Best Muscle Cars

The 1968 Shelby EXP500 Prototype ‘Green Hornet’

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By Dave Ashton

After getting all depressed from talking about EV’s and the sterile future of potential electric muscle cars like the Mustang Lithium, it’s far happier times to show a classic which started off the movement. In this case its a 1968 Shelby GT500 prototype, named the EXP500 or Green Hornet.

The car was brought back to its former glory by the Barrett-Jackson guys and is only one of two notch back coupes produced by the linkup between Shelby and Ford. The car was originally pulled from the Ford Dearborn plant line in late 1967 as a platform for prototyping. The car was modified with California Special lights and badging with a 428ci. Cobra Jet V8 being dropped in with a C6 transmission and independent rear suspension. All souped up to be more GT like, with further workings to the body panels. Other standout features are four-wheel disc brakes and a prototype Conelec fuel injection system. Very ahead of its time.

As the car was part of the GT/Super Coupe program, it sported quite a few one of features including a modified front grille from a 1967 Mustang, louvered hood, hood pins, filled in quarter panel scoops, decklid spoiler, taillights closeout panel with 1965 Thunderbird non-sequential taillights, taillights backing plates, side stripes and Decklid stripes.

The car has been knocking around the block since its inception, being one of the very few not to have gone to the crusher as a prototype. By 2003, Craig Jackson bought the car for his own collection and in 2018 it was fully restored using as many original parts as possible.

There’s clearly a lot of history in this vehicle and it stands out as a shining example of late 60s engineering. Luckily, there’s been a good deal of documentation on the car, which means specialist websites such as Shelby prototype coupes.com have a good deal of information, if you want to read into the back history and workings of the car even further.

 

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