Quite a long list of manufacturers including Ford, Volkswagen, Bentley and McLaren opted not to show up at this week's Paris motor show. But weirdly, in not-getting-the-memo-that-traditional-motorshows-are-dying news, Shelby wasn't among those to abandon a stuffy old motor show hall.
It brought along the Shelby Series 2, making what PH would regard as a quite surprising appearance, if only because a Series 2 Shelby would be a surprise appearance anywhere it emerged.
To recap: do you remember the Shelby Series 1? It was Carroll Shelby's first from-scratch sports car, but still, essentially, a bit of a muscle car. It had an aluminium chassis, with a composite body, a big V8 engine in the front driving the back wheels via a five-speed transaxle. The idea was to make 500 but, in the end, between 1998 and 2005 only about 250 ever reached the road.
Then, "several years ago", according to Shelby American, a company called Wingard Motorsports, which looks after Series I Shelbys and cars of that ilk, bought all of the old Series 1 parts. And now the two companies together have come up with the idea of putting the car back into production, albeit at a rate of only four a year, and modified to reduce weight, update the inside a touch.
Wingard can offer the cars finished. Buyers can choose from a Ford Windsor small block, or a Shelby Engine Company 427cu.in (7.0-litre) big block, which Shelby says it can up to 800hp. Weight is said to be from 1,140kg. Prices are from £270,000 with an aluminium body, to £650,000 with a carbonfibre body, of which there'll only be one a year.
All of this slightly nostalgic weirdness brings a muscle car to the centre of a European capital, which is odd, but given you can buy a Chevrolet Camaro and a