Auction Block: Carroll Shelby’s 1968 Ford Mustang ‘Black Hornet’

Photo: Barrett-Jackson

Beginning as a professional driver in the ‘50s, Carroll Shelby envisioned an American automobile market filled with touring cars like there were in Europe at the time. After his racing career, he opened a customs shop in Los Angeles where he started to develop a relationship with Ford, who was providing parts for his own Cobra models. The success of these cars eventually led to the production of the Shelby Mustang, a third-party, high-performance version of Ford’s popular pony car.

Photo: Barrett-Jackson

The Shelby Mustang was produced between 1965 and 1970, now becoming one of the most revered American cars of all time. In 1967, Ford and Shelby made a prototype called the Green Hornet to test out new features for the limited-edition California Special Mustang. The Hornet was one of two non-racing coupes ever produced by Shelby (the other being the Little Red prototype). 

Photo: Barrett-Jackson

To pay tribute to the iconic Green Hornet for his own personal collection, Shelby transformed a triple black 1968 Ford Mustang with several upgrades he made for its progenitor. Dubbed “Black Hornet,” this one-off car features a 428 Cobra Jet big-block V8 engine, Mallory ignition system, and 10-spoke Shelby wheels, yet retains the car’s four-speed manual transmission. With just 213 miles on the odometer, Shelby signed over the vehicle to its current owner, who’s selling it through Barrett-Jackson auction house at an event in late January in Scottsdale, AZ.

Photo: Barrett-Jackson

There’s no reserve or estimate on the Black Hornet, but the Green Hornet prototype reached bids as high as $1.8 million when it crossed the auction block at Barrett-Jackson back in 2013, even though it failed to meet the reserve price.