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It was assumed lost for over 50 years, another prototype destined for the crusher. Except this one wasn’t. Witness the incredible story of Barrett-Jackson CEO and Chairman Craig Jackson’s personal quest to find and restore the mythical father of the Mustang California Special, the 1967 Shelby GT500 Prototype (EXP 500) known as “Little Red.” Discovered sitting in a Texas field, Little Red was Carroll Shelby’s way of getting the better of Ferrari’s road cars and the first of many incredible innovations. Get ready for the journey – exploring the restoration for one of the rarest cars on Earth!
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Craig Jackson, Chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson, announces the sale of two wagons once owned by Edsel Ford II. Both are to be sold at no reserve by the grandson of the brand’s namesake during the Scottsdale Auction at WestWorld in Scottsdale, Arizona, on March 20-27.
The 1958 Edsel Bermuda wagon features recent restoration work and a transmission swap (from manual to period-correct automatic) carried out by Roush. The rear axle has new seals, bushings, and brakes, while the interior was updated with heat shielding, new carpeting, and seals to make the car more comfortable and inviting. Roush also replaced the original column-shift assembly, while keeping the stock steering column. The proper two-pedal system for automatics of that time was installed, and new control linkage was built.
Former GM Heritage Center Corvette Donated to Museum
In the late 80s, Chevrolet was not-so-secretly developing what some dubbed a ‘Super Vette.’ But at the 1989 New York Auto Show, it was the debut of the Dodge Viper RT/10, complete with a 488-cid V-10 engine that sent GM engineers on a new path to develop a ‘Viper-Killer.’ Dodge credited the ’65 Shelby 427 Cobra as the inspiration for the Viper, but the model wouldn’t be available until 1992.
By 1990, then Corvette Development Manager, John Heinricy, had three projects for his engineering team to tackle, which would affect future Corvettes:
1) Response to the Viper: The newest Corvette adversary would soon arrive, a car that was light weight, utilized simple technology, but wielded brutal power. Heinricy wanted to study ways to lighten their ZR-1, should Chevrolet need to “skin the snake.”
2) Drop the Pounds: New safety regulations added more weight to the Corvette, which in turn decreased fuel economy. With the gas-guzzler tax looming, GM faced reduced performance to make up the difference, and they couldn’t afford that either. Lightning the weight of the car would improve the speed and efficiency.
3) Ideas and Innovation: A new product would bring the team together and inspire new ideas from the development engineers.
With a common theme flowing between these ideas, it made sense to use the same car for development. A white non-saleable 1989 ZR-1, which had been used in Chevrolet’s 1990 model year media preview, was hand-picked (VIN 00081). It was one of only 84 production ZR-1s built in Bowling Green for evaluation, testing, media preview and photography. No 1989 ZR-1s were released for public sale initially, but several have since found their way into private hands.
A long-lost experimental 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 EXP that was discovered rotting away in a field nearly two years ago has been fully restored and put on display at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.
The vehicle was used by legendary car builder Carroll Shelby to develop parts for his high-performance models and its style inspired the 1968 California Special Mustang before it was returned to Ford to be discarded, as prototypes often are.
A Fox-Body Record?
Way back in January, we were shocked when a 1993 Ford Mustang Cobra R went across the auction block and sold for $132,000 with 500 miles on the clock. It was the most expensive Fox-body ever sold. That car was in perfect shape, was #11 out of 107 made, and still had the plastic on the seats. Another, even lower mile, 1993 Ford Mustang Cobra R is set to go across the auction block with Barrett-Jackson at the Scottsdale 2020 auction.
A Fox-Body Record?
Related – 1992 Ford Mustang LX 5.0 Summer Special Edition
UPDATE – Barn Finds first featured these cars when they were found back in 2017. Then they were listed on eBay in 2018 and got bid up to $200k! Well, they showed up again this year at a Barret-Jackson auction where they only got bid up to $67,100… What?! It was a no reserve auction too. How did this happen???
Read more here
We all know that feeling when pressed between choosing American muscle or an Italian supercar, and not being able to pick which camp we want to be put into. Some thoughtful folk out there have built cars combining the merits of both, with a brilliant example being this half Ford, half Lamborghini 2009 Tractorri Custom Coupe, which is heading to auction in Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale sale next January.
Read Elliot’s article on this one of a kind Mustang here at Autoclassics
Shelby American built two notchback Mustang GT500 prototypes, but one — a 1967 known as “Li’l Red” — was reportedly sent to the crusher when its days as a test mule were over. For decades, this was generally accepted as fact, but not by everyone. In an announcement made at a Shelby American dinner during last week’s Woodward Dream Cruise, auction magnate Craig Jackson stunned the room by announcing that Li’l Red had been found on a Texas ranch, and over the coming months the story of its history and rebirth will be shared online.
Read the rest of Kurt’s article here
You can see the progress on this car and the other prototypes here
The very last cars Burt Reynolds’ personally owned – including a ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ Trans Am – are headed to auction on September 29 during Barrett-Jackson’s Las Vegas sale