Our Founder Barry Smith
Founder Barry Smith was a close friend of Carroll Shelby and is a major supporter of the Carroll Shelby Foundation. Barry has always been fascinated with Shelby performance cars with his personal collection features a wide variety of 1960s era Shelby vehicles.
Carroll and Shelby American had a major influence on the launch of Legendary G.T. in 2005. In fact, Carroll encouraged Barry to honor his legacy with the line of authorized heritage Continuation cars.
From Left to Right: Gary Patterson, Aaron Shelby, Barry Smith
Carroll didn’t want the vehicles he created to collect dust. He felt they’re meant to be driven. So we build world class heritage Continuation Shelby cars for drivers, exactly the way Carroll told us to do it.
The Continuation series Shelby GT500 and ShelbyG.T.350 model cars are built from original 1960s era Mustangs, with factory VINs and original titles. The donor cars are stripped to bare metal for transformation into the appropriate model Shelby car. Customers can opt for an original Shelby fastback or a regular Mustang for renovation. Each car is built to order with the customer part of the design process.
The big block Shelby Cobras, small block street and FIA Cobras, as well as the Shelby Cobra Daytona coupes are available in various trim and models. Built in the same spirit as those that won the FIA Sports Car World Championship in 1965 and dominated racing during the period, they are still potent cars. Several are currently available from Legendary G.T.’s impressive collection.
With original style and “Resto-Mod” versions available, all the vehicles feature powerful Ford V8 motors from the Carroll Shelby Engine Co. Sales of the Continuation cars are managed exclusively through Shelby American.
The Continuation Shelby cars are built and shipped to the Shelby American Headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada for owners to take delivery. Documentation is provided to the official Shelby American Registry for posterity.
I’ve always been asked, ’What is my favorite car?’ and I’ve always said ’The next one.’
The Black Hornet
In the early 2000s, Carroll Shelby asked Barry Smith to recreate the 1968 “Green Hornet” Shelby hardtop experimental that was used in the late 1960s as an “EXP 500” prototype. That ground-breaking car was a platform to explore new technologies, including 4-wheel disc brakes, fuel injection and independent rear suspension. In honor of Carroll’s trademark ebony Stetson hat, Shelby requested the car to be painted in Raven Black rather than the original green. Side stripes proclaiming “EXP.500 C.S.S” were then added.
To build Shelby’s Black Hornet, we started with a factory S-code big-block Mustang and upgraded it to 428 Cobra Jet engine paired to a Toploader 4-speed transmission. Like the original, it is equipped with a Shelby fiberglass hood, side scoops, ducktail rear spoiler and sequential 1965 Thunderbird tail lights. Power is enhanced by a Shelby intake manifold, Holley 700 CFM carburetor, Edelbrock aluminum heads and Mallory ignition. Additional equipment includes a Currie 9-inch rear end with 3.25 gears, Griffin aluminum radiator, power steering and brakes, as well as deluxe wood-grain interior with Shelby console and Legendary Auto Meter gauges. The passenger side instrument panel was signed by Carroll Shelby. The wheels are 1968-style Shelby aluminum 10-spokes with Goodyear GTII tires. As an official Shelby-authorized build, the Black Hornet is listed in the official Shelby Registry.
The first Black Hornet was displayed at the 2008 SEMA Show and then donated to home furnishing retailer Restoration Hardware for an eBay charity auction that benefited the Carroll Shelby Children’s Foundation. Legendary Cars is authorized to build a handful of tribute cars in either green or black.