1999 Shelby Series 1 Roadster

Carroll Shelby was involved in the production of numerous performance machines in his lifetime, but only one was designed and built entirely in his hands. That car was the Shelby Series 1, developed in the late 1990s as a modern successor to his famous Cobra. Developed using the best of modern engineering and construction techniques, it sported a high-strength all-aluminum chassis, modern carbon fiber bodywork, and a Shelby-modified Oldsmobile 4.0-liter Aurora V-8. Even with all these high-performance features, the Series 1 was still a comfortable car, with a folding soft-top and power side windows, power steering, power disc brakes, factory air-conditioning, and a Monsoon sound system.

The chassis was made of extruded and formed 6061 aluminum. It was welded together and then post-heat-treated for maximum strength throughout. Then specially designed aluminum honeycomb panels were bonded into the floorboards and rocker panels for added structure and stiffness. The body panels were carbon fiber and fiberglass laminate. The engine, torque-tube, transaxle, and damper mounts were all rubber-isolated from the frame. The results of all this innovative technology are obvious the first time you drive this incredible car. Performance of the Series 1 was breathtaking. The car could rocket from 0–60 mph in 4.4 seconds, cover the quarter mile in only 12.8 seconds at 112 mph, and reach a top speed of 170 mph, which is actually faster than a 427 Cobra. For a man who claimed that his favorite automobile was “the next one,” it was undoubtedly satisfying to come up with such performance numbers. A total of 249 production Series 1s were built, making the model extraordinarily rare and collectible from the moment that it was created. It’s the only Shelby automobile that was fully designed right from the ground up rather than modifying an existing platform.

This Shelby Series 1, which carries the Shelby serial number CSX5165, was the 165th Series 1 to roll off the production line, and the only example finished in black with Garnet Red stripes.  It has covered only 1302 miles from new and remains in stellar original condition, as would be expected of an automobile with such low mileage. The interior is in excellent shape, and the soft top is clean and tight. With the beautiful black and Garnet Red exterior and three-piece forged aluminum Carroll Shelby wheels fitted to brand new Nitto tires, it remains a stunning automobile. Its performance figures are still in line with some of the hottest American cars of today.  The panel fit, the finish, and the interior are all excellent and, with the aggressive styling enhanced by the black paint scheme, this Series 1 brings together the very best of what Shelby had to offer in 1999.

Certainly a significant automobile in Shelby history, this particular Series 1 would be an outstanding partner to a Cobra or GT 350 in the collection of its next owner, and as the only original Series 1 produced in black with Garnet Red accents, it’s a Shelby with a story that quite simply will not ever be replicated again.


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