Donald Farr
Former Editor, Mustang Monthly
August 14, 2017

In the world of collector cars, the Shelby brand is magic, with both vintage and modern Shelby vehicles offering attributes that raise eyebrows—performance, rarity, unique appearance, and special equipment. In the modern Shelby era, the 2007 Shelby GT propelled the brand back into Mustang prominence. The very first one, used as a concept and photo vehicle, goes on the block at Barrett-Jackson in October.

Following the wildly popular 2006 Shelby GT-H produced exclusively for Hertz, both Shelby and Ford realized there was a demand for a new Shelby Mustang. The two companies quickly put together a deal to offer the Shelby GT for 2007. For the first time since 1967, Mustangs would be shipped to a Shelby production facility for conversion into high-performance models and sold through Ford dealerships.

With the need for a developmental car and publicity photos, Shelby placed an order for a white 2007 Mustang GT. Following the playbook for the GT-H, Shelby added a Ford Racing suspension, unique front fascia, quarter panel scoops, and silver side and dual over-the-top LeMans stripes. Instead of an aftermarket hood as used on the GT-H, Ford preferred a production hood, so Shelby simply added a scoop similar to the one used on the 1965-1966 GT350s. Finally, the Shelby GT concept received its Shelby serial number—07GT01C. Once completed, the first Shelby GT was used for Ford’s press releases and advertising photography, including one with Carroll Shelby, and was also displayed at the New York International Auto Show during the Shelby GT’s introduction.

As a concept car, Shelby GT #1 was retained by Shelby and subsequently utilized for developmental work, including testing for Shelby GT options like the supercharger, Baer brakes, and 20-inch Razor wheels, which remain on the car today. The first Shelby GT also served as a “ride-along” vehicle at events to demonstrate its capabilities on the road course. Over the years, it was often displayed in the Shelby American Heritage Museum in Las Vegas as the first pre-title Shelby Mustang since 1970.

On the 10th anniversary of the Shelby GT, the very first one—or “Whitey,” as it was known at Shelby—will be offered for sale at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on October 19-21. The car comes with a letter of authenticity from Shelby American president Gary Patterson, a color copy of the original Ford MSO that was signed over to Shelby American, and a collection of photos showing the car’s conversion into a Shelby GT along with Ford promotional photography.