(Photographs: Craig Jackson) Till hours in the past, this automobile formally had met the enterprise finish of a automobile crusher after it’s work as a prototype was over and completed with. It was a fantasy, a legend, a phantom. Very like the Bullitt Mustang that lately got here again out into the sunshine, the purple 1967 Shelby GT500 hardtop coupe has been the supply of a maddening hunt by followers, collectors, and lovers for years. It’s the solely notchback that Shelby American ever constructed, the one 1967 GT coupe Mustang ordered up not solely as a 428 however a dual-quad 428, and alongside the opposite Shelby-associated coupe, the “Inexperienced Hornet” (the California Particular Ford prototype that Shelby took on for different experimental work), are the rarest Shelby Mustangs recognized…and up till March 2018, solely the Inexperienced Hornet (a.ok.a. EXP 500) was recognized to nonetheless exist. The little purple coupe that had been rumored to have sported a Paxton blower, and probably even a twin-charging setup at one time limit, had roughly vaporized into skinny air. So how, precisely, did a manufacturing facility prototype handle to remain hidden for therefore a few years?
Go away it two two people: a specialist named Jason Billups and Craig Jackson of Barrett-Jackson, who owns the Inexperienced Hornet. Whereas doing analysis on some Ford paperwork, the pair got here to a revelation: anybody who had tried to seek out Little Purple was utilizing a Shelby American-issued serial quantity. However the automobile was a really early works machine, the second Shelby Mustang for 1967 and recognized to be a prototype from the get-go. What a few Ford VIN? That line of pondering noticed the pair discover the automobile in Texas, the place it wound up after one hell of a life. As soon as the automobile was completed with prototype work, it managed to get offered at a Colorado dealership to a Vietnam veteran who drove it for a couple of years. The Shelby was then offered to the present proprietor, who purchased the automobile in Wyoming and held onto it. It received put right into a storage container at one level, which received damaged into. The thief took components and left, and finally the Shelby was dumped in a yard with a motley assortment of different previous automobiles, left to sit down within the Texas solar.
Little Purple has been verified as the true deal by Kevin Marti and has been offered to Jackson, who’s kicking off a restoration of the automobile. The issue is, no person is actual positive what “unique situation” means for Little Purple, as a result of secrecy surrounding the automobile’s prototype work. He’s already launched a website that can doc the restoration work and is hoping to study details about the automobile through crowdsourcing. “In case your dad labored for Ford or Shelby, discuss to them. Or look in your closet and see when you’ve got any previous footage of it. Something may assist,” he says on the positioning.
The put up Better of 2018: The 1967 Shelby “Little Purple” Notchback GT500 – Manufacturing unit Shelby Prototype! Auto Reviews & New Cars on AutoCarTechNews.com.