The modern-day muscle car. By Matt DeLorenzo • Photos by Jeff Allen December 2007 If a lot is good, then more must be better. At least that's the conclusion I've drawn for the impetus behind Carroll Shelby's latest project, the Super Snake, a 605-bhp after-title conversion of the Mustang Shelby GT500. Boasting 50 more horses than the limited-run GT500 KR (King of the Road), which launches early next year, the Super Snake allows owners of GT500s (yes, the same car that continues to sell over the dealer sticker of $41,930 more than a year after its release) to claim their own share of road kingdom for an additional $28,000. The aftermarket changes to take the GT500 to Super Snake status include a long list of Ford Racing parts, as well as proprietary Shelby bits to build a unique-looking, fully warranted alternative to the 600-bhp Dodge Viper, albeit with some extra weight, a back seat and a live rear axle. If you're not averse to risk-taking, you can go with an even more powerful non-Ford-specified blower with no warranty that will push the Super Snake's 5.4-liter V-8 to 725-plus bhp. The modifications are completed either at Shelby Automobiles' Las Vegas headquarters or the factory-approved modification center at Tasca Ford in Cranston, Rhode Island, and include a new fiberglass hood with functioning scoop, a revamped front fascia with additional brake cooling ducts, carbon-fiber front splitter and rocker panels, a choice of black-riveted C-pillar window closeouts or body-colored side scoops, matte-black striping and larger brakes with front 6-piston calipers developed in conjunction with Baer. The car also benefits from adjustable shocks, stiffer springs, larger-diameter anti-roll bars and a Borla exhaust. Alcoa 20-in. forged alloy wheels are fitted with Pirelli P Zero tires measuring P275/35ZR-20 in the rear and P255/35ZR-20 up front. Inside, there are auxiliary pressure gauges for supercharger boost, fuel and oil mounted atop the instrument panel, the requisite dash plaque with unique serial number and more Shelby and Super Snake emblazoned and embroidered bits than you can shake a stick at. Overall, the quality of the workmanship is top-notch — this isn't your ordinary dealer-installed dress-up kit. The look, especially in our test car's orange paint scheme with black striping, is strong, upping the macho quotient from the GT500 considerably. The 20-in. wheels fill the flared arches, and the chin spoiler and rocker panels add to the Super Snake's hunkered-down appearance. Even though the Mustang, upon which the Super Snake is based, is a thoroughly modern automobile (okay, it does still have a live rear axle), the effect of Shelby's magic turns the GT500 cum Super Snake into a wayback machine that recalls the glory days of the early 1970s before the muscle car bubble burst. Leave the stereo off, forget the cruise control and the automatic headlamps; the Super Snake is about gobs of power, smoky burnouts and enough steady-state gear whine from the 3.73 final drive (which resulted in an 80-dBA70-mph reading) to make normal cabin conversation nigh impossible. Of course, that sort of stuff is not without its charm. It is an understatement to say that the Super Snake is a beast. The engine not only makes 605 bhp, but also 590 lb.-ft. of torque (the Shelby-provided dynamometer data put actual at-wheel output at 567 bhp and torque at 533 lb.-ft.). That surfeit of motive force easily overwhelms the rear tires. During our acceleration runs, the best we could post was a 0–60-mph time of 4.4 seconds with massive wheelspin in the first two gears. Once underway, though, watch out. The Super Snake bit off the quarter mile in 12.5 sec. at 119.9 mph. By comparison, the stock GT500 ran a 0–60 mph of 4.6 sec. and a quarter-mile time of 12.8 sec.