A decade after Carroll Shelby piloted the prototype 2008 Ford Shelby GT convertible during press activities, Aaron Shelby, co-president of the Carroll Shelby Foundation, will drive the car onto the Barrett-Jackson auction block during the 47th annual Scottsdale event, January 13-21.
“We’re selling the Shelby GT prototype driven by my grandfather to help raise money for the charity that he loved,” Aaron Shelby says. “Those funds will give financial support to children and the medical professionals who help them overcome life-threatening health issues.”
He adds that the foundation has been helping children since its inception in 1991 and that a portion of the funds raised will go towards continuing educational development through initiatives like the Carroll Shelby Automotive Technology Program.
According to Gary Patterson, president of Shelby American, the car offered, CSM08SGT0003P, was both the prototype for the 2008 Ford Shelby GT pre-title pony car, as well as the prototype for the first retail Mustang-based, Shelby-built convertible since 1970.
“Since the Shelby convertible was built just as the 2008 cars went into production, this car is actually based on a 2007 model year Mustang,” Patterson says, adding “this makes it very rare since a convertible Shelby GT was not offered in 2007.”
Of the 583 production Shelby GT Vista Blue convertibles produced for the 2008 model year, only the prototype was equipped with a 4.6L V8 tuned by Ford Racing to turn out 319 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque hooked to a five-speed manual transmission. Other highlights exclusive to the prototype include 18-inch Ford factory Shelby GT wheels, the Shelby appearance package, Ford Racing suspension, and charcoal gray interior.
“This is a historically important car because it represents a return of the Shelby ‘small-block’ convertible to Ford dealerships,” says Neil Cummings, co-president of the Carroll Shelby Foundation and Carroll Shelby International, and CEO of Carroll Shelby Licensing. He adds that the car also represents the final year of the pre-title manufacturing agreement between Ford Motor Company and Shelby for the Shelby GT program.
The prototype also served as the company’s official press car. Seen in Vista Blue with silver stripes, it was photographed for all of the media photos that accompanied every initial article about the Shelby GT convertible that year, including coverage by automotive outlets such as Motor Trend, Road & Track, AutoWeek, Car & Driver, Automobile and Mustang Monthly.
The 2008 Shelby GT owned by the Carroll Shelby Foundation is scheduled to cross the Barrett-Jackson Auction block on Friday, January 19, 2018, between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. CMT.