The Long-Lost 1967 Mustang Shelby GT500 ‘Little Red’ Is Back!
Back in 2018, Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction Company announced during the annual Woodward Dream Cruise in Michigan that Shelby American’s 1967 Shelby GT500 EXP prototype nicknamed “Little Red” was located and verified. The team who discovered Little Red was led by Jackson and classic car restoration specialist Jason Billups who located the vehicle in North Texas, where it has been stored by the same owner for more than two decades. The discovery of Little Red, which was largely presumed destroyed after years of searching, is considered one of the most significant finds in American car collector history.
And now, Little Red is back from the dead.
The car has been fully restored and put on display at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, AZ. The vehicle was used by Carroll Shelby himself 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.
However, this one was never discarded. Little Red was shipped to a Colorado Ford dealer and sold to a customer with no mention of its history.
The man then resold it to a man in Wyoming after a few years who later moved with it to Texas, where it eventually broke down and ended up left behind.
It sat untouched until Barrett-Jackson CEO Craig Jackson tracked it down while doing research on “The Green Hornet”. In fact, The Green Hornet and Little Red are the only GT500-style cars Shelby built using notchback-roof Mustangs instead of the fastback design. Along with classic car specialist Jason Billups, he planned to restore it.
“Finding Little Red is the discovery of a lifetime,” said Jackson. “This Shelby prototype has been one of the most sought-after and elusive vehicles in postwar history. 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. I’m excited to announce that was not the case. We’ve found Little Red and we intend to meticulously restore this legendary car back to its original.”
Jackson worked with Ford and Mustang researchers to bring it back to what’s considered its ideal form.
Little Red was stored in outdoor conditions for nearly two decades. As a result, the restoration of Little Red was one of the most meticulous projects in American car collector history. The restoration is fully documented on www.ShelbyPrototypeCoupes.com and includes photos, videos and a robust content storyboard that will detail each step of the rebuild.