By: Eric Davison .
Played out on the covers of Motor Trend, Automobile, and AutoWeek, the saga of the Shelby Series 1 was one of delays, price increases, and unfulfilled promises. Within the walls of Shelby American, the story was even more astonishing.
What Carroll Shelby wanted was a race car for the street—a lightweight, high-powered, carbon fiber masterpiece of technology and speed. What he got was an automotive embodiment of Murphy's law. A disappointing partnership with Oldsmobile, a debilitating corporate takeover, irate customers, and lawsuits were among the unending series of catastrophes that came to haunt Carroll Shelby's would-be supercar.
Author Eric Davison worked for Shelby American from the time when the car was merely a gleam in Shelby's eye, until nearly all 250 were sold. In Snake Bit, Davison takes you behind the scenes as the Series 1 concept was conceived, pitched, and engineered. You'll get a peek behind the curtain at late- 1990s General Motors politics as Shelby American struggled to get Oldsmobile's support for the project. You'll meet the colorful cast of Series 1 players, from the talented but overworked engineers, to the stalwart and sometimes befuddled salespeople, to the hard-charging and panic-inducing managers. It all adds up to the most compelling look inside the auto industry since James Schefter's All Corvettes are Red.