What Is the Green Hornet Mustang?

The legendary Shelby Green Hornet has one of the more unique backstories in Mustang history. Originally developed in 1967 as one of two prototypes for the California Special Mustang, the Green Hornet — VIN number 8F01S104288 — made the rounds in the show circuit that year before Ford decided to scrap to program altogether. Fortunately, the Green Hornet ended up in the capable hands of Fred Goodell, who just a year prior had been appointed chief engineer at Shelby American.

Green Hornet MustangGoodell, along with Carol Shelby himself, immediately began to experiment on the car, a hardtop outfitted with Ford’s deluxe interior and a 390/C6 drivetrain. Goodell began by swapping out the 390 for a 428 Cobra Jet V-8 and installing a Conelec electronic fuel-injection system. The car’s automatic transmission was replaced with a new unit built to F-350 spec. An independent rear suspension was also added, as was a set of rear disc brakes and an upgraded front suspension.

Goodell’s modifications reportedly led the Green Hornet to deliver an impressive 5.7 second 0-60 time and a top speed of 157 MPH. The Green Hornet’s already unique look was complemented by a dark metallic green paint job and a black hardtop. When efforts to translate the Green Hornet’s design ideals into a viable production car stalled, Goodell’s fondness for the vehicle led to him saving it from the crusher. Initially sold to a Ford employee, it eventually wound up in the hands of Cheboygan, Michigan-area Ford dealer Don Darrow.

Darrow ended up selling the Green Hornet once again, and it passed through several owners before resurfacing in 2012 at a Barrett-Jackson auction. While valued at over $3 million, the Green Hornet failed to meet its $1.8 million reserve and is currently owned by Barrett-Jackson CEO Craig Jackson.

The Green Hornet’s Legacy

The Green Hornet is a remarkable Mustang for a number of reasons — not only did it avoid the fate of so many other prototype cars, it stands as a relic from an important period in Mustang and muscle car history. Although it failed to fetch its desired price at auction, the Green Hornet remains one of rarest and most remarkable Shelby Mustangs of all time.