Craig Jackson unveils ‘Little Red’ and history comes alive

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Craig Jackson tells the crowd on hand about restoring the twin-supercharged motor | Rebecca Nguyen photos

Thursday morning, Craig Jackson, chairman and chief executive of Barrett-Jackson auctions, unveiled his freshly restored 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500 EXP prototype known as “Little Red.”” Also on hand was a sister prototype, the 1968 Shelby GT500 prototype known as the “Green Hornet.” Jackson literally brought history alive in this magical reunion, having found, rescued and restored these two very important cars for both Ford and Shelby.

(L to R) Aaron Shelby, Steve Davis, Jason Billups, Jim Owens,Walter Nelson, Craig Jackson

Once believed destroyed and lost forever, Little Red was discovered on March 3, 2018, in rural North Texas by a team led by Jackson and classic car restoration specialist Jason Billups. This Shelby prototype has been one of the most sought-after and elusive vehicles in postwar history.

During the unveiling January 16, Jackson was joined by Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson; Jim Owens, Ford Mustang brand manager; and Aaron Shelby, grandson of Carroll Shelby. Billups, who restored the car; Walter Nelson, who originally worked on the car, and other representatives from Ford Motor Company, Shelby American and Shell Pennzoil were also in attendance.

Craig Jackson and Jason Billups remove the cover

Jackson said, “I am merely a caretaker of these cars. I plan to start a foundation so these cars will never be separated.”

Following the presentation, four Shelby Mustangs were started in unison by Craig Jackson in Little Red, Steve Davis in Green Hornet, Jim Owens in the Rapid Red 2020 GT500 and Aaron Shelby in the Candy Apple Green 2020 GT500. The four vehicles represented over 2,600 horsepower.

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Tom Stahler is the Managing Editor of the ClassicCars.com Journal. Tom has a lifelong love of cars and motor racing – beginning with the 1968 USRRC race at Road America, in a stroller, at eight months of age. His words, photos and broadcasts can can be found on a myriad of media. He has won the Motor Press Guild’s Dean Batchelor Award and a Gold Medal in the International Automotive Media Awards.

3 COMMENTS

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