In April of this year, Shelby Automobiles, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Carroll Shelby International Inc., (CSBI.PK) and legendary Terlingua Team member # 2 Bill Neale returned the Terlingua Racing Team to the spotlight. Today the Terlingua team announced a series of vehicles and products for the grassroots racing community that live up to the Terlingua Racing legend. Ranging from a high performance package for Ford Mustangs to special edition Shelby Cobra, the program was introduced during a press conference at the 2007 SEMA show.
“We formed the Shelby Terlingua Racing Team to thumb our nose at the stubborn, old racing establishment, win races and more importantly have fun,” noted Shelby Automobiles Founder Carroll Shelby. “That rowdy lifestyle became as popular as the cars we raced. In fact, our ’bunny’ appealed to more people than those at the Playboy mansion. Now we’re passing the Terlingua Racing Team torch to new generation with products and vehicle packages that bring back that anti-establishment attitude so they can carve out their own legends.”
During the press conference, Mr. Neale and the Shelby Automobiles team unveiled three vehicles that had been brought up to Terlingua Racing Team specifications. A 2008 V6 Ford Mustang, a 1965 427 Shelby Cobra and a 1967 Ford Mustang were displayed in Terlingua state of tune.
The Terlingua Racing Team package for the V6 Ford Mustang includes serious performance enhancements and striking visual cues. The hot rod features significant improvements to the handling and braking capabilities that were developed with partners like Ford Racing; an optional supercharger will crank out 375 horsepower. The coupe sports a deep draw hood, 20” anthracite “Razor” wheels and a host styling changes including the famous Terlingua rabbit. The package will be applied, with a Shelby serial number, by official factory mod shops including the one at Shelby’s Las Vegas facility. The retail base package price is estimated at about $7,995
“We wanted to create a V6 Terlingua Racing Team Mustang to offer young people a big bang for their buck,” added Bill Neale. “With its great power-to-weight ratio and superior handling, the car is perfect for drifting, drag racing and lapping the road course. The entry level car will give more people an opportunity to enjoy the thrill of competition.”
For “old school” Terlingua Racing Team fans, Shelby Automobiles and Neale also introduced a 1967 Terlingua continuation model Mustang that was revamped with modern technology. On the exterior, the car looks like the vintage 1967 Trans Am race car driven by Jerry Titus and Ken Miles; under the sheet metal, it is serious new age performance. From the authentic paint scheme to the 525 horsepower 408 c.i.d engine, the car is all business. Only a few of these cars, with a MSRP beginning at approximately $99,500, will be built annually under contract by Keith Craft Motorsports. Each will receive a Shelby serial number that will be registered in an official Shelby Automobiles registry.
“Because every Shelby car and product we build has a bit of Cobra DNA in it, we’re working on a Terlingua Racing Team package for 427 and 289 Cobras,” explained Shelby Automobiles President Amy Boylan. “We’re developing a special package that will turn up the performance a notch as well. We’ll announce the final content and pricing on these models by Carroll’s birthday in January 2008.”
The Terlingua Racing Team story is the stuff of legend. Its roots began when Ford Motor Company asked Carroll Shelby to turn its Mustang into a race winner. His team succeeded with a competition version of the Shelby GT350. About that time, Shelby and a few friends were enjoying “the Rat Pack” lifestyle in the Texas ghost town of Terlingua. Their parties and competitive attitude are legendary as they had everyone from Pancho Villa to Steve McQueen to join the group. To symbolize their philosophy, Neale designed “Lucifer”, the black and yellow a logo with a rabbit holding his paw in the air.
Ken Miles was the first to put the ’prancing rabbit’ in the winner’s circle a victory at Green Valley Raceway in 1965. When the logo became a “Gawdawful Yellow” livery for the 1967 Shelby Trans Am car, the philosophy really caught fire. When Shelby ceased production in 1970, drivers put the heraldry on other vehicles.
“In addition to the Terlingua Racing Team packages, we plan to offer parts, memorabilia, licensed goods and organize special events,” noted Ms. Boylan. “We’re going to thumb our nose again at the seriousness of racing and give young drag racers, drifters and road racers a way to have their fair share of the fun.”