Weekly Treasure: 1999 Shelby Series 1

For Sale / Comments

Just 249 were built. This one has just 166 miles.

The legacy and the vehicles Carroll Shelby left behind is immense. Today, there's the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 along with a seemingly endless amount of replica builders. There's also Shelby's own Las Vegas-based company, Shelby American. It's busier and more active than ever. But at around the turn of the century, Shelby decided it was time to design and build a high-performance car entirely in-house. A Mustang or an AC Ace wouldn't be used as the donor car. The final result was the Shelby Series 1, launched in 1999.

Powered by Oldsmobile's 4.0-liter V8 with 320 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque, the Series 1 could do the spring from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, the quarter-mile in 12.8 seconds at 112 mph, and had a top speed of 170 mph. A six-speed manual channeled power to the rear wheels. Total weight: only 2,650 pounds, just 300 or so pounds heavier than an NB MX-5 Miata.

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The engine wasn't the only thing Shelby sourced from GM; the entire instrument cluster was Pontiac designed, and the CD player and radio were courtesy of Buick. Total production came to 249 examples during the single '99 model year run although more were planned. That didn't initially happen because Shelby American was bought by another company while production was taking place.

But in 2004 that company went bankrupt, so Shelby formed a new company and managed to acquire the Series 1 assets, including the components needed for additional output. Unfortunately, there was a snag involving new federal safety regulations that forced Shelby to build the second production run as component cars only, meaning they lacked an engine and gearbox. It was up to customers to finish the rest.

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Those who managed to acquire a first-run Series 1 have typically held on to them hoping they'll increase in value over the years. Although they have not yet achieved the high status enjoyed by Shelby's original crop of Cobras and Mustangs, the Series 1 remains a sought-after collector's item. As usual, some are more valuable than others.

Up for auction on Bring A Trailer is this 1999 example with just 166 miles on its odometer. It boasts carbon fiber and fiberglass bodywork, aluminum chassis, dual-outlet Borla exhaust, and blue vinyl racing stripes. The only noted sign of its age is some paint bleeding on the driver-side rocker panel. As of this writing, the highest bid reached just over $65,000 but there's still nearly a week until the auction concludes.

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