Ford Shelby GR-1 Concept to be sold at the Monterey auction later this month

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 1, 2011

For the benefit of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Ford Motor Company has provided a 2005 Ford Shelby GR-1 Concept to be sold off at the Monterey auction later this month.

It will be offered in this auction alongside the 2001 Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadster concept car. There are only two units ever built of the Ford Shelby GR-1 Concept, which is expected to fetch between $150,000 and $200,000 at the auction.

The model was introduced as a fiberglass platform model before the 2005 NAIAS debut of the polished aluminum, driving model. RM Auctions said that what’s being offered is a unique concept from the Ford Design Studio that “pushes the boundaries of design while evoking the Shelby racing dominance of the past.” It was at the 2004 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance that the Ford Shelby GR-1 concept was first shown.

The GR-1 concept is built on the Ford GT platform and is a front-engine, two-seat, fastback supercar that was inspired by the 1964 Shelby Daytona Coupe. Because of its athletic shape and muscular proportions, the GR-1 appears to be strong and quick even when it’s not moving. The race-inspired design keeps its Shelby heritage while at the same time, it looks towards the future.

As this is a platform model, it doesn’t have an engine, drivetrain or interior. George Saridakis sketched the Ford Shelby GR-1 at the Irvine Advanced Design Studio. The Irvine Design team and the head of Ford Design J. Mays then took notice of the initial drawing. The company revealed in a statement that only three sketches of the car were made.

For almost half a century, Ford Motor Company and Carroll Shelby have been working together to come up with what may be some of the most exhilarating, appealing, and successful street cars and race units in history.

In 2004 for example, Shelby partnered not only with Ford Design but also with Advanced Product Creation to create the Ford Shelby Cobra concept. This concept car was based mainly on the Ford GT platform and cements the commitment Ford made in relation to excellent performance and innovative design. The Cobra was first unveiled during the 2004 North American International Auto Show held in Detroit and it even managed to be awarded as “Best in Show.” Following the success of this Cobra-inspired Shelby concept, Ford took it a level higher and created the Ford Shelby GR-1 concept.

The GR-1 had its start as a sketch by designer George Saridakis at Irvine Advanced Design Studio. This initial sketch was noticed by the team at Irvine Design, but more importantly, by Ford Design head J. Mays. Mays revealed that there was no more need to come up with more ideas and that instead, a clay model has to be made immediately. Only three sketches of this concept car were ever made.

Like the Cobra, the GR-1 used the Ford GT platform as a basis. It is a fastback supercar with two seats and a front engine. This particular design serves as tribute to the 1964 Shelby Daytona Coupe. A combination of the powerful proportions and the sporty shape gives it an impression of strength and speed, even if the vehicle is not moving. It shows that it is possible to keep the Shelby tradition while boasting an innovative design.

Ford officially unveiled the Shelby GR-1 concept during August’s 2004 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Shaped like a teardrop, the cabin effortlessly fuses to the magnificent long hood, similar to a Daytona Coupe. Meanwhile, the pair of large hood vents on the front section is complemented with the large air dam. Under its strong curves are the 19-inch 12-spoke wheels, proof that the 1964 Shelby served as an inspiration.

The striking fenders ensure that it gets that aggressive posture which is highlighted by the curved haunches in the rear. A key element in the rear is the unique Kamm tail that is rounded off with the vertical tail lamps, quad exhaust ports, and extra vents. When it comes to collaborations, few have had the excellent results that Ford has had with Shelby when it comes to automotive heritage. Even after 50 years of being partners, the two companies continue to make excellent road-going vehicles using advanced concepts.

These same cars are not only able to perform well on racing circuits but also motivate new designs for the future. With this model, it manages to mix the dominance that Shelby had in the past under racing and the unique concept coming from Ford that pushes the design to the limit.

This is merely one of two vehicles and when it was first unveiled, it was a fiberglass platform model. It officially made its debut during the 2005 Detroit Show as a driving model with polished aluminum. Ford revealed that for the 2005 Ford Shelby GR-1, all proceeds resulting from its sale will be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Topics: ford, shelby, concept, auction

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