How the Ford Shelby GR-1 Works

A Nod to the Past

Photo courtesy Ford Motor Company

In 2004, Ford unveiled the Ford Shelby Cobra concept car, a futuristic, minimalist roadster that followed the Shelby formula -- put a big engine in a small, lightweight car. A year later, Ford unveiled the Shelby GR-1.

A distinctive aluminum body covers the GR-1's smooth, aggressive shape. The design is very reminiscent of the 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe, a car Shelby designed as a faster, more aerodynamic version of his already successful Cobra roadsters.

Photo courtesy Ford Motor Company

Ford was able to create a working prototype of the GR-1 in a short amount of time because it is based on the chassis of the Ford GT. The suspension, steering and braking systems also come straight from the GT. In fact, it took only six months from the initial design sketch to the unveiling of a mockup with a fiberglass body, and it was just a few more months until they had a fully operational prototype. That commonality of parts also means there's a decent chance the GR-1 could become a production model.

Next, we'll see how the GR-1 was designed and created.