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1997 Mustang GT - One Off Build by SAI in 2017 CSM: 100Special

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Back in May 2017 Shelby American built a one-off customer owned vehicle from a used 1997 Ford Mustang GT as the base vehicle. This one of one vehicle was built to showcase the talent currently in place at Shelby American and to show what might have been if Shelby American was modifying Ford Mustang's back in 1997.


1997 Mustang CSM 100Special.jpg

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Below is the text from the SAI press release:


LAS VEGAS – June 8, 2017 – An initiative to explore new business opportunities has resulted in a special one-off Shelby version of a 1997 Ford Mustang by Shelby American, Inc. The car was recently delivered to its owner in Central Texas after the team at Shelby American reimagined the car as if the company had built it new in 1997.

“Shelby American has an extensive history of creating experimental cars and one-off customer vehicles during the 1960s,” said Joe Conway, Co-CEO of Carroll Shelby International and CEO of Shelby American. “Because we’re still hot rodders at heart, we accepted this project in that tradition as part of our global business expansion initiative. Our goal was to create new opportunities for the company with projects that inspire the staff as we apply new technologies to other programs.”

Shelby American’s roots with these types of projects stretch back to one-off cars like the “Green Hornet” and “Little Red” from Shelby fifty years ago; the company’s history includes experimental cars like the twin turbo Ford Shelby GT500 named “Code Red” in the 2000’s. An unusual opportunity from Central Texas was the latest in this line.

“Joseph Tice of Central Texas owned a 1997 Mustang GT and approached us to build a one-off car, as if there was a Shelby version offered that year,” explained Gary Patterson, president of Shelby American. “He wanted it to look OEM, but feature contemporary technology and performance. It was much more of a challenge than anyone initially thought.

The car was in a state of partial assembly when it arrived at Shelby American in Las Vegas. First, a “creative brief” with the parameters, goals and vision for the car was created. Then a handpicked team of craftsmen, led by Vice President of Operations Vince LaViolette, completely took the car apart. No system was left untouched, from the interior to the new drivetrain, brakes, cosmetics and suspension.

“We literally took the Mustang down to the bones,” said LaViolette. “We hand built a supercharged 4.6L engine, rebuilt the transmission to handle it, transformed the suspension and added an incredible braking system. Inside and out, it became a showcase, but retains a factory feel. It even has a special badge, ‘CSM100SPECIAL’ with a serial number for the official Shelby Registry. It’s the ‘Shelby that might have been’ if we’d been turning out Ford Mustang based cars in 1997. It’s a total sleeper that can kick tail on the street and mystify people with its unique provenance.”

Delivered on May 16, 2017, to a very satisfied Mr. Tice, the “Racer Red” 1997 car includes:


Performance equipment

Rebuilt 4.6L V8 engine

P1SC Procharger with Intercooler

Flowmaster Exhaust

Eibach Suspension upgrade

Adjustable Clutch Quadrant

Short Throw Shifter

Performance Driveshaft



Body components

New Shelby paint with factory racing stripes

Body Appearance Package

Performance wheels and tires

New hood

Shelby engine badge



Interior components

New complete interior including seats, carpet and dash pad

Shelby gauge Pod


Custom programs are not new as Porsche has its “Exclusive” tailoring program and even Aston Martin has its “Q” program. But this project went much further than most carmakers.


“We built this car for someone who believed the only limits should be his imagination,” said Conway. “We’ve not yet determined if we’ll repeat this type of project again, but it certainly challenged our team. The success of this car certainly demonstrates the technical prowess and capabilities of Shelby.”

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7 hours ago, 08SGT1234 said:

Come on Steven, you can't start a thread like this without MORE pictures! :camera:

Thread was started with the hopes it would slow down the phone calls to Shelby American regarding the car. I'm being told the car is being advertised as a "1997 Shelby" which has created some commotion in the SN95 world.

This 1997 Ford Mustang was modified by Shelby American 20 years later in 2017 and should never be considered as a Shelby Mustang built in 1997.


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