I picked up my Shelby on June 20th and coordinated a vacation to follow so I could go on a road trip with my new baby -- results are in.
1. I realized this car truly shines on the open road. It is afterall a GT car which I believe still stands for Grand Touring. I couldn't have picked a better car and couldn't have asked for half as much fun as I had. There was one problem I'd like to point out to any of you that have a 2013 Shelby, or maybe even all 2013s. Immediately after my 180mph sprint, a SUPER-LOUD whacking sound errupted from beneath the center console. I suspected my transmission was toast but it turns out a Ford inventory sticker/label on the drive shaft had worked itself half loose and was flapping in the wind. I believe this exact same thing happened to these guys (whom inspired me to go on my own road trip): http://www.insideline.com/ford/shelb...road-trip.html
EDIT: I just re-read the road-trip blog at the URL above. It's a great read. I just realized I shared about 800 miles of their trip and their trip was only 3 weeks before mine.
2. Recaros saved my life.
In any other seat my *** would have fallen off causing me to bleed to death.
3. Satellite Radio is actually useful.
Ever go on a road trip and have those brief moments where you just want some road music in exchange for the sound of the car and the road? Notice how you have to find a new station every hour? Well satellite gives you the same channels no matter where you go! (I'm really the last to figure this out aren't I?)
4. Who says you can't use 662hp?
Not only did I hit 180mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats, but that 631 ft/lbs was really nice for scooting around the slow cars. Any speed, any RPM, instant +30mph in -2 seconds.
5. Favorite quote (oh I wish I got this on video): A woman driving a C6 Corvette Base (not a GS or a Z06 or a ZR1) revs on me. No kidding! I'm in the middle of po-dunk Arizona and a 60 y/o woman revs on me. We both had our windows down and I was in such shock and awe that I had to look as the following dialog takes place between her and her husband next to her:
Husband: "What are you doing?"
Wife: "What? You told me this car was fast!"
Husband: "But that's a Shelby!"
Wife: "Oh... What's a Shelby?"
Same day, somewhere else in po-dunk, a man with "teeth" on his Christmas wishlist whistles, "Hot damn! A Cobra!"
To begin my trip, I took a photo of the first leg. This is from San Francisco, CA to Somewhere past Reno, NV. Not especially interesting other than it marks the beginning of my trip.
At first glance this looks a bit Fast & Furious, but in reality I was minding my own business taking the next 5 photos [BELOW]
when this Chevy-thing and a cop pull over behind me. They do their business and then the cop pulls up beside me and asks, "Nice Mustang, is that a V6?" "..." I think to myself a moment and try not to let this well placed stab show on my face and reply, "No sir, this is a 5.8L Supercharged V8!" Knowing I did nothing wrong, I felt fairly confident this statement wouldn't earn me a ticket on the spot. The cop then says to me, "Nice! What's that put down -- 500?" "No," I said, "700." He paused and then laughed and said, "Well you won't catch me behind you in this thing," as he points to his SUV. We chatted for a bit but that was the highlight. Yeah... I've started replying with the "700hp" number recently when people ask as it just sounds a lot better than 662. I feel justified in my response considering some are getting more than 600rwhp stock and if that's not enough, the car will do well past that with just a tune. But I don't want to explain the difference between HP and RWHP and what a tune can do - so I just say 700 (looking/waiting/hoping for acceptance).
My bright green riding companion, Abraham. My girlfriend gave him to me just before my trip -- we'd just seen Abraham Lincoln Vampire Killer, so the name seemed a good choice at the time.
Love that ***. Taken while the cop was doing his thing in photo #2.
Taken while the cop was doing his thing in photo #2.
Still pretty clean at this point. Taken while the cop was doing his thing in photo #2.
Can you believe it? 27mpg! Yes I was driving like a grandma in 6th gear at 70mph ~1300rpm but that's super impressive for a 5.8L SC. I made less of an effort the remainder of the trip and still averaged about 21mpg-ish over the entire trip including many moments of spirited driving.
I thought that was cute.
Going for 200mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats - chickened out at 180
Not as easy as it looks. The car is very stable at 180 (not that I have any basis for comparison), but the salt flats are slipery and your mind begins to drift onto images of tires exploding and cars flipping and that sort... I wasn't flooring it, I wasn't trying to get there fast, just trying to get there and live. Jeremy Clarkson was here about a year ago. He did 176mph in his ZR1.
