While Vegas is the city of gambling, partying, and luxurious food, there are unique attractions littered around Sin City for those with other interests. One of these thrilling, uber-exciting spots is the Shelby Heritage Center and Museum—a must-see for vintage car lovers visiting Las Vegas.
The museum showcases the thrilling history of Shelby Mustangs and other iconic muscle cars, like Cobras. It also tells the life story of Carroll Shelby, the innovative car designer and the man behind it all. If you’re even a little bit curious about Shelby cars, put this museum on your bucket list.
Want to learn more about the Shelby Heritage Center and Museum in Las Vegas? Keep reading to know what to expect when you visit this car enthusiast’s paradise off the Strip.
What is the Shelby Heritage Center and Museum?
It’s important not to confuse the Shelby Heritage Center with the Colorado-based Shelby American Collection—an exhibit that showcases old Shelby cars donated by their previous owners. The Shelby Heritage Center is along Ensworth St. in Vegas, just 10 minutes away from the Strip.
The Heritage Center and Museum has been open since 2013. What’s cool is that it’s three places in one. It’s a manufacturing facility for Shelby cars, a heritage center that showcases vintage cars, and a merchandise shop for Shelby fans.
First, let’s talk about the Heritage Center and Museum. The goal of the center is to celebrate and honor Shelby American, the company that manufactured Mustangs and Cobras. The museum’s pride and joy is the line-up of 30 pristine vintage Shelby cars that visitors can admire up close.
But it’s not just about the cars. The museum also aims to paint a picture of the life of Carroll Shelby, the famous automotive innovator that fashioned these cars back in the 1960s, before the manufacturing of the Mustang was handed over to Ford.
What’s cool about this part of the museum is that there’s a lot of audience interaction involved. Tour guests are sometimes asked to read out lines from a script when Shelby’s story is told, making the experience feel immersive and more realistic.
Aside from that, guests are free to lurk in the factory or manufacturing area, where modern Shelby cars are made. You’ll see the teams build high-performing cars from a safe distance. This area makes for an excellent bonding experience between dads and young boys who love cars.
Guests can do self-guided tours upon entering the Heritage Center. But the retelling of the life of Carroll Shelby and the viewing of the manufacturing facility are included only in the paid tours.
Of course, if you’re lucky, you can come into the museum while a tour is already ongoing. You can probably overhear the stories the enthusiastic tour guides share about Shelby.
What Cars Are in the Shelby Museum?
Shelby American came out with plenty of cars during their time. Which cars will guests see in the Heritage Center and Museum?
As mentioned earlier, there are around 30 stunning, breathtaking Shelby cars on display at the museum. The team changes the line-up now and then to showcase more and more vintage cars.
But with each visit, you can expect some of the iconic models to be there, including the Shelby GT350 and GT500 Mustangs. You will also see classic Cobras and even modern Shelby Super Snakes. Visitors can probably circle through the entire line-up and admire each car in about an hour.
If you book a tour and get access to the behind-the-scenes manufacturing area, you’ll see high-performance cars being made. Many of the company’s current cars can be seen in this area. These include Shelby models like the Terlingua, the Baja Raptor, the GTE, and many more.
After Seeing the Vintage Cars, Check Out Their Merch!
It may sound like the Shelby Heritage Center and Museum already has so much to offer, but that’s not all you can find there. The building is also home to the Carroll Shelby Store—a gift shop full of Shelby-themed merchandise that fans and collectors can purchase on their way out of the building.
In the Carroll Shelby Store, fans will be bright-eyed with wonder. All around the shop are different kinds of Shelby merchandise, including miniature model cars, collectible figurines of vintage Shelby car models, real car parts, Shelby-themed clothes, posters, décor, and many more.
When you drop by the Carroll Shelby Store, make sure to get everything you think you will want. It’s the only authorized Shelby merchandise shop in existence, found only in the Las Vegas location.
Plus, many of these products are limited edition. It would be smart to get your hands on them while you can. They would make terrific gifts for car lovers and collectors back home.
The best thing about the Carroll Shelby Store is that the prices of the merchandise aren’t too exorbitant. They’re definitely more affordable than if you would buy collectibles from BMW or Mercedez Benz merch shops.
When is the Shelby Heritage Center and Museum Open?
The Heritage Center is open every day from Monday to Sunday. On weekdays, their business hours are from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM. On Saturdays, they open a little earlier at 8:00 AM and close at the usual 5:00 PM. On Sundays, they’re open from 10:00 to 4:00 PM.
Tours, on the other hand, are only available from Monday to Saturday. They run hourly from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, except at 1:00 PM.
So, if you’re planning on going to the Shelby Heritage Center and Museum, it might be smart to go on weekdays or Saturdays. They’re open for longer and there may be fewer crowds, especially from Monday to Friday.
Sunday has the shortest hours, and the size of the crowd is quite unpredictable. Plus, tours are not available on that day, which for big Shelby fans is the best part of the attraction.
How Much Does It Cost to Enter the Shelby Heritage Center?
Perhaps the best thing about the Shelby Heritage Center and Museum is that there is no entrance fee. Everyone can come inside for free, all day, every day. With free admission, you can go on self-guided tours for as long as you want inside the facility.
However, if you want the full experience of the Heritage Center, you should book a VIP tour, which includes access to the manufacturing facility. This is the better option if you and your friends or family want a behind-the-scenes look at how Shelby cars are made.
If you book a VIP tour, you’ll also get a gift bag full of authorized merchandise from the Carroll Shelby Store. That alone makes the price of a VIP tour worth it.
For VIP tours, children from age 6 and below can still come in for free. Tickets for children between ages 7 and 11 are worth $49. And anyone 12 years old and above needs to pay $59 for the VIP tour.
Shelby Museum Is a Must-Visit for Car Lovers
The Shelby Heritage Center was created for vintage car lovers, especially fans of the timeless, legendary Shelby Mustang. But even those who don’t know a thing about cars will be mesmerized by the beautiful muscle cars lined up in the heritage center.
This activity sounds like a great activity for groups of male friends, but it’s also a terrific place for family bonding. Make sure to carve out some time from your wild weekend in Las Vegas to pause and admire these iconic American cars at the Shelby Heritage Center and Museum.
So, what are you waiting for? Learn more about and the life of the great Carroll Shelby when you visit the Shelby Heritage Center and Museum today! Walk in for free or book VIP tour tickets in advance to experience this captivating world of vintage cars and automotive history.