An American motorsport milestone was achieved this month with the 100th running of the Climb to the Clouds, the legendary Pikes Peak Hill Climb in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The sinuous two-lane road is paved all the way to the summit now, but Pikes Peak still remains a harsh, but hallowed, evaluation of pure power and adhesion. The centennial running included a standalone milestone this year as a 2022 Shelby GT500SE hardtop, right off the Shelby American assembly line in Las Vegas, was certified as the fastest genuine street-legal production car to assault the mountain in its century of history.
The GT500SE’s pilot was hall of fame hillclimb driver Robert Prilika, who wheeled the Shelby under his Robert Prilika Motosports banner, and sponsored by Pierre Ford of Seattle, one of the nation’s highest-volume Shelby dealerships over the past several years. The GT500SE was unaltered from stock other than to add the requisite safety equipment directed by the Pikes Peak organizers. For the record, the current Pikes Peak course is 12.42 miles with 156 distinct corners, encompassing more than 4,700 feet of elevation change, with the finish line set at 14,115 feet above sea level. The record run took place in dense fog with temperatures in the 40s.