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Rick's ( Shelby#18) Super Snake 427 Vert Build

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Rick: Come on now, this is not a shocker, you are known as the " Ford GT guy, always smiling". When I first heard about you years ago, I was told "look for the guy always smiling" that was my first remembrance of you, and I will never forget it!! Rob (Grabber) was discussing his face situation and how kind you were to him. That will always be my first impression besides having gravel thrown all over me when Alfredo went off the track in the F GT and showered me with a spray of rocks..hehe... also met with you when the SS was on the trailer at a gas station and it took forever to fill with gas...a month later, my car (my 08 GT 500) started having the same problem....now fixed on your car and mine that went to Canada...If you plan to hang the plate for Minnesota (NOT needed in CA for out of state cars) off the "bull ring'' I should cut up your plate now as it is weighing down the trunk anyway, this way you wont do it, block your heat exchanger and ruin the lines of the car...I promise to recycle to save the environment...or put the shavings in a green approved baggy....LOL .


Dan, Greg and Scott: Thank you for responding to my posts as always. At least one of you doesn't have the upgrades I did for you in your signature...busting chops...:)


I went to sleep for 2 hours then woke up, as I didn't feel I was done with things. I say things, because Rick's SS was finished this afternoon (Friday) and pictures had not been posed yet, Ken's car was done yesterday and I have multiple questions I haven't got a minute to answer yet in his thread, and SPEC install # 80 was finished today along with RBST, shifter and springs and I haven't started a thread yet on it. Every day this week it is light out before I get to go to sleep for my night...


Here are the final detailed shots of Rick's Super Snake all detailed and ready for him to exchange for his 40th, Masterpiece is now covered in plastic and waiting for his father to retrieve ....Enjoy...






























Have 12 more...will post when I can...



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Hey Alex, another wonderful job I see. Are you going to start producing the 302 side pipes? I bet they will take off like hot cakes.

Looks awesome. Nice work.   Now, when can we hear that exhaust?

The SS really, really looks fantastic...........but that's always been the case with work completed by Alex and his team.



You're a blessed man Rick and I'm blessed knowing you my friend.

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Wow Alex, what a awesome post to wake up to. If I didn't already have a 50th b-day party for a fellow Shelby owner, and a dance recital later I'd be on my way out there. As it is I might have the oportunity to have the 40th trailered out, and hitch a ride, so I can drive the SS back. :yahoo:

Please don't destroy the license plate. When the car does go back to MN., I will need it for the annual Misquito eradication drive.


Sorry Dan,

I was doing my post before you posted yours. With my daughters early b-day party / sleepover with her friends, it took me awhile to complete this post. Seeing as they don't all wake up at one time and want this and that the post took me over 20 minutes to complete. (and again it took another 20 minutes to complete this edit) The feeling is mutual with both you and your wife. I'm hoping we can hook up this summer.

Edited by SHELBY#18
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Thank you Dan and Rick for your comments, as always!! :yahoo:


You know I was just kidding about cutting up the plate, of course....LOL...plate and hideous bracket are in the trunk.....hehe. Hope the B-day party and recital were fun...


Another day where I came home from the shop after a 110+ degree day, had dinner, had a shower, then fell asleep checking emails...I do this quite often, then wake up at around 2am and can't fall back to sleep for a few hours...I figured I would use this time to catch up on TS as I haven't gone on in a few days and update my threads.


Talked to Rick today (Monday) and he is picking up the SS Tuesday (later today for me now)....Wooo Hooo...Can't wait to see the smile!!! Then we will discuss the route we are going to take on the 40th. I uncovered the SS and put it back on the lift this afternoon so Rick can see in person all the stuff we did before he drives it. New Shelby/Disney bra was re-installed at this time too.


Here are the remaining pictures from last week after the car was detailed....




















Call me when you are on your way Rick, and drive safe.... :shift:



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Alex says I have a famous smile. Well, I picked up the car yesterday and Alex made sure I was aware of it. First off those sound clips suck! The car sounds way better than those clips. Alex, you should just delete them. :rolleyes:

I drove the 40th in even though I wish to keep the mileage down on that one. I drove it so I could better compare the two cars. I also managed to make it to 1,000 miles in 5 years, Alex documented it. :yahoo:

Back to the SS. When I arrived Tom was doing the last detailing of the car up on the lift. Qtips no less. I got my first look underneath of a car that you would be able to eat off of. Spotless in every way. The exhaust work is fantastic, and is what attracts the eye first. Suspension mods, rear member, drive shaft all nicely done.

