2009 Mid-America Ford and Shelby Nationals
This year marked the 35th annual Mid-America Ford and Shelby Nationals event held at several locations in Tulsa, OK area. The 5-day long event included road racing at Hallett Motor Circuit, drag racing at Tulsa Raceway Park and a car show at the Southern Hills Marriott in Tulsa, OK. This was my third year covering the event, and it was also the best so far.
When I arrived on Wednesday morning, the Shelby Automobiles booth was set up and ready for business. This being the media day, they had several Shelby cars ready to be put to the test on the track by the journalists. I patiently awaited my turn to get behind the wheel of a Shelby, and finally that moment came. They said “Jefferson, why don’t you take out the Terlingua”. I obliged, thinking this would be fun.
The Terlingua Shelby is an aftermarket package assembled by Shelby Automobiles. Basically, you purchase a new 2010 V6 Mustang (yeah, I said V6) and the folks at Shelby bolt on a Paxton supercharger, 6-piston brakes, a new hood, Ford Racing suspension and add the Terlingua graphics kit. The Terlingua Mustang is a continuation of the famed Terlingua Racing Team formed by Shelby in the 1960s to compete in Trans-Am racing. The new version is as race inspired as you can imagine. The car handles incredible, and the Baer brakes will throw you through the windshield. The supercharged V6 has plenty of power, putting out more than the stock 4.6 V8 found in a Mustang GT. If you want a car that will haul ass and take corners like an F1 car, this is it.
The next car I drove I will remember forever. Shelby had brought out a couple of continuation cars, cars that are built just like they were when they were new, a Shelby Daytona coupe and a GT40. While I did not get a chance to drive the GT40, the Daytona was the highlight of the day. This is a full-on race car. Race pedals, mid-engine 427 big block, race tires, harnesses, the whole deal. The interior literally wraps around you, if you are big person (at 6’ I barely fit with a helmet on) it is a little claustrophobic. Oh well, cause when you drop the hammer going around a blind up-hill right-hand turn and the car side-steps a bit then digs in and launches you down the straight-a-way, none of that matters. It was too much fun.
I finished the day driving the new 2010 Shelby Super Snake. This 725 hp machine puts so much power to the ground, triple digit speeds are commonplace on short straight runs on the track, given the opportunity on the street, and this car would be scary fast. Taking hairpins at 60 mph is not a problem with the race-tuned suspension of the Super Snake. While the package may be a little pricey ($33,495 for the 725-hp post-title package version, that’s in addition to the $47k Shelby GT500 price tag) you couldn’t build the same performance in the same car for less.
If you ever have the opportunity to visit the Mid-America Ford and Shelby meet, do it. It will be something you never forget.