On September 5, 2012, Barrett-Jackson announced that the newly-restored legendary Shelby Prototype, dubbed “The Green Hornet,” (VIN 8F01S104288) will cross the auction block as part of its Salon Collection at the upcoming Scottsdale Auction, scheduled to take place January 13-20, 2013 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
There’s no doubt about it, the car (Lot# 5022) is arguably one of the rarest and most desirable Ford Mustangs in the world. The 1968 Green Hornet enjoys the distinction of being one of the very few factory prototypes that survived the crusher. In a press release issued by Barrett-Jackson, they describe the car perfectly. “It represents a rolling history of what Ford and Shelby American were producing in the heyday of the American muscle car era and is considered one of the most innovative and unique vehicles of its time.”
A Car with a Great History
As Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson, told me in an interview a few years ago, "The 'Green Hornet' is just such an incredible, special car. The car's got a great history. It goes all the way back to Fred Goodell who was chief engineer for Shelby. He was actually the only guy, to my knowledge, who ever worked for Carroll from the inception of Shelby until the end in 1970 when things went away. It represents such an important part of Shelby history with the fuel injection, independent rear suspension, all those innovations that we take for granted today. That was the test mule for all those things to happen."
Davis added, "Right now it's in Craig's collection, but I'm still kind of the step-father. Actually, I'm the father; Craig's the step-father! I found the car, and actually bought it from the son of the Ford executive who ended up taking that thing out of the bone yard. The fellow who restored the car, I bonded with him. I put the car in a special collection I was working with at the time. It lived there for a while."
Looking back, in 1967, the Ford team was impressed with a prototype Mustang called “Li’l Red.” It was this car that inspired the “California Special” also known as the GT/CS. They liked this model so much, that they wanted their design team to study the feasibility of creating a nationally available version of the GT/CS, which would be marketed as a GT/Sport Coupe. When all was said and done, two prototypes were built. One of those prototypes was VIN 8F01S104288, a Lime Gold, 1968 Mustang notchback, with a deluxe Ivy Gold interior, 390 V8 engine and C6 automatic transmission.
Unfortunately, after completing the show circuit, the decision was made to not move forward with the GT/SC program. Instead of being scrapped, the lime Gold notchback was sent to Shelby American to once again become a prototype, this time for the Shelby Mustang program.
After its arrival, many modifications were made to the car, including an experimental Conelec fuel-injection system, independent rear suspension and a unique rear disc brake configuration, making The Green Hornet the platform for innovation in design, performance and handling.
The end result was an experimental Shelby named EXP 500, a prototype that would become fondly known as “The Green Hornet.” The car eventually turned into a pet-project of Fred Goodell, Chief Engineer at Shelby American, and both he and Carroll Shelby spent a lot of time testing and developing components for this project.
It Survived the Crusher
For many years, it was thought that The Green Hornet had been destroyed like other concept cars of the era and its celebrated existence had become nothing more than urban legend. As fate would have it , Goodell’s fondness for the car intervened, saving The Green Hornet from the crusher and allowing it to slip into the mainstream where it enjoyed a somewhat mundane existence for many years, until it was rediscovered and restored back to its former glory.
“The ‘One and only Green Hornet’ as Carroll liked to say, is an incredibly significant piece of Ford, Shelby and muscle car history with a documented provenance verifying its authenticity,” said Craig Jackson, Chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “We couldn’t be prouder to have a vehicle that was so ahead of its time, crossing our block.”
For more information, up-to-date news and to purchase tickets for Barrett-Jackson’s 2013 Scottsdale auction, please visit http://www.barrett-jackson.com.
About The Barrett-Jackson Auction Company
Established in 1971 and headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Barrett-Jackson specializes in providing products and services to classic and collector car owners, astute collectors and automotive enthusiasts around the world. The company produces “The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions™” in Scottsdale, Ariz., Palm Beach, Fla., Las Vegas, Nev. and Orange County, Calif. Barrett-Jackson also endorses a one-of-a-kind collector car insurance offering for collector vehicles and other valued belongings. For more information about Barrett-Jackson, visit www.barrett-jackson.com or call (480) 421-6694.