15 year old Shelby GR-1 concept going into production
Debuted way back in 2004, the Shelby GR-1 concept was a modern re-imagination of the seriously cool Shelby Daytona racer. There was some talk about it being a successor to the Ford GT, continuing the halo car retro vibe, but nothing came out of that. What did was a fully functional car with a 6.4-liter V10 good for 605 horsepower and noise that makes a lion scramble to safety.
Listen how it growls:
But now, the fastest mirror mirror on the road is finally going to be produced, and it won't be Ford making it. Instead, it will be a classic car replica maker from California - Superformance - that will do the job.
Lance Stander, Superformance CEO, has been hounding Ford for years for permission to build the GR-1, and finally announced at the Petersen Automotive Museum that he has received Ford's blessing to make the modern Daytona Coupe.
"It's been a project I've been working on with Ford for about six years. We originally said we want to do the GR-1, and we spoke to everyone at Ford, and they said, 'it's never going to happen. Just forget about it.'"
"We could have done a replica, we could have done a kit car, but that was never good enough for us. We had to get licensed by the original manufacturer, and it had to have all credibility. So I just kept plodding along and eventually the stars aligned, the right people at Ford got to hear about it and... a couple of guys at who really wanted to see it happen at Ford Design in Europe, and the next thing I know is Ford Licensing is contacting me."
The first 200 examples will have aluminium bodies, either polished as seen on the original concept, or painted.
Later cars will have carbon fibre bodies, and that's not all the modernization Superformance has in store for the GR-1. Carroll Shelby was toying with the idea of using electric motors for performance before his passing in 2012 so the GR-1 will be available as an electric vehicle too.
"Carroll was always on the edge. He was an innovator. And that's the way we still hold the company. You know, the world's changing, and we have to go with the world," said Laviolette. "It's gonna be very fast."
Some details of the GR-1 remain fuzzy, like if it will even be possible to call it GR-1 in the first place.
It's unknown whether the original concept's V-10 will power the internal combustion version. Modified Ford modular engines such as the 6.8-liter Triton V-10 could serve as a substitute with modification if Superformance elects not to copy the concept's 6.4, though customers would presumably prefer the aluminium engine.
Fuzziest of all is when the GR-1 will actually arrive. According to a spokesperson for Shelby American, a piece of legislation that would give the companies approval to build the car can't go through during the federal government shutdown.
If that got you yearning for some more concept cars
here is 10 more that deserved to be made, but were cancelled at the last moment. Hopefully, the luck shines on them too.
We now have futuristic versions of both GT40 and the Daytona Coupe. Which one would you have?