Two years ago, this gleaming Candy Apple-red, one-off 1967 Ford Shelby GT500 EXP prototype dubbed “Little Red” was wasting away in a Texas field like an abandoned cow carcass. It has since been totally restored by its rescuer, Craig Jackson, who swooped in and bought the rare Shelby GT500 coupe in 2018 when it was decidedly less gleaming and far more decrepit than it is today.
Little Red is one of the most sought-after classic Mustangs—and before March of 2018, most Ford followers believed it had been lost to time, the elements, or both. When new, the prototype was the only GT500 coupe ever built—other Shelby Mustangs of the era were all fastbacks—and it was packed with experimental equipment and development parts. As it turns out, this extremely important chapter in Mustang lore was sitting out in (sort of) plain sight in the plain middle of nowhere in Texas. That’s where Craig Jackson, CEO of Barrett-Jackson auctions, entered the Mustang’s story.
Craig sniffed the GT500 out and purchased it before immediately pledging to bring the car back from the dead. And bring it back he did: Little Red now looks to be in showroom condition. Before restoration work began, the suspension had collapsed, most of the front end was missing, and what remained of the bodywork was sun-bleached and rusting. Today, the renewed GT500 sports a lovely shade of candy apple red paint and a black vinyl roof. Little Red was originally powered by a supercharged, big-block V-8, and though there’s no official word on the restored car’s powertrain, we’re going to assume whatever is under that hood is closely related to the original spec.
The completed Little Red project was shown for the first time on January 16 and was accompanied by the “Green Hornet,” another color-identified legendary GT500 prototype GT500. Both cars are currently on display at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale Arizona. The auction is already on and ends this Sunday, so if you’re interested in checking out what’s headed to the auction block, you’ve got no time to waste, but we’d make the trip not to buy anything, but to ogle this bright-red piece of Mustang and Shelby history.