Nope that's not some photoshop HDR, that's the sun setting behind my Shelby. Oh and Abraham standing guard in case any Vamps show up.
Same as photo #9 but this time my mirror is eclipsing the sun. Abraham still standing guard but doing something obscene so I cropped him out.
I will collect more bugs before the trip is over. As it is I believe I already have enouth parts to assemble a BrundleFly costume.
Oh CRAP! I brought 2 x 5 gallon gas cans in case of emergency. I noticed the cans would swell up due to heat and atmospheric pressure change, so as a routine I would let the pressure out every stop. Well apparently that wasn't frequent enough, one of them leaked probably a 1/2 cup worth onto my trunk carpet, so I decided to empty 1 gallon from each of them into my gas tank to allow more room for the gas to expand. It worked, I didn't have the problem again, so it should be noted that a 5 gallon gas can should only hold 4 gallons on a long road trip. Who'd have thought? In any case, it turned out I never needed any of that emergency gas as my Shelby was getting more than 300 miles per tank. Abraham thought he saw Eric Northman.
Echo Resevoir as my Shelby saw it. This is noteworthy because I had named my Shelby "Mr. Eko" the day before. Why "Mr. Eko" you ask? Because like the "Lost" character, my Shelby is also a black rightous badass. I know, Isn't that funny?
Echo Resevoir as my camera saw it. Yes, TOTALLY photoshopped.
Chicken? Seeing how powerful my Shelby is, I thought it to be a worthy adversary to a semi-truck. Haha no, actually this truck was being towed ***-first by another truck. I thought it'd make a funny photo.
Looks like I'm heading east. Quick camera photo of the beautiful sunset behind me.
I slept in my car that night. I could hardly call it sleep or even a night. For some reason, every hotel within a lightyear of Denver, CO was fully booked so I - and many others - slept in their cars at a rest stop. After about 16 hours of driving, I pulled in about 3am and probably napped for a good hour before setting of for another 16 hours of driving; caffeine was my friend. This photo is about 4am when the sun was barely coming up. It's a beautiful time to drive through the mountains.
Between the high altitude, high temps, and crap gas, my poor Shelby needed some real food. The car faired very well, no problems at all, except I could tell the computer had to adjust the timing to compensate. I was at 7000-8000ft, it was over 100 degrees and I swear that 91 octane was really 87. Still despite mountain-land's efforts, the Shelby rocked on, but guessing maybe only 75% power? The octane booster helped a lot but not back to 100% until I got into the lower elevation. Once I started making my way below 3000ft I could REALLY feel the car's power come back.
Passed by the Grand Canyon so I made a stop. Abraham made friends with Smokey Bear. "Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires" I dont know if you can see bu thte sign, "Today's Fire Danger" indicates "Extreme" hahaha! Smokey Bear got fat.
I'm about 2250 miles into my trip at this point. I started with about 450 on the odometer and now I'm at 27xx. Average mpg = 21. I was really putting my foot down too. Plus I think if the elevation, temps and bad gas weren't part of the equation, it might have been even better.
WTF? I thought this car was supposed to be rare-ish? These cars have only been out a month and yet I run into an exact duplicate in po-dunk Arizona? We were both in such shock that we felt the universe would punish us if we didn't heed it's obvious message to photograph the two cars together. His car was about the same age, he was also on a road trip from Minnesota and he had about 2400 miles on his vs my 2700. He had the black stripes but didn't want them, I didn't have them but wanted them hahaha. Both of us had a 2011 Mustang GT as a previous car -- CRAZY! He didn't have the SVT or Track packages though. It should be noted that while these two cars were parked next to eachother, a tear in space-time began to open leaving a portal to an unknown destination. It is also noteworthy that the exact same thing seems to happen every time I park next to a Prius.
Not nearly as impressive looking as it felt...
Having some fun in the dirt. It sure felt like the rear was sliding around a lot more than it looks in this video. I guess I have some practicing to do.
Dirty... After cleaning the car this morning, I realized I suffered some damage to the front bumper. Some rock chips and permanent bug guts stains which may buff out. Still worth it, but damnit I wish I had gotten the clear bra put on the front before my road trip.
Still dirt in my wheels hahaha