Story and Photography: Alex Bernstein
Last week, our friends at Shelby America invited us to take a break from the insanity at SEMA and go blast through the desert in a 2012 Shelby GT500 Super Snake. Of course, we were down with the idea. 750hp, rear wheel-drive, a big ol’ 6-speed box and some meaty tires. Unfortunately, our test mule had a hard-lived 10,500 miles on it. 2nd gear couldn’t really be engaged at a redline shift from 1st; and when you pulled off the hard 1-2 shift, my ears were met with a noise like two dentist’s drills grinding together—held up to a megaphone.
And the power… Tough as it is to believe, the car just doesn’t feel all that fast. Sure, it’ll do a burnout, but so will a stock Mustang GT. The car floats at high speeds. Around 120 mph, you have to force yourself to stay in it because the cabin starts to drone and vibrate like a ride through an incinerator. It really begins to drain your confidence around 140. And it crawls up to 160.
But really, it’s not all bad. I think the one we were handed was just heavily abused. For $30k+ on top of the price of the car, though, I think we could build one better ourselves. The Shelby GT350, for example seems like a more well rounded option. It’s meant to handle, and with the optional 650hp blower it’d probably be a good balance between straight-line grunt and twisty prowess. Here’s to next time…