EXP, in the case of the 1968 Ford Mustang you see above, stands for Experimental. You see, this is one of the cars used by the Shelby American team in the development of a long list of classic Shelby Mustang models.

The car, powered by a 390-cubic-inch V8 engine and known internally as The Green Hornet, underwent a huge number of upgrade sessions that saw it receive experimental fuel injection, independent rear suspension and unique disc brakes. That's right, a Ford Mustang with IRS!

In a somewhat baffling turn of events, despite a top bid of $1.8 million, The Green Hornet's reserve price wasn't met, meaning it stays with its current owner for at least one more auction cycle. Have a good look at our image gallery above, and be sure to watch the video below that shows all the fast and furious bidding action. You can also see some additional live footage here from Speed.


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Barrett-Jackson Lot: 5022 - 1968 SHELBY EXP 500 "THE GREEN HORNET"

The legendary Shelby prototype Green Hornet enjoys the distinct history of being one of the very few factory prototypes from that era that survived the crusher. It represents a rolling history of what was happening within Ford and Shelby American in the heyday of the American muscle car era. In 1967 the Ford team was impressed with a prototype Mustang known as "Li'l Red" which inspired the "California Special" also known as the GT/CS. As a result of this effort, two prototypes were built. One of those prototypes was VIN 8F01S104288, a Lime Gold, 1968 Mustang notchback, with a deluxe Ivy Gold interior, 390 V8 engine and C6 automatic transmission. After completing the show circuit, the decision was made not to move forward with the GT/SC program, but instead of being scrapped, the Lime Gold notchback was sent to Shelby American to once again become a prototype, this time for a different kind of Mustang...a Shelby. It was going to be an experimental Shelby, EXP 500, a prototype that would become fondly known as "The Green Hornet." Many modifications were done, as the Green Hornet became the platform for innovation in design, performance and handling, including an experimental Conelec fuel injection system, independent rear suspension and a unique rear disc brake configuration. The Green Hornet became the pet-project of Fred Goodell, Chief Engineer at Shelby American, and both Fred and Carroll Shelby himself spent a lot of time testing and developing components for this project. The destiny of most all concepts and prototypes of the era, especially when the concept did not make it into production, was to meet their demise at the business-end of a crusher. In the case of the Green Hornet, fate intervened, and a Ford executive's fondness for the car, and his ability to wrangle some paperwork, saved the Green Hornet from the crusher and allowed it to slip into the mainstream where it enjoyed a somewhat mundane existence for decades until it was rediscovered and restored back to its former glory. The provenance and story of this incredibly significant piece of Ford, Shelby, and muscle car history is widely publicized and documented. For decades it was thought that the Green Hornet had been destroyed like "Li'l Red" and its celebrated existence had become nothing more than urban legend. When the Green Hornet was discovered to be alive and well and documented by none other than Fred Goodell himself, it was nothing short of miraculous. The Green Hornet's provenance of being a double-prototype, and an experimental platform for innovation and design, puts it into a unique category and represents the best of the best at both Ford and Shelby at the time. Arguably the rarest and most desirable Shelby Mustang of all time, with a documented provenance verifying its authenticity and history, it is, as Carroll said: "the one and only Green Hornet."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      StephenT
      • 1 Year Ago
      Is this the first year that Barrett-Jackson has had reserves on cars? I haven't watched it in a few years but I always thought they emphasized that all vehicles were sold with no reserves.
      Shiftright
      • 1 Year Ago
      Maybe this EXP would have done it: http://ford-parts.uneedapart.com/images/ford-exp-parts.jpg
      adm454@gmial.com
      • 1 Year Ago
      Craig Jackson should be embarrassed over this. You’d think he would have let it go at no reserve, like everyone had to do a few years ago. $1.8 million was plenty for that car. I hope no one went crawling up to him to try and buy this tin can. It’s not like he doesn’t make any money at his auctions. How many tens of millions has he made off of the buying public over the years, to sustain his lifestyle?
      Street King
      • 1 Year Ago
      The car stalled at 1.1 then got shilled to 1.8, they were just hoping someone bid at that level and they would have owned the car. The shilling was strong tonight, it worked too on the fake 71 hemi cuda convertible. http://www.ontariostreetcar.com/2013/01/18/shady-71-hemicuda-convertible-going-through-barrett-jackson-auction-saturday-night/
        wjreiss4
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Street King
        Any idea if this car lived in a collection in Tampa/Clearwater, FL around 2003--4??
      CarsInDepth.com
      • 1 Year Ago
      Am I the only one who thinks Craig Jackson had no interest in really selling this car and only put it in the auction for publicity purposes, in a sense exploiting Carroll Shelby's death? The folks at B-J obviously tried hard to get many high dollar Shelby's consigned for their first auction following Shelby's demise. Jackson said that since Shelby died, every time he sees the car in his garage, he gets "sad". That was his reason for selling it. I guess he put a price on his own sadness because he kept the car when he didn't get the millions he wanted. Look, it's his auction. He can do what he wants with it and if he wants to use his own outstanding collection of cars to promote his business, well, it's his business. That doesn't take away from this particular auction lot seeming like a sham auction.
      Joe
      • 1 Year Ago
      Have we forgotten the SVT Cobra R? Granted, it was a hugh performance specialty, but nonetheless that one was a production Mustang with IRS.
        Matt
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joe
        every single cobra from 99-04 had irs
          Matt
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Matt
          i have an 03 cobra and i have completely disassembled the irs in my car before. do 5 seconds of research and you'll find out you're wrong
          Chance Hales
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Matt
          No they don't. Only the Cobra R did.
          Chance Hales
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Matt
          You're right. My mistake. I was thinking the Shelbys which use a solid axle.
      dmpete
      • 1 Year Ago
      Anyone who thinks this car is a tin can is really missing a few brain cells. This car had a lot of future gear in it, and that is probably why most of it didn't make it to production...because of the price back then. But, if you are a fan of mustangs and Carrol Shelby, frankly I don't see how you couldn't love this car. With that being said 1.8 million dollars is a huge amount of money, I would like to know what the reserve was.
      Clipper44
      • 1 Year Ago
      There's probably only a dozen or so buyers in the entire world who would even think about paying a couple mil for a Shelby Mustang. Craig Jackson tried to exploit Carroll Shelby's death, plain and simple.
      Chance Hales
      • 1 Year Ago
      This has a 428 Cobra Jet in it and had an early form of fuel injection in it. It didn't have a 390. Even the fender badge shows that!
      ngiotta
      • 1 Year Ago
      I've seen this car up close and it's quite impressive. An early Mustang with IRS and a 428CJ w/fuel injection. This car is a 1 of 1-- beyond rare. I would hold out for at least $2 Million.
      Chance Hales
      • 1 Year Ago
      It also belongs to Craig Jackson...
      Brodz
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why has it taken so long for Ford to bring the Mustang in line with this concept?
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