s vehicle line, visit

About Shelby American, Inc.

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 and Daytona Coupe component vehicles; it offers the Shelby GTE, 1000, Super Snake, Shelby Terlingua Racing Team and GTS post-title packages for the 2005-2017 Ford Mustang. Shelby American also offers the Shelby Raptor, Shelby F-150 Super Snake and Shelby F-150 trucks. For more information, visit


TimePiece PR & Marketing
Scott Black, 214-520-3430 ext. 303

Release Summary

Shelby American has created a one-off, serial numbered 1997 Ford Mustang as part of their business expansion. The car was recently delivered to its owner in Central Texas.


TimePiece PR & Marketing
Scott Black, 214-520-3430 ext. 303