The 1968 Shelby Coupe / Green Hornet
Designation: "EXP 500"


updated 1/11/19

By Craig Jackson, Jason Billups, Paul Newitt and Peter Disher
Assistance provided by the Shelby American Automobile Club

I will be the first to admit, I have had questions about the second Shelby coupe. After becoming involved with the second restoration of the car, those questions were answered.

Unlike Little Red, the Green Hornet would not receive a Shelby serial number. There is no doubt that the car was a Shelby. Ford serial number 8F01S104288 would later be one of the first cars to recieve an experimental, 428 Cobra Jet engine. The car was also equipped with Conelec fuel injection system.

The original build sheet for the car that would become the Green Hornet. Like Little Red, The Green Hornet was also updated during its time in the Engineering department. The build sheet shows the car was originally Lime Gold and equipped with a 390 engine.

I commissioned this rendering of what the car looked like when it arrived at Shelby Engineering in the fall of 1967. This information is directly from the original build sheet.

Sorting out how the car looked at the factory is always challenging. This photo first appeared in the Shelby American magazine. It was supplied by a previous owner, after the car left Shelby Automotive. The white vinyl top was added by the owner, replacing the black top installed at Shelby. The car appears with a light colored, paint job and the original "EXP 500" stripes. You can see the later style reflectors on the rear quarter panels. Although this an early built car, the quarter panels were "updated" by Shelby, to bring the car in line with mid-year changes to the bodystyle.

This paper shows Fred Goodell, Shelby's Chief Engineer was still using the car in 1970. This was after the Shelby program shut down.

Here is one of the more interesting discoveries made during the second restoration of the Green Hornet. The original green color. The color included several coats of candy. The candy color actually darkens the paint and adds the metallic flakes.

The car debuted at the 2018 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals in Chicago. This is one of the biggest shows of the year. The car now sports an accurate metallic green, candy paint job. This is the color that was actually found underneath previous repaints. You will also notice the rocker stripes are the correct color. This car has a spray on vinyl top, just like the earlier 1967 coupe.

One of things that really persuaded me was much of the original interior remains intact. Original seats and headliner remained in the car.

All of the people that restored this car strived for accuracy. When you have a car that was constantly changing at the factory, it's hard to determine what is "correct". This engine is unbelievable. The car retains its original Cobra Jet heads. An experimental "XE" cast iron intake manifold and a pair of "XE" exhaust manifolds were also used. You would not be able to duplicate this collection of rare parts. The car has working AC and a complete Thermactor emissions system.

Once the Conelec Electronic fuel Injection was installed, the engine actually made more horsepower and produced more torque. Although gas mileage is not a concern, it too is most likely better.

A small display case with some very rare, Conelec EFI parts was also at the show. Currently, there are only three cars running the original EFI system.

Paul Newitt is the person most responsible for recognizing the historical significance of the car and his work should be recognized. This car would also be used as a model for the California Special. Martin Euler originally restored the car and did an excellent job preserving the history. Jason Billup's restoration brought the car up to today's standards.

The Green Hornet and Little Red are both ready to represent the most unique time in muscle car history. Please feel free to contact me if you have any information on these cars!