I am not sure how I ended up here. I searched for ‘famous former chicken farmers’ and this was the top of the chart. There were plenty of snakes and wild stallions inside. It is missing a fried chicken stand, as a tongue-in-cheek nod to one of the most epic American dreams ever fulfilled.
If there were an automotive Mount Rushmore, you’d probably see Mr. Shelby on it. He came from nothing, and created one of he most iconic brands and cars we Americans will ever be lucky enough to be lumped together with in our hot-mess of a mixing pot.
The Shelby American facility is south of the Vegas strip, near the airport. A short Lyft/Uber from there at a cost of $12 one-way will get you here. If Mr. Ferrari’s motto was to sell street cars to fund his racing venture, then you’ll see an unmistakable parallel to the ‘we sell merchandise to feed our mechanics’ around here.
Stepping in the building you come face to face with a massive display of Shelby ‘merch. It is mind blowing. I never knew there was this... much. Mostly everything I saw too is good quality. Shirts for $25, hats a bit cheaper, and larger magnets for a five - or so I decided to spend my hard earned green on. I also tried out the non-full VR video game they had on site. It was $15 for 5 minutes?!!! I could only manage a 1:01 around Brands Hatch... pretty bad.
The ‘tour’ of the production floor was well underway when we arrived. I’m not too sad that I missed it once I found that you’re stuck behind a pony wall (pun intended) and can’t go frolic around. I don’t know a lot about these cars after all, but I know enough to know a tour probably wouldn’t have spun around my quagmire of a mind.
In the end, this was a one hour experience, and well worth the trip to see the fruits of an American icon. I’m sure much more happens here (car shows as one of you informed me) that the Vegas locals are fortunate to experience. I now have a dream to one day come back to pick up my own Shelby. I want to be that guy on the tour that whipped out Polaroid pictures of his former GT350; a participant to the history of some bad ass cars made by a failed poultry farmer.