When it came down, we looked over the engine work. Again spotless, and nicely done.

Alex then turned it on and opened / closed the side exhaust while in the building. Soooo Cool! It's hard to describe what it compares to. But when he took it past me at 2,500 & 3,500 rpm with the side open on the street, man did that car sound different.

My turn to drive. The clutch, nice and smooth. Smoother than the original. The short throw shifter took some getting used to but I love it. It's has a very positive engagement to it that the previous set up didn't have. The power, I love power! ( I still might add more when I've grown complacent with this set up)

The sound with the exhaust closed and the windows closed at idle. Very quiet. With the side exhaust open, a deeper note but again not enough so you can't have a conversation. Windows open probably reduces the ability to hear by half when cruising. When you become aggressive with the throttle thats when it really makes a difference, you and everyone else can't help but notice.

The new suspension does keep the power upgrades under control, and is way smoother on the freeway than the what Shelby had put in.

I'm very happy with the build quality, the choices of the mods, and the attention to detail. Now its time to enjoy and learn the nuances of this beast! Give me a few more days. (Alex is a stickler for that 300 mile break-in.)


Next up the 40th....

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Thank you for the fantastic testimonial, and comments on the individual systems changed, Rick. :happy feet: I knew you would love the car, and got to see your famous smile from ear to ear while you were here. :D

You're right the exhaust sound clips I posted for others to hear, don't do the sound justice at all. It is music to the ears in person and in the car. In fact, when you drove the car away yesterday, it was the first time i got to hear it myself with someone else driving it as I never let anyone drive your car while it was here!! With the cut-outs open, I could hear you all the way to HWY 111!!! LOL Not going to delete the sound clips though, as they took a period of 4 hours to do, then another few hours to load and post. Did them for those that asked for them, then they don't respond in this thread... :hysterical:


When Rick arrived, his 40th was at 999.6 miles...so less than 200 miles per year...we took a picture as we drove together in it when it turned exactly 1000.0 I will post a full thread on that car when the parts arrive. Being that it is the 18th GT500 built, and one of the 1st 40th's built, with all sorts of cool markings and signatures on it, we are going to take a different approach on it, so you all will have to stay tuned and see the new thread when I start it. I am excited to do something completely different.


Now go out and put another 200 miles on her, then beat on it Rick!! preferably before you go back to Minnesota. Wish I'd get to see the smile again the first time you do....hehe


I ordered the suspension parts for the 40th already as well as the suspension parts for Ben's car (Green Mojave) SPEC clutch and the misc from Ford ( CSC, pilot bearing and blue lube) will be ordered tomorrow and I will price out the different tires.



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LOL...thanks Alfredo!! For those of you that don't know Alfredo, he is Ricks left hand man/driver at the Bash's of Rick's Ford GT's and Shelby's...


I am glad you like the results!!! I look forward to seeing you at the next BASH....See if Rick will let you drive the SS to see the differences (if you haven't already) as I know you drove it back from the BASH this year in the downpour...I love hearing the differences....please crack the whip and make sure our buddy Rick drives the SS to break in the clutch and then drives it hard....you can be my " inside connection" :happy feet:



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  • 5 months later...

And a few more of the exhaust cut-outs that I am very proud of. This has never been done before on a GT500, so Rick has the only GT500 in existence with long tube headers, Boss 302 side exit exhaust made to work on a convertible, and electric cut outs!!





I know a guy that has done a few of these on GT500's. :salute: What was fun to watch was how you did it. You mentioned you had to 'tweak' the pipes in order to get the QTP setup to work. I could see that was going to happen before you got them. That was something I had to play by ear as well, as QTP hadn't released the completed kit yet but I managed to convince them to send me a pair instead of waiting for instructions to be included, etc. I guess no matter how you do it, the Boss pipes really add to the experience. They offer a growl that no other conventional system can.


Alex, your work is first rate. The attention to detail, the cleanliness, etc, just what a caring S197 owner would want. Keep up the good work!



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  • 1 month later...

Have Rick's Super Snake back for a few more updates and some painting. His radio also had the all too common "CD Error", so I sent it out to have the laser updated to the newer version that doesn't have any issues.


The engine box and driver's fender had some scratches and pits and the underside of the hood had some rubbing issues, so we clearanced it and repainted it too. My painter took care of it all as he is an expert at blending, then we added a few more bling items...














Now the car is back in storage....Needs a full detail and then it is ready to go. Rick hasn't washed it since I had it before Terlingua....so 3K+ miles and 176 MPH with the top down, it needs a good detailing...LOL



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