Arizona | Lot 239
1999 Shelby Series 1 Prototype
$91,840 USD | Sold
| Phoenix, Arizona
17 January 2020
- Rare and desirable piece of Shelby history
- Used as a prototype development and demonstration car
- Acquired by the consignor directly from Shelby American
- Finished in rare Black from the factory
- Showing only 2,618 miles from new
In contrast to the Shelby GT and Cobra variants, which were based on another manufacturer’s platform, nearly every component that went into building it was designed specifically for the Series 1, including the modified Oldsmobile Aurora V-8 engine and C5 Corvette six-speed manual transaxle. The extruded aluminum frame featured aluminum honeycomb reinforcement panels and was covered in carbon fiber and fiberglass laminate body panels, a first in an American car. While the original specifications were enticing for Shelby fans, the production cars addressed several shortcomings that showed up in development testing that were subsequently fixed.
This Series 1, assembled at Shelby American’s Las Vegas facility in 1999, is one of a handful of prototype cars used extensively as a development and demonstration car. According to Gary Patterson, then president of Shelby American, “We used this car to test and validate various parts for production car use. In that time period, it was simply referred to as X-4. When driving it at the track, I remember the rear latch failing, causing the rear deck to catch air and be ripped from its hinges. This led to the development and installation of secondary latches on all Series 1 production cars. There were other refinements based on the knowledge gained in the use of this specific car during the development program.”
Series 1 cars are normally painted silver; however, this prototype was finished strikingly in black, adding to its uniqueness. The car was acquired by the consignor directly from Carroll Shelby and includes a copy of the signed MSO from Shelby American. Having recorded just over 2,600 miles on its odometer, this prototype remains in very original condition throughout. A genuine, documented development prototype, this Series 1 presents a rare opportunity to acquire a unique piece of Shelby history.