After decades of success across the automotive field, Carroll Shelby decided to embark on a task that he had not to this point ever undertaken: design and produce a car from the ground up. Through years of hard work, regulatory roadblocks, and engineering challenges, the Shelby Series 1 was born. The automotive professionals at Sotheby’s Motorsport are pleased to showcase this 1999 Shelby Series 1 Prototype as one of the many collector-grade cars currently up for auction on its online platform. American muscle through and through, the car made use of Oldsmobile’s 4.0L L47 Aurora V8 and produced 320 horsepower. The body however was purely Shelby, its sweeping lines an homage to the iconic racers of the past, while its advanced suspension and innovative honeycomb chassis structure confirmed a forward-looking vision.
With only 249 production units delivered, the car is scarce by any measure, but this example takes things one step further. This car, serial number CSX50X2, is the second prototype constructed by Shelby American and is the only remaining Series 1 prototype in existence. Serial number 50X1, as the story goes, was destroyed early in the development program during crash testing. With development complete by late 1998, the question of what to do with the prototype arose. After some deliberation, Carroll Shelby gifted the car to long-time friend and then President and COO of Shelby American Donald J. Rager as a bonus for his outstanding contributions to the Series 1 program. The car has since remained in the late Rager’s family, never having been road registered and still retaining its original Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin, signed by Carroll Shelby himself.
The car is finished in silver, and as a prototype, lacks the characteristic racing stripes found on the production units. The bolstered bucket seats are trimmed in black leather with gray inserts and feature the car’s namesake embroidered on their backs. This distinctive prototype features similar amenities to those found in the production vehicle, including a Monsoon CD/cassette stereo and a multi-speaker sound system, however, the seller notes the side windows are plastic. The car has been well cared for and gently used, with just over 12,000 miles now showing on the odometer. Included in the sale are three limited edition Shelby American jackets, the original Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin signed by Carroll Shelby, a copy of the 1998 Bonus Compensation Agreement awarding the car to Donald Rager signed by both Rager and Shelby, photos of Rager and Shelby with the car, and historic magazine articles about the model. Bidding for this collector-grade 1999 Shelby Series 1 Prototype is currently open on Sotheby’s Motorsport by clicking the link below.
Source: Sotheby’s Motorsport