Super Snakes, Oh My! We Checked out Shelby’s Las Vegas Operation

If you miss the Shelby GT350 or want something other than the latest Ford Mustang Shelby GT500s, you should check out Shelby American’s Las Vegas operation. The renowned name in performance builds supercharged special edition cars like Shelby Super Snakes on-premises. We got a tour of the Las Vegas site to check out some of the latest Shelbys and an interview with Shelby President Gary Patterson and Vice President of Operations Vince LaViolette. 

What is a Shelby Super Snake?

The Shelby Super Snake is a high-performance custom build that only Shelby American will produce for those who commission them. However, these cars aren’t your father’s Shelby GT; these are supercharged cruise missiles with massive horsepower figures. Shelby says the S550-based Super Snakes produce nothing short of 825 horsepower. That’s no easy feat; Shelby uses a Whipple-sourced supercharger on a 5.0L V8 to make that power. 

A Shelby Super Snake goes under the knife to prove that Shelby American Las Vegas can build legacy muscle cars.
A Shelby Mustang build | Shelby American

That’s not all; the American builder endows each Super Snake with track-ready components like Shelby’s extreme cooling package and a Brembo-derived brake setup. We got the chance to visit Shelby American’s Las Vegas operation and check out Shelby Super Snakes in various states of completion. We saw everything from front-end off-Mustang builds to finished F-150 Super Snake trucks. It’s quite the spectacle.

Many Shelby cars and trucks are on the floor of the factory.
Shelby vehicles in Las Vegas | Shelby American

Can you order your own Shelby Super Snake?

You can commission a Super Snake of your own, and Shelby American will oblige. That, or you can keep your eyes peeled for a special edition Shelby. One such special edition Super Snake is the “Wings of Pride” Shelby Super Snake Speedster, a one-of-a-kind Air Force Thunderbirds tribute car. 

Vince LaViolette, the Vice President of Operations at Shelby American, introduced us to the red, white, and blue monster. “We wanted to do a couple of cars in the Air Force theme,” he told MotorBiscuit. However, the Wings of Pride car is not just an expression of what Shelby can do with supercharged V8 power and widebody modifications; it’s a charity car. 

“We’ve done a couple cars so far for the Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City,” LaViolette told us. This one is no different; LaViolette and the Shelby team are offering up the car in a charity sweepstakes. 

The Shelby Super Snake Speedster "Wings of Pride" is a special edition from Shelby American Las Vegas.
The “Wings of Pride” Shelby Super Snake Speedster | Shelby American

What other special edition cars does Shelby produce?

Shelby currently makes many cars, trucks, and even a Shelby-enhanced Ford Mustang Mach-E. In addition to the Super Snake, Mustang fans can check out the “SE” versions of the GT350 and GT500. Moreover, Shelby’s long-standing partnership with Hertz resulted in gold-adorned Mustangs like the Shelby GT500H and GT-H. 

Gary Patterson, the President of Shelby American, says that special edition cars like the tire-shredding GT500 “CODE RED” sometimes sell out in one day. However, Shelby will undoubtedly produce newer, somehow faster machines in the future. “Stay tuned… we’re looking out the windshield, not the rearview mirror,” Patterson told us. Be sure to subscribe to MotorBiscuit on YouTube to keep up with the latest behind-the-scenes automotive content!


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