The current generation Mustang Shelby GT500 might be the most extreme offering from the Blue Oval to ever leave the factory wearing that denotation, but may not be quite as special as the original car that it is inspired by. Two of the most important vehicles in Shelby American’s history, the “Green Hornet” and the “Little Red” GT500 prototypes, made history today at the 49th Annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale, as they appeared together for the first time, joined on stage by two very special 2020 Shelby GT500 Mustangs.
The two prototype muscle cars were brought on stage by Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson, who happens to own all four cars that partook in the celebration of Ford’s greatest muscle car. Jackson even purchased the Candy Apple Green 2020 Shelby, which wears VIN number 001, last year at the same Scottsdale auction for $1.1 million. The classic examples of the GT500 are some of the models most important units, as they are the only Shelby branded notchback coupes ever produced.
The restoration of the 1968 “Green Hornet” car was tasked to Jason Billups and his team at Billups Classic Cars in Colcord, Oklahoma. It was during the restoration process on the green car that Jackson decided that he wanted to search for the earlier “Little Red” prototype car from 1967. The Shelby Mustang prototype was eventually discovered in rural north Texas, after which it underwent a full restoration.
It was this family reunion that inspired Jackson to add a Candy Apple Green and a Rapid Red 2020 Shelby GT500 to his stable of furious Ford ponies. While decades of automotive technology seperate the two pairs of GT500s, they share a number of interesting similarities. An independent rear suspension system, four-wheel disc brakes and electronic fuel injection are all present on the 1968 Green Hornet car, while the new supercharged models can look back to the 1967 Shelby GT500 Little Red for their induction inspiration.
Following the presentation at the auction, the four Shelby Mustang GT500s and all their 2,600-plus horsepower were started on stage. Craig Jackson himself was in Little Red, while Steve Davis was in Green Hornet, Jim Owens in the Rapid Red 2020 GT500 and Aaron Shelby was behind the wheel of the Candy Apple Green 2020 GT500.