South Africans do love their bakkies – and the bigger the better, it seems.
“We are delighted to confirm that the order book is open for a limited number of 565 kW Shelby F-150 bakkies to satisfy the ultimate needs of South African bakkie owners,” Shelby South Africa (SA) CEO Peter Lindenberg confirmed earlier this week.
The all-new 2019 Shelby F-150 truck is based on the Ford F-150, which currently holds the crown as the world’s best-selling vehicle.
“The bakkies will be converted to right-hand drive at Hi-tech Automotive, Shelby’s approved F-150 upgrade facility, said Lindenberg.
Only 500 Shelby F150s will be built around the world, with each bakkie entered into the Shelby American Registry.
To date, Shelby SA has focused on Mustang conversions, creating the Shelby GTE, GTE Plus, Super Snake, Wide Body Super Snake and Terlingua.
Motorsport veteran Lindenberg tells Engineering News Online that Shelby SA and Shelby American have been “pleasantly surprised” at the response and sales of the Mustang, since the establishment of Shelby SA in 2015.
The company could only open its doors in South Africa once Ford started production of right-hand-drive Mustangs.
“With the success of Shelby in South Africa, we approached Shelby American for their approval of our facility to do F-150s, which, in fact, way outsell the Shelby Mustang offerings worldwide,” says Lindenberg.
“We have been overwhelmed in the last few days since the announcement of the F-150,” he adds.
“The one important differentiation with Shelby from other brands is the low volumes, and to this end Shelby SA have decided to limit delivery of both Mustang and F-150 to a maximum of four of each, per month, going forward.
“This is necessary in order to maintain the exclusivity and quality of product.”
Lindenberg says Shelby SA has “no intention or desire” to chase sales volume.
“We have sold over 40 full-on Shelby Mustangs to date – excluding minor part upgrades – and have a strong order book for these, as well as the recently announced F-150s.
“We operate in an extremely niche market and strive to deliver our customer base an ownership experience that is second to none, by ensuring that the quality of their vehicle upgrade is beyond reproach.”
According to the Shelby business model, modification (mod) shops outside of the US source the base Ford vehicle – either Mustang or F-150 – for the customer, and imports the Shelby kit of choice on the customer’s behalf.
The Shelby mod shop then completes the Shelby upgrade according to the specifications required by the customer and Shelby American.
The technicians working on the vehicles in South Africa are Shelby American trained.
The Shelby SA mod shop facility is located in Malmesbury, in the Western Cape.
It employs eight people.
The typical Shelby SA Mustang customer appears to be 100% male, aged between 40 and 60 years.
Lindenberg says Shelby SA has the rights to the Shelby range of vehicle upgrades for sub-Saharan Africa.
“We are currently dealing with enquiries from Namibia and are seriously looking at the Nigerian market.”
Shelby American is an independent performance car company in the US. The company was founded by Carroll Shelby, one of America’s greatest race car drivers.
Shelby was responsible for the creation of the famous Ford V8-powered Cobra, as well as the development of the Ford GT40.
Today Shelby American focuses on bespoke aftermarket conversions.
Shelby American has modification centres in Canada, Australia, China, the UK, Germany and South Africa.
There is a global partnership between Shelby and US car maker Ford, but Shelby SA is an independent operation, which is Shelby American approved and also has approvals from Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA), explains Lindenberg.
The F-150 Shelby
The F-150 is powered by a 565 kW Shelby engineered supercharged 5 l V8, with aluminium performance heat exchanger and an upgraded billet throttle body, upgraded high performance fuel injectors and a Shelby-tuned Borla performance exhaust system finished with dual black ceramic tips.
The enhanced Ford racing blue powder-coated blower and open air performance intake has an oversized carbon-fibre air intake tube with a high-flow filter under a dual-intake Shelby Ram Air Super Snake hood, while front fender vents assist with engine cooling.
The Shelby F-150 is based on Ford’s fully loaded US-specification F-150 Lariat Luxury, but adds 20-inch Shelby engraved alloy wheels shod with BF-Goodrich KO all-terrain tyres, with speedo and tyre sensor recalibration.
Riding on Shelby BDS suspension with rear performance traction bars, the Baja option adds an exclusive optional Shelby-engineered Fox shock system with Raptor-style 2.5-inch Fox aluminium reservoir dampers on all four wheels, featuring internal bypass technology and adjustable dual speed controls, to allow the driver to tune his or her truck from luxury-car smooth, to ideal for the track, to suited for hardcore off-road driving.
Shelby’s F-150 is set apart by a honeycomb racing grille with a Shelby snake insert atop a body colour custom front bumper and fender flares and vents.
There is a set of full body Shelby rally stripes running along the length of the truck, Shelby rocker panel graphics, hood, tailgate and bed branding, a Supercharged logo on the hood air intakes and a Shelby registry engine plaque.
Included is custom-painted rear bumper cladding and a body colour solid tonneau cover with a Shelby bed liner and black powder-coated step bars.
Inside the Shelby, there are two-tone leather upholstered seats with Shelby Snake embroidered headrests and console lid, as well as a carbon-fibre interior trim package, deep tinted windows, Shelby floor mats and a Shelby serial number dash plaque.
The Shelby F-150 comes with a three-year/50 000 km warranty.
Orders are open through Shelby SA. Price is dependent on specification, but can be expected to range from around R2.5-million to R3-million for the top of the range Baja Raptor.
Lindenberg says the F-150 Raptor is a Ford-produced vehicle on which Shelby offers a major upgrade.
“The Shelby Raptor is the highest specced F-150 available.”
Shelby SA is owned by the Dueller Group.