Stunning Shelby GR-1 concept headed to production thanks to Superformance


2004 Ford Shelby GR-1 concept

2004 Ford Shelby GR-1 concept

What's old is new again at Superformance, but that is fine with us because in this case, we're talking about the 2004 Ford Shelby GR-1 concept car. Superformance has received official licensing rights from Ford to build the retro concept car.

Car and Driver reported Monday that Superformance CEO Lance Stander told media during a roundtable interview at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles that the GR-1 would come to life as part of the company's lineup. Specifically, Superformance and Shelby American are teaming up to develop both gasoline and electric versions of the car. 

Superformance currently builds other licensed cars, all rooted in the 1960s, including continuation Shelby Cobras, Ford GT40s, and Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sports. This is the first time Superformance will tackle a modern vehicle. 

2004 Ford Shelby GR-1 concept

2004 Ford Shelby GR-1 concept

The Shelby GR-1 concept was meant to recall the original Cobra Daytona Coupe that Carroll Shelby built and raced in 1964 and '65. Ford built the concept car during an industry-wide surge in retro-inspired designs. The Chrysler PT Cruiser, Volkswagen New Beetle, Chevy SSR, and Ford's own Thunderbird and GT all hail from this same time period.

Since the GR-1 was a concept car, we can't say with certainty that Superformance's production car will look exactly the same. However, like it has for other cars, the company will likely do its best to capture the retro vibes found in the GR-1 inside and out. Details such as powertrains for the gasoline-powered version and the electric variant are unknown, but Stander said the company wants to build a 2.0-second (0-60 mph time) Shelby.

Stander told media he's worked on the project for six years now. Ford initially rejected licensing the GR-1 to Superformance for production. Stander said he could have built a kit car, but if his company was going to build the GR-1, he wanted full authenticity from Ford. Eventually, the right people at Ford heard about his request and the project came to fruition.

2004 Ford Shelby GR-1 concept

2004 Ford Shelby GR-1 concept

Stander said the production car will debut in about two years, but a PR rep at the interview noted that the 2015 Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act must be finalized first.

When it does come to market, Stander noted that 200 special-edition cars will be offered in polished or painted aluminum like the concept car. Other cars will feature carbon-fiber bodies. A name is not finalized, either. Superformance may call it the Shelby GR-1 or choose another name based on trademarks.

Regardless of the name, we're ready for a modern-day Shelby Daytona Coupe.

 
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