The Ponzi scheme used to buy those 150+ cars has been estimated to be one of the largest ones in history. The couple who ran it are right here in NorCal. The Carpoffs, whose name rhymes with rip off, stole $2.5B. Not close to the $50B+ stolen by Madoff but it's one of the biggest. He was an auto mechanic who became a solar panel salesman. Not only did he start a car collection but he sponsored a Nascar team. He ripped off Chip Ganessi for $4.3M. Sometimes if the deal sounds too good to be true it isn't true.
After returning from Road ATL to my LAS home & having an incredible time seeing you all, I spent most of the first night catching up on news. One of the articles I read was about the auction. While reading the article, I saw what appeared to be a car I wanted to buy several years ago - the Super Snake! I confirmed the Shelby serial number, it was indeed the one and the same - SS058!
Now back up nearly 20 years when the Gone in 60 Seconds remake came out with Nick Cage, Angelina Jolie, and other notables. I fell in love right then & there in the theater with Eleanor...and Angelina. I thought they were both bad to the bone. As many of you know, Carroll Shelby licensed Unique Performance to produce Eleanors/Super Snakes as did Chip Foose to produce some other vehicles. The Unique saga is well documented and we discussed this on this very Forum with Bony many years ago when they were ultimately shut down & filed Chapter 7. This is a very twisted tale but the extremely truncated version is the original 1974 - Gone in 60 Seconds movie was produced, directed, written, and stunt driven by Toby Halicki. Toby died filming Gone in 60 Second 2 and his wife, Denise ultimately controlled Eleanor & Gone in 60 Seconds. Carroll had to relinquish the Eleanor trademark he was granted by the PTO to Denise and companies who were calling their cars Eleanors were sued and lost. I digress.
Sean Sawyer joined Unique to help clean up the mess but it was too late for anyone to change their trajectory. Subsequently, he opened his own company, Revved Automotive Concepts, and he not only produced "Eleanors" that were never delivered to customers who paid for them but also performed much needed improvements on the ones that were delivered. I retained him 10+ years ago to accompany me to ATL (coincidentally) to assist me in assessing an Eleanor I was interested in. It looked good but I couldn't tolerate how it drove. Subsequently, Sean was commissioned by the then-owner of SS058 to perform over $100k in improvements. I was very interested but I was a full-time working stiff then & life got in the way. Many years later, I never forgot about SS058, Super Snakes & Eleanors.
Once I confirmed that it was indeed SS058 up for auction, I contacted Sean & Apollo to accompany me to assess this car along with the other Unique Eleanor & the Riley Eleanor. We arrived there the afternoon before the auction to preview the cars & we thought we had died & gone to automotive heaven. What an incredible collection one can amass using OPM! Here's Apollo taking a break from looking at the vast array of vehicles.
We eyed a number of vehicles, boats, and even the RV but the online bidding for many were reaching into the stratosphere. You can imagine with this many cars in one location up for auction, the immense distraction. The three of us kept going back to SS058 but we also assessed the other Eleanors and Mustangs which were all neatly lined up in one row. Very convenient. Sean & Apollo were incredibly helpful. Sean worked on the Super Snake for over a year and he knew every cubic inch of her 482 cubic inches. That's Sean standing next to her. I finally saw her in all her glory. I couldn't sleep that night.
Auction went live on Saturday at 9am and we arrived around 8:30. We should've slept in, had a two Bloody Mary breakfast & a three martini lunch, and rolled in early afternoon. As most of you know, the movie car livery was Pepper Grey with Black Stripes. Both the Riley & Unique Eleanors led the online bidding of the three cars up until the cars appeared before us. We were in the front row with Sean on my left & Apollo on my right. The Riley hammered at $206k.
