How the Ford Shelby GR-1 Works

Creating the GR-1

Photo courtesy Ford Motor Company

In many cases, cars are designed starting with the frame or the engine, and once the internal components are completed, the body is shaped around it. This is one reason so many of today's supercars look similar -- they tend to conform to the body shape required of a mid-engine-design, aerodynamically stable vehicle.

The Ford Shelby GR-1 is a supercar in a league of its own. The design for the car started with a single sketch by Ford designer George Saridakis. "George produced this completely resolved sketch, the best I've seen in 10 years," said J Mays, Ford Motor Company vice president of design. "This is a designer so masterful at visualizing every aspect of the car and its story that it literally flowed out of his pen." Ford also sidestepped another common aspect of supercar design -- high-technology. Yes, the GR-1 is modern, but it doesn't incorporate any experimental technologies in the mechanical systems. Instead, the car relies on Shelby's simpler vision of high-performance: putting a lot of high-quality parts in a well-designed car. It's still incredibly sophisticated and advanced, but with so much of the car coming from the Ford GT, the designers didn't have to go out on any limbs for the GR-1.

Like all concept cars, the GR-1's main goal in life is to lend prestige to the manufacturer. However, if the GR-1 goes into production, it could have a much livelier future. GR-1 stands for Group Racing 1, and that harkens back to the great Shelby cars of the 1960s, which dominated the American road racing circuit and gave Ferrari a serious challenge in the European series. It's possible we could see a GR-1 tearing up the Daytona track in the next few years.