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Barrett-Jackson's Craig Jackson and Team Find "Little Red," the 1967 Ford Shelby GT500 EXP Prototype

  • Shelby's Little Red prototype GT500 EXP, the "Holy Grail" of lost
    collector cars located
  • Little Red is the only GT500 coupe (hardtop) built by Shelby American
  • It is the only GT coupe ordered with and factory-equipped with
    dual-quad carburetors
  • Little Red is the second GT500 coupe to be serialized and completed
  • Crowdsourcing will help document the complete history of Little Red, a
    first in the collector car hobby

Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction
Company, Shell and Pennzoil today 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 on March 3,
2018. The team who discovered Little Red was led by Jackson and classic
car restoration specialist Jason Billups, and consisted of leading
experts who located the vehicle in rural 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.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

Shelby's Little Red prototype GT500 EXP, the "Holy Grail" of lost collector cars, located. (Photo: B ...

Shelby's Little Red prototype GT500 EXP, the "Holy Grail" of lost collector cars, located. (Photo: Business Wire)

"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 glory."

Dubbed "Little Red," the big-block Shelby notchback coupe was one of a
pair of "experimental" cars created by Ford Motor Company and Shelby
American. It was a pivotal developmental car with a variety of ideas put
into play, from a restyled body to adding a Paxton supercharger to the
big-block engine. Under the direction of Lee Iacocca, the car eventually
became the model for Ford's popular 1968 Mustang California Special
before it was moved to storage and presumably lost.

The idea to look for Little Red began during the restoration of the
other legendary Shelby prototype coupe, named the Green Hornet. Little
Red and the Green Hornet were the only notchback coupes ever produced to
wear the Shelby nameplate. Craig Jackson and Billups discussed what the
chances might be of finding the fabled 1967 Shelby Experimental Coupe.
Billups felt it was a mystery worth investigating, and the team began
their search.

"Locating Little Red was tantamount to finding the proverbial needle in
a haystack," said Billups. "After our initial research we realized that,
like others before us, we were using the wrong search criteria. Everyone
looked for Little Red using the Shelby serial number, which would
eventually lead to a dead end. We took a different approach and located
the car's original Ford VIN number, which wasn't easily discoverable.
That VIN led us to its original registration and eventually to its last

After initial contact with the owner via social media in February,
Billups and Little Red's owner agreed to meet in Dallas, Texas. On March
3, 2018, Billups, along with automotive journalist Al Rogers and Ford
Mustang and Shelby specialist Todd Hollar, were given access to the
Texas property where Little Red spent the last 20 years.

When the team discovered the vehicle in March, it was identified as the
original missing experimental car with the assistance of renowned Ford
Mustang expert Kevin Marti. The team also verified its authenticity
using cross references, serial numbers, date codes and other
confidential documents proving the vehicle was, in fact, the missing
Shelby prototype, Little Red.

"March 3rd will be forever etched in the history books," said Rogers.
"Walking up to Little Red was like being on hallowed ground. This car
was long thought by the experts to be forever lost to history. Even the
owner was not aware that his vehicle was Shelby American's iconic 1967
Shelby Experimental Coupe. We can't be more excited to have been a part
of Craig Jackson's team and have the chance to bring this important car
back to its original glory. We're especially honored to be a part of
Little Red's restoration over the next several months, which will be
carefully documented and shared with Shelby, Mustang and Ford
enthusiasts around the world."

Little Red was stored in outdoor conditions for nearly two decades. As a
result, the restoration of Little Red will be one of the most meticulous
projects in American car collector history. The restoration will be
fully documented on
and include photos, videos and a robust content storyboard that will
detail each step of the rebuild.

Shell and Pennzoil are helping support, in part, the documentation of
Little Red's restoration journey. "As brands that have been part of
American and worldwide automotive history for more than 100 years, we
understand the importance of heritage. So, with that in mind, we're
thrilled to join Craig Jackson and his team on this historic journey to
return Little Red to its original glory," said Mark Henry, brand and
communications manager, Shell Lubricants. "This will be one of the
greatest stories of automotive history ever told, and we look forward to
having a role in making it come alive for generations to come."

To further document Little Red's history, the public can submit personal
accounts, stories and photos that feature Little Red. This will be the
first time that a collector car vehicle will be substantiated in part,
using a crowdsourcing initiative on

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