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Money No Object: 1999 Shelby Series 1 Prototype – Shelby And Oldsmobile, Who Would’ve Thought?

Money No Object: 1999 Shelby Series 1 Prototype – Shelby And Oldsmobile, Who Would’ve Thought?

There was such hope for this car when it started bubbling the rumor mill. It was Shelby’s first fully in-house vehicle, the whole way through, front to back. It was the engine from the Oldsmobile Aurora, the 4.0L 32-valve Northstar-based V8 that was technically advanced, complex, and in the Aerotech concept vehicle, was the unit that claimed 47 records over it’s time, including an endurance record that saw over 170 miles per hour over 10,000 kilometers. When the body shell appeared, it looked like the proper 1990s evolution of the Cobra, with a neat little ducktail, great proportions (a Series 1 is about ten inches shorter than a C5 Corvette) and the ability to bend space and time. What wouldn’t there be to love?

Well…a bit. The Series 1 had a very rough gestation. Rumors started floating in the mid-1990s, the car didn’t get tested until the late 1990s, the price tag kept creeping up, originally from about $99,000 to nearly two big bills, and there were some details that had been problematic, such as the roof fixture that had to be sorted after the early cars started making their way out to customers. The Aurora mill had to be kicked up in power and that took time. Shelby himself was bent that the car would be perfect and with issues here and there, fine-tuning seemed to take forever…then everybody quit talking about them and people forgot about them.

But they are worth looking at. The Olds/Shelby combination was a screamer that revved like a mother, the handling was on-par with a contemporary Corvette or Viper, and it’s top-down comfort was reportedly unreal even when you were in the triple digits. And looks might be subjective, but in my eyes the Series 1 was a achingly pretty car, GM parts-bin pieces be damned. Painted black (the only one I’ve seen that isn’t silver), I’m in lust. This car has never been sold to a private owner…Shelby American had the car through 2016 and the car was displayed in a Shelby collector’s showroom until now. It’s only got 2,670 miles. It’s brand-new in my eyes. I don’t want to know how much this car will go for at Mecum, but I’d offer up body parts in trade.

Mecum Auctions’ Indy 2020: Lot S70 – 1999 Shelby Series 1 prototype (CSX50X4)

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5 thoughts on “Money No Object: 1999 Shelby Series 1 Prototype – Shelby And Oldsmobile, Who Would’ve Thought?

  1. Curtis

    I don’t have any idea how many of these things were produced so that number and its value would have an effect on my two choices of things to do with this car. One, leave it as is and enjoy it sparingly. Two, swap out the motor for a twin turbo 6 litre LS and make it perform like a real Cobra by doing so.

  2. tyler garrett

    Interesting fact.A gentleman (obviously with to much money) bought all the aluminum chassis that had been sitting in a warehouse and is trying to build and sell a car that looks more or less like a Cobra 427SC. I spoke to him at length at a super car event here in West Palm Beach a few years back.

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