Feast your eyes on this fully restored Shelby GT500 prototype

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Words: Nile Bijoux
17 Jan 2020

This isn’t just a red Shelby GT500 from 1967. It’s the EXP Little Red prototype, first discovered back in 2018 in a Texan field. It looks a lot better now, with a thorough restoration bringing it back to its former glory.

Little Red was revealed at the 2020 Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale alongside the equally gorgeous 1968 Shelby Mustang Prototype nicknamed Green Hornet.

Barrett-Jackson calls Little Red one of the "most sought-after and elusive vehicles in postwar history," requiring the expertise of Barrett-Jackson Chairman and CEO Craig Jackson, restoration specialist Jason Billups and several other experts to track down.

Little Red is the second GT500 to be serialised and is the only GT500 hardtop coupe built by Shelby American as well as the only GT coupe originally ordered with dual-quad carburettors from the factory. As a development mule, it was fitted with a number of new features and tweaks, like a different body style and a Paxton supercharger. Ultimately, it formed the basis of the Mustang California Special, which was built under the supervision of Lee Iacocca.

Before restoration, Little Red was in a state. The suspension had collapsed, most of the front end was missing, and what remained of the bodywork had nearly rusted into oblivion. Now, the car has a black vinyl soft top, a lovely lick of candy apple paint and while there isn’t word on the original powertrain, we’re sure whatever is powering Little Red now is as close to original spec as possible.

Both Little Red and the Green Hornet are being shown at the Scottsdale auction and while they aren’t for sale, a whole lot of other automobiles are. Check it out before proceedings finish on Sunday night.

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