Landmark Mustang Shelbys, old and new, will be shown at Barrett-Jackson

From Craig Jackson’s own collection come the first production 2020 GT500 along with Carroll Shelby’s 1960s experimental Green Hornet and Little Red

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The 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 is the most powerful factory Mustang ever made | Ford

When Barrett-Jackson chief Craig Jackson bought the rights to the first production 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 off the assembly line, VIN001, the stipulation was that he could choose the color. 

Jackson won the ultra-performance Mustang Shelby coupe during Barrett-Jackson’s 2019 Scottsdale collector car auction, with a $1.1 million bid to benefit JDRF, formerly called the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

The color Jackson requested was not from the usual Mustang palette, however. It was a custom Candy Apple Green from BASF designed to match the experimental 1968 Shelby EXP500 prototype known as “The Green Hornet.”  Jackson has that historic coupe in his collection as well, and it’s also valued in the seven figures. 

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The 2020 GT500 was painted to match the 1968 Shelby prototype named Green Hornet | Barrett-Jackson

One year after he won the latest GT500, Jackson will have the new-generation Green Hornet in a special display alongside the 1968 prototype at the 2020 Barrett-Jackson auction, which starts January 11 at WestWorld in Scottsdale, Arizona. 

Another historic Shelby experimental prototype owned by Jackson will be shown with them: the 1967 Shelby Mustang known as “Little Red,” which will be debuting after its recent restoration.  Jackson rediscovered the long-lost Little Red abandoned in a Texas field in 2018.

For Mustang and Shelby fans, the trio of landmark examples will be an event in itself during the gigantic 49th annual Scottsdale auction, which this year boasts 1,950 collector vehicles that will cross the block, the most ever and all but one being offered without minimum reserve bids. 

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Little Red was found rotting away in a Texas field | Barrett-Jackson

The first of the redesigned 2020 GT500s was recently delivered in its green shade to Jackson and his wife, Carolyn.

“This first production 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 is a significant piece of American performance history,” Jackson said. “The independent rear suspension, four-wheel disc brakes and electronic fuel injection engineered on this car were pioneered by Carroll Shelby over 50 years ago.

“He tested and developed these same experimental components on his 1968 EXP500 prototype, Green Hornet, but they were not standard in a GT500 until 2020. It’s an incredible honor for Carolyn and me to be entrusted with these important vehicles and to have supported efforts to find a cure for juvenile diabetes.”

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Green Hornet was displayed at the 2019 SEMA show in Las Vegas | Larry Edsall

Jackson is a longtime fan and friend of the great Carroll Shelby, who was a frequent visitor to and participant at Barrett-Jackson auctions – Jackson’s daughter is named Shelby.

The original Green Hornet and Little Red will be the subjects of an upcoming documentary film being produced by Jackson, scheduled for release later this year, which chronicles the search, discovery, research and restoration of the two landmark machines with which Shelby created his famous performance models.

The limited-production 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 is the most powerful factory Mustang ever made, with a hand-built 760-horsepower 5.2-liter supercharged V8 engine mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.  Ford will have a number of displays and ride opportunities during the event.

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Just 250 GT500s will be produced | Ford

Barrett-Jackson is by far the largest and most-established event of the annual Arizona Auction Week, which this year hosts a record eight separate collector car companies holding their sales. 

Craig Jackson’s purchase of the first 2020 GT500 was during one of many so-called charity sales that have become a signature feature of Barrett-Jackson auctions, with $118 million raised over the years, according to the auction company.

For more information about Barrett-Jackson, visit the auction website

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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