LONG ASSUMED to have been destroyed, the rare 1967 Shelby GT500 EXP notchback Protoype has been found in rural Texas and announced at the recent Woodward Dream Cruise in Michigan. Barrett-Jackson CEO Craig Jackson announced Little Red had been located by him and his team including restoration specialist Jason Billups. Many searches for Little Red proved fruitless, before Jackson and his team discovered the car in rural Northern Texas.

It’s the only GT500 hardtop coupe built by Shelby American, the second GT500 coupe ever to be “serialised and completed”, and the only GT coupe ever ordered from the factory with dual-quad carburettors.

Jackson and his team called it the “Holy Grail” of lost Mustangs, further calling it “the discovery of a lifetime”.

“This Shelby prototype has been one of the most soughtafter and elusive vehicles in postwar history,” he said.

“Countless enthusiasts and experts have searched for Little Red since it went missing in the 1960s. Many believed it was destroyed when the car was no longer needed."

Little Red was one of two notchback coupes built as experimental cars by Ford Motor Company and Shelby American; with this being a development car that gained a restyled body, and a Paxtonsupercharged big-block. It later became the model for Ford’s popular 1968 California Special before it was moved to storage and presumably lost.

The search initially led to a dead end, like every search prior – they attempted to track the car via its Shelby Serial Number. Using the Ford VIN, Jackson and his team found the car’s original registration, and eventually made contact with its last owner. The plan is to restore it to its former glory, a big task, as its been sitting in a Texas field for 20 years. The front end and all-important engine are missing. Given its lost history and whereabouts for 50 years, Barrett-Jackson is asking for any personal accounts, stories and photos featuring Little Red to ShelbyPrototypeCoupes.com.