In more ways than one.
The GT was the first ever retail convertible to be sold by Shelby since 1970. In total, 2214 GTs were built, 583 of which were convertible variants powered by a 4.6-liter V8 fitted with Ford Racing's Power Upgrade Package. That boosted power to 315 hp and increased the torque to 330-lb ft. At this month's Barrett–Jackson Scottsdale sale, a rare prototype Shelby GT convertible will be auctioned off to raise money for the Carroll Shelby Foundation. This particular prototype was manufactured in 2007 ahead of the model entering full production the following year.
Carroll Shelby Foundation co-president Aaron Shelby will drive the car onto the auction block a decade after his grandfather, Carroll Shelby, drove it at media events. It was the only official press car available at the time. The rare prototype will be going under the hammer on January 19 with no reserve, with all proceeds benefiting the Foundation's work helping children suffering from life-threatening illnesses. "The Carroll Shelby Foundation has been helping kids with the race for life since 1991. We're selling the Shelby GT prototype driven by my grandfather to help raise money for the charity that he loved," said Shelby.
"Those funds will give financial support to children and the medical professionals who help them overcome life-threatening health issues. Some of the money will also promote continuing educational development through initiatives like the Carroll Shelby Automotive Technology Program." This is a historically important car because it represents a return of the Shelby small-block convertible to Ford dealerships, as well as the final year of the pre-title manufacturing agreement between Ford Motor Company and Shelby for the Shelby GT program," Co-CEO of Carroll Shelby International Neil Cummings added.
"The winning bidder will own a car personally cherished by Carroll Shelby, as well as having the satisfaction of contributing to the charity that Carroll so loved." Other upgrades to the GT also included revised aerodynamics, a short-throw gearshift, and tuned suspension. The prototype being sold for charity is finished in blue with silver stripes running the full length of the car as a homage to the company's Cobra and Daytona coupe racing liveries. At the same auction, Barret Jackson will also be selling the world's first electric Ferrari.