Carroll Shelby’s 1968 Ford Mustang Black Hornet headed to auction..


A 1968 Ford Mustang from Carroll Shelby’s personal collection is up for grabs. Nicknamed Black Hornet, it’s scheduled to be auctioned off by Barrett-Jackson at the company’s Scottsdale, Arizona, event to be held Jan. 21-29.

In the 1960s, Shelby American worked closely with Ford to develop new Mustang variants, keeping a handful of Mustangs around as development mules. Shelby tended to give them color-coordinated nicknames, such as Little Red and Green Hornet. According to the auction listing, the Black Hornet was built as a modern-day tribute to the latter, but with a different color and a few other changes.

The Black Hornet features a 428-cubic-inch V-8, which powers the rear wheels through a 4-speed manual transmission, in place of the Green Hornet’s 390-cubic-inch V-8 and automatic gearbox. The notchback coupe also sports many of the Green Hornet’s styling features, including a twin-scoop hood and “EXP 500” badging, but it lacks the original car’s fuel-injection system and independent rear suspension.

The listing says Shelby oversaw the build and put 213 miles on the car before signing over ownership to “his charity foundation” on Dec. 29, 2008. Barrett-Jackson claims the car now has 564 miles on the odometer, and noted that’s recognized as an authentic Shelby-owned Mustang in the Shelby Worldwide Registry.

What appears to be the same car was listed in a 2020 Mecum Auctions catalog, and that listing fills in a few more details. It says Shelby commissioned Legendary G.T. Continuation Cars to build the Black Hornet, which was then donated to home decor retailer Restoration Hardware for an eBay charity auction benefitting the Carroll Shelby Children’s Foundation.

Mecum published a pre-auction estimate of $275,000 to $325,000 for its 2020 auction, although it’s unclear if the hammer price fell in that range. Barrett-Jackson CEO Craig Jackson once turned down a $1.9 million bid for the original Green Hornet, and while this tribute car isn’t as valuable as a genuine Shelby prototype, the connection to Carroll Shelby could mean a lot to the right buyer.

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