1969 Shelby EXP 500 Green Hornet

The legendary Shelby prototype “Green Hornet” enjoys the distinct history of being one of the very few prototypes from that era that survived the crusher. It represents  a rolling history of what was happening within Ford and Shelby American in the heyday of the American muscle car era. In 1967 the Ford team was impressed with a prototype Mustang known as “Li’l Red” which inspired the California Special also known as the GT/CS. As a result of this effort, two prototypes were built. One of those prototypes was VIN 8F01S104288, a Lime Gold 1968 Mustang notchback with a deluxe Ivy Gold interior, 390 V8 engine and C6 automatic transmission.

After completing the show circuit, the decision was made not to move forward with the GT/SC program, but instead of being scrapped the Lime Gold notchback was sent to Shelby American to once again become a prototype, this time for a different kind of Mustang…a Shelby. It was going to be an experimental Shelby, named EXP 500, a prototype that would become fondly known as “The Green Hornet.”

Many modifications were done, as the Green Hornet became the platform for innovation in design, performance and handling, including an experimental Conelec fuel injection system, independent rear suspension and a unique rear disc brake configuration.

The Green Hornet became the pet project of Fred Goodell, Chief Engineer at Shelby American and both Fred and Carroll Shelby himself spent a lot of time testing and developing components for this project.

The destiny of most all concepts and prototypes of the era, especially when the concept did not make it into production, was to meet their demise at the business end of a crusher. In the case of the Green Hornet, fate intervened, and a Ford executive’s fondness for the car and his ability to wrangle some paperwork saved the car from the crusher and allowed it to slip into the mainstream where it enjoyed a somewhat mundane existence for decades until it was rediscovered and restored to its former glory.

The Green Hornet will be going up for auction in January of 2013 at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction.

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Photos © 2012 MustangsDaily.com

[Source: Barrett-Jackson]

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