By the end of the ’60s, Shelby decided he needed to build a successor to Cobra 289 and Cobra 427. But he didn’t settle for just a restyled version or an improved old model. Rather than that, he constructed a new car with a mid-mounted V8 engine and racing suspension to provide performance on a whole new level. Shelby took the modified GT40 platform, along with the engine and transmission, and designed a different body that was even lighter than the standard GT40.
Initially, they called the car the Shelby Cobra III. But soon after that, Shelby declared they had built the prototype in England. So, the Ford executives said they owned the rights to the “Cobra” nameplate, forbidding Carroll to use it. And because Ford didn’t want to build another Cobra, Shelby was on his own. He decided to rename the car the “Lonestar” after his home state of Texas. They only completed one Shelby Lonestar in 1968. But due to the name and lack of Ford’s financial backing, that one Lonestar remained a sole example. For decades, enthusiasts thought it was gone.