Ford is gearing up to launch the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500, but the car’s legacy dates back more than 50 years. That’s clearly visible at SEMA where a 1968 Shelby GT500 prototype named the Green Hornet is on display.
Recently restored by Barrett-Jackson, the car is one of only two notchback coupes produced by Ford and Shelby. It was originally created as a prototype for a California Special trimmed Mustang, but eventually became a platform for “innovation in design, performance and handling.”
Among its features were an independent rear suspension, four-wheel disc brakes and an experimental Conelec fuel injection system. These were revolutionary ideas in the 1960’s and fuel injection didn’t start to become common until nearly two decades later.
While Barrett-Jackson didn’t say much about the car, Hemmings wrote extensively about it over a decade ago. After testing was completed, the car was largely stripped of its innovative features and sent to Ford’s Employee and Auction Resale Lot. It was purchased by Robert Zdanowski and eventually sold to Don Darrow who owned a Ford dealership in Cheboygan, Michigan.
Darrow didn’t know about the car’s history, so he made a number of changes to the model. However, in the 1980’s, his son read a book by Paul Newitt and discovered his father owned a truly special Mustang.
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A special thank you to the men and women at Flat Rock, @Ford, BASF and Penske Vehicle Services for making all this possible. … The original 1968 Green Hornet was there to welcome the 2020 to the world. To read more about these two cars be sure to check out @craig_jackson427 on Instagram. … #Ford #FordPerformance #FordGT #FordGT500 #ShelbyGT500 #FlatRock #BASF #Penske #GreenHornet #Detroit #JDRF
The car was eventually restored in 1993 and now has been given a second restoration. There’s no word on specifics at this point, but the restoration and history of the car will be featured in an upcoming documentary.
According to Barrett-Jackson CEO Craig Jackson, “The Green Hornet was an important and special vehicle to me and adding it to our collection was a no-brainer. I had a long friendship with Carroll, and I believe he would be proud to see one of his revolutionary prototypes looking like it rolled right out of the factory back in ’68.”