The other Unique hammered at $200k
I was quite excited as SS058 appeared before us thinking that since it has always brought up the rear in terms of the bids, I might have a shot at a screaming deal. As bidding started, we laid back until the bid slowed down in the 170k range. I then jumped in. The bid quickly rose to $200k and it stalled. I thought "YES!", just as I expected. The fellow at the back of the room had other ideas. Bidding was fast & furious and quickly climbed but my hand never came down since the first time I raised it and my eyes were locked on the auctioneer. I wanted to send the message that I was not going to be denied. It seemed like a very long time but the dude in the back finally gave up.
The other bidder clearly knew what he was bidding on which was the below taken from an old website where the previous owner had it on consignment.
In the world of Mustangs, there are plenty of cars that have great street presence. And then there are cars, like this sinister Shelby Super Snake, that are wicked manifestations of high octane and pure adrenaline! Listed in the Shelby Unified Registry, and 1 of only 43 Continuation Super Snakes ever produced, this killer pony could be the ultimate big block Ford. With one twist of its key, 482 cubic inches of supercharged V8 roars to life, shattering any thinly veiled subtlety into a million pieces. When its rubber bites the pavement, a custom suspension and beefy Tremec 5-speed afford a steady diet of modern performance poseurs that's seasoned with the occasional golden age classic. And if you're looking for some pedigreed metal that crosses legendary heritage with fresh DNA, it's the stuff your dreams are made of!
Like so many things modern-era Shelby, the story of the Continuation Super Snakes is a bit of a convoluted tale. But, like so many things classic-era Shelby, that story is part of what makes the cars so cool and so collectable. Back in 2001, Shelby authorized Dallas' Unique Performance to build 400 Base and Performance GT500Es and 75 GT500E Super Snakes. Unfortunately, Unique Performance experienced major financial strain, and only 43 Super Snakes made it out of the hole. Naturally, that financial strain caused the company to cut costs and compromise quality. And while this coupe, CSE-SS058, had accumulated an initial construction cost of $171K by its June, 2006 completion date, it needed quite a bit of post-build sorting. After everything on the numbers side got settled, the car was sent to Revved Automotive Concepts for an additional $100K of work. And today, this Ford rolls as one of the coolest, fastest, most lust worthy and most exclusive Mustangs on the planet!
Given its fledgling age, youthful aesthetics and mere break-in miles, this Shelby could be considered a brilliant bundle of showroom-fresh aggression. At the leading edge of this slick coupe, clear fog lights, PIAA driving lamps and bright halogen headlights front classy billet grilles, which line an Eleanor-style fascia. At the top of those grilles, polished lanyards pin an aggressive hood in front of fresh glass that's framed in straight trim, polished wipers, bullet-style mirrors and sculpted pillar scoops. At the base of that glass, Shelby fender caps, rowdy side pipes and a Monza-style fuel filler cage traditional door handles and vivid GT500E emblems. And at the back of the car, traditional Shelby taillights center a third GT500E emblem between a color-keyed bumper a lightweight decklid and small PIAA reverse lamps.
Hoist the car's snug fitting hood and you'll find 482 cubic inches of Shelby big block that twists big horsepower into gobs of stump-pulling torque! The primary focus of Revved Automotive Concepts' careful sorting, this all-aluminum FE was sent to famed Shelby dealer Gessford Machine for a complete rebuild. At the top of the bored and stroked mill, Gessford-fabricated cold air induction funnels wind in to a Shelby-commissioned Vortech supercharger. That blower utilizes a 2.70 pulley to combine 5-6 pounds of boost with quality FAST XFI fuel injection. A resulting air/fuel mixture makes its way from a port-matched Edelbrock intake to CNC-ported Edelbrock heads, which hide a T&D rocker system and Cometic MLS gaskets under Shelby-branded valve covers. When those heads flood the cylinders, an MSD Pro-Billet distributor sequences spark between an MSD Blaster HVC coil, MSD 6BTM ignition and beefy Ford Racing plug wires. A Comp custom-grind cam pushes gases through coated, long-tube headers. A custom Be Cool radiator, mounted in a massaged support, centers a large SPAL puller fan in front of a Shelby water pump and Canton expansion tank. Billet pulleys spin cool air conditioning next to convenient power steering. There's an integrated engine oil and steering cooler system that, along with a polished master cylinder and functional Revved strut tower brace, looks right at home in the car's textured engine bay. And it all adds up to a dyno-tuned monster that makes and easy 725 horsepower!
