1967 Shelby GT500 EXP “Little Red” Prototype found after 50 years

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

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Little Red Shelby GT500 Little Red Shelby GT500

Long assumed to have been destroyed, the rare Shelby notchback was found in rural Texas

At the recent Woodward Dream Cruise in Michigan, Barrett-Jackson CEO Craig Jackson announced that ‘Little Red’, the long-lost 1967 Shelby GT500 EXP Prototype had been located by him and his team including Restoration Specialist Jason Billups.

Little Red was long presumed to have been destroyed, with many searches for the car coming up empty over the years, before Jackson and his team discovered the car in rural Northern Texas.

It’s the only GT500 hardtop coupe ever built by Shelby American, the second GT500 coupe ever to be "serialized and completed", and the only GT coupe ever ordered from factory with dual-quad carburettors.

Jackson and his team called it the "Holy Grail" of lost Mustangs, further calling it "the discovery of a lifetime".

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"This Shelby prototype has been one of the most sought-after and elusive vehicles in postwar history" he said.

"Countless enthusiasts and experts have searched for Little Red since it went missing in the 1960s. Many believed it was destroyed when the car was no longer needed".

Little Red was one of two notchback coupes built as experimental cars by Ford Motor Company and Shelby American; with this being a development car that gained a restyled body, and a Paxton-supercharged big-block. It later became the model for Ford’s popular 1968 California Special before it was moved to storage and presumably lost.

The search initially led to a dead end, as like every search prior – they attempted to track the car via its Shelby Serial Number.

Eventually, using the Ford VIN, Jackson and his team found the car’s original registration, and eventually made contact with its last owner.

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The plan is to restore the car to its former glory – which looks like a big task, as the car has been sitting outdoors in a Texas field for the past 20 years. The front end is missing, as is the all-important engine.

Given the large amount of undocumented history as to where the car has been for the past 50 years, Barrett-Jackson and the restoration team are attempting an unprecedented crowdsourced initiative; with the public requested to submit any personal accounts, stories and photos featuring Little Red to www.ShelbyPrototypeCoupes.com.

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