The Shelby Museum

Las Vegas is known for sucking cash out of your pockets. There’s lots to do there, but everything costs. Well…almost everything. I found three excellent carguy things to do while in Vegas that don’t cost a dime: the Counts Kustoms car museum, The Car Collection at the Linq Hotel & Casino, and the Carroll Shelby Museum. All were free of charge and all were absolutely spectacular. The Shelby Museum, as it is referred to in common parlance, is actually named the Shelby Heritage Center…and it isn’t really a museum. But it is free., and better than that, it’s the actual shop where the Shelby team built some 50 Continuation Cobras per year, and modify another 450-or-so customer cars, including their wicked 750-horsepower Super Snake.

Not only is admission to the hallowed ground of Carroll Shelby’s actual shop, but they offer 2 free tours a day, at 10:30am and 1:00 pm weekdays, and one tour on Saturday at 10:30. They’re closed on Sunday. But even if you miss the tour, you can literally walk right into the shop area, contained by a walled ‘catwalk’ along one wall of the shop. Walking its length gives you a pretty good look at much of the shop and most of the incredible cars parked here and there, or up on the lifts. I was there on a Saturday and so no one was working. But, they also sell cars here, and of course, sell parts and upgrade services to customers for their cars. While I was there, I saw a customer picking up his metallic blue 2017 Shelby Super Snake. Lucky guy.

ABOVE: The Shelby Museum is an actual restoration shop, among other things, restoring and/or repairing customer-owned Shelby Cobras, Mustangs, and whatever else Shelby built.
BELOW: A Shelby Cobra Daytona coupe with the paint removed and the aluminum skin polished.

ABOVE: A Shelby Series 1, powered by an Oldsmobile Aurora DOHC V8, built by Shelby-American from 1999 to 2005. It was the only complete car that Shelby built from scratch.
BELOW: Customer cars lined up are (L-R): late-80s Dodge Daytona Shelby; ’68 Shelby GT350 or GT500 convertible (red); ’68 Shelby GT350 or GT500 fastback; ’05-’08 Shelby Mustang.

ABOVE: While I was there, this guy took delivery on the gorgeous Shelby GT500 Super Snake. The supercharged engine makes over 750 horsepower. I overheard the salesman saying that a 1,000-horsepower engine kit was in the making. What, 750 horses isn’t enough?
BELOW: Another new Shelby Super Snake.

ABOVE: While the shop tour is free, it’s tough to get through their amazing gift store without buying something. As well you should. It’s the least we can do to support this awesome opportunity to ‘see behind the curtain’ at one of the true automotive legends’ actual shop. I bought a bunch of t-shirts and a cool diecast model of a FE427 engine. Just what I need.
BELOW: It’s not all t-shirts and hoodies. Shelby being Shelby, they’re serious about cars. You can buy all sorts of high-performance Shelby parts including lightweight Shelby wheels.

BOTTOM: Shelby-American sells a lot of superchargers, which is one of he best ways to get big horsepower while still being reliable. A Shelby free-flowing exhaust system wouldn’t hurt either.

The Shelby Heritage Center is located at 6405 Ensworth St, Las Vegas, NV 89119. Their phone number is (702) 942-7325, and their website is The hours are Monday through Saturday 9:30am to 6:00pm and Sundays 10:00am to 4:00pm. Tours are twice daily at 10:30 and 1:30, one tour on Saturday, and no tours on Sundays. The tour is definitely worth it, and of course its free. Shelby historian/expert and long-time friend of Carroll Shelby Jim King conducts every tour personally, with a depth of knowledge and passion that is a true privilege to behold. The cars, the history, the stories, and the shop are a real treat also. And, along the way, they do a little selling of their latest models. All done in good taste, with no pressure whatsoever. What a great way to spend a few hours in Las Vegas. Don’t miss it.

The Carroll Shelby Museum
Count’s Kustoms Car Museum
The Auto Collections