Carroll Shelby will forever be remembered as the man who put Ford V8 engines into AC Cobras in the 1960s, and as the man who souped up Mustangs and other cars for auto manufacturers. For most of his career, Shelby advised or improved upon other people’s projects. What if he set out to design a car of his own? What would it look like? Ladies and gentlemen, the Shelby Series 1 Convertible.
This car has the distinction of being the only car designed, engineered, and built from the ground up by Carroll Shelby. It’s kind of an odd-looking car, though you can tell by looking at it that the fit and finish are too good to be a kit. Only 249 of these vehicles were produced, making them extremely rare. This luxury roadster originally cost $180,000 when it came out in 1999. This particular car belonged to Jamie Navarro, pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Though Shelby worked extensively with Ford during his career, the Series 1 convertible is primarily built around General Motors components. The engine is a 4.0L DOHC V8 derived from the Northstar motor used in the Oldsmobile Aurora. Though rated at 320 horsepower, it is said to produce well over 400hp. Putting the power down is a ZF 6-speed manual transmission.
Shelby put a lot of thought into making this a well-built car. The exhaust is 100% stainless steel. The brakes and suspension are inboard, like a race car. The engine sits behind the front suspension and the car has a perfect 50/50 weight distribution. The body panels are carbon fiber and the chassis is 6061 aluminum. The whole car weighs just 2,800 lbs and can rocket from 0 to 60 in 3.2 seconds with a top speed of 180+ miles per hour.
Perhaps it is due to Shelby’s recent passing, but this car has held its value extremely well. It crossed the block at Barrett-Jackson 2014 with a final sale price of $110,000. Name one other supercar that is 15 years old and has only depreciated by 39% in value – it’s sure to be a short list.
The Series 1 Convertible is an interesting, rare, and surprisingly valuable car, which I feel makes it worth of being featured on our site.