The Shelby Series 1 began production in 1999. It was the first vehicle that Carroll Shelby designed and built from the ground up. Carroll, and his team began designing the Series 1 in 1994. The Shelby Series 1 was sold up to 2004 with a total of 249 units.
Initially, Shelby American Inc. planned on building 500 examples of the Series 1. The original plans called for a carbon fiber body, 500hp, rear C5 Corvette trans-axle, and a sub 2,700 lb weight. Having to deal with EPA and other federal requirements, the engine choice ended up being a variant from the Oldsmobile Aurora instead of the modified Oldsmobile engine from the Indy Car Racing League (that was originally planned for the car). Prior to production, several customers preordered their cars while putting down substantial deposits. The initial production faced delays while the anticipated performance changes caused some to go down legal avenues for the return of their deposits.
The Venture Corporation purchased Shelby American Inc during the Series 1 production. After a period of time, the Venture Corporation filed for bankruptcy. Carroll Shelby started a new company and purchased the Series 1 assets back for a minimal amount.
Shelby offered the Series 1 in naturally aspirated and supercharged versions. Modified from the Oldsmobile Aurora 4.0L DOHC V8, the naturally aspirated version produced 320 hp @6500 rpm and 290 ft-lbs of torque @5000 rpm. The supercharged model came with a centrifugal Vortec that rasied the output to 450 hp. The supercharged cars came equipped with upgraded hardware such as a heavier duty clutch and brakes etc. Both versions were fitted with a modified ZF 6-speed manual trans-axle.
Side Note: The Oldsmobile Aurora was produced from 1995-2003. The 32V 4.0L DOHC V8 in the Aurora produced 250 hp and made 260 ft-lbs of torque.
The interior features components from production GM vehicles. The gauge cluster and climate control buttons are from the Pontiac Firebird. It included the infamous Monsoon radio system that came in some GM vehicles. The exterior door handles are from the C5 Corvette.
Carroll Shelby nailed it with an incredible stance. The front wheels are 18×10 and the rear is 18×12. It has 265/40 ZR-18 tires on the front and 315/40 ZR-18s on the rear.
Shelby Series 1 Performance Stats
- 0-60 mph: 4.4 seconds
- Top speed: 170 mph
- 1/4 mile: 12.8 seconds @112 mph
- 0-60 mph: 3.7 seconds
- Top speed: 170 mph +/-
- 1/4 mile: 12.0 seconds +/-
Shelby American announced that they would be building a new Series 1 for purchase. The new Series 1 will be sold as the Series 2 because it has several modern upgrades. Unfortunately, only a handful of the series 2 will be made per year. A Series 2 with carbon fiber body parts starts around $350,000. One with a handbuilt all-aluminum body starts around $850,000.