At the bottom of this Mustang, a freshened undercarriage houses solid, undercoated floors that are bolted to a roster of top-notch components. Behind the buff FE, a RAM hydraulic clutch engages a shielded Tremec 3550 5-speed, which twists an aluminum driveshaft that's threaded to a Currie 9-inch axle and big, 3.50 gears. That rear end rolls on a tailored Unique Performance suspension, which complements Revved geometry with power rack-and-pinion steering. Braking is equally class, with beefy calipers, “SHELBY” branded Baers up front, clenching four drilled and slotted rotors. Hand-fabricated by Revved Automotive, the car's 3-inch, ceramic-coated exhaust employs throaty SpinTech mufflers. Torque shakes the ground through Shelby-branded blades, which twist 245/40ZR17 Toyo Proxes R888s in front of 315/35ZR17 Toyo Proxes R888s. And finishing touches include a deep Aviad oil pan, a quality Tilton Super Stater and a large Fuel Safe fuel cell.
Open the doors and you'll find a fully restored cockpit that mixes the best elements of Ford's Black vinyl interior with many stylish and functional upgrades. Front-and-center, “Super Snake” branded, hi-back bucket seats stretch tight leather covers under a tough roll bar and 4-point G-FORCE safety harnesses. In front of those seats, an ornate, dual-cowl dash centers Cobra-branded telemetry and satin silver trim above Old Air Products air conditioning and a color-keyed Sony head unit. Below that dash, a thin console anchors nitrous controls, a trick Shelby shifter and a Cobra-branded armrest between clean Auto Meter accessory gauges and a polished fire extinguisher. The floors are occupied by fade-free carpet, which floats themed mats beneath billet pedals. At the sides of that carpet, 'layered' door panels feature clean stainless trim and bright chrome handles. In front of the driver, a polished and wood-rimmed steering wheel laps a tilting column. And behind the passengers, a clean cargo hold leads the eye to color-keyed Sony Xplod speakers, which front a bright nitrous tank and billet battery box.
OUR SALE INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTATION AND ACCESSORIES
* A Letter of Authentication from Carroll Shelby Licensing
* Warranty paperwork from Unique Performance
* Specs from Unique Performance
* Build receipts from Revved Automotive
* Component literature
* A vanity plate that's complete with a matching frame
Storied and equally seductive, this Mustang absolutely sets the bar for top-of-the-line pony cars. If you're the kind of gearhead who demands the best, and understands that quality doesn't compromise, you're well aware of the bliss this Ford offers. Stunning to look at, thrilling to drive and exceptional to show, it's an octane-fueled masterpiece that'll remain timeless thanks to classic design and first-rate craftsmanship. So, what are you waiting for?
* 1 of only 43 GT500E Super Snakes produced / Listed in the Shelby Unified Registry
* 482 cubic inch Shelby Performance V8 / Vortech supercharger / FAST XFI fuel injection / 725 dyno-proven horsepower
* Tremec 3550 5-speed manual transmission / Hydraulic clutch
* Custom leather interior / Old Air Products air conditioning / Modern Sony audio
* Currie 9-inch rear axle / 3.50 gears
* Unique Performance suspension
* Power rack-and-pinion steering / 4-wheel disc brakes
* 17-inch Carroll Shelby wheels
* Side-exit exhaust / SpinTech mufflers
* Sale includes a Letter of Authentication from Carroll Shelby Licensing
Of course, one must have the requisite Go Baby Go button with the big NOS in the trunk.
Today good ol' Reliable picked her up and will be delivered to our garage at Spring Mountain. I'm at my HNL home and can't wait to return to LAS next week. Hope to see you at SEMA.