Then came the big question: Is it a spiritual successor to the GT350 R? "Yes," he replied, "but you don't have to manhandle it like the original R. That car is almost brutal; you have to muscle it around. This has the same balance and feel, and has that thoroughbred backing. It is docile enough that you could take it on a date. But if you wanted to take it to the track, it has that character too."
On the drive home, I couldn't help but reflect on how the whole Shelby story had come full circle since Shelby American settled in Las Vegas. Just as in the old days, Carroll has surrounded himself with talented lieutenants, some who have worked with him for more years than any of the employees during the 1960s.
"We are a small company that I never wanted to get large," Carroll told me when we were comparing the two eras. "Shelby has the same kind of passion today with different employees than it had in the 1960s. It's different people with the same passion.
"Our passion is trying to build something in a business that a thousand people have tried and very few have ever succeeded in-to build something nobody else can build in a short period of time."
And now, thanks to the "Speed Shop," Shelby American can build you literally anything you can imagine. Including a spiritual street successor to the GT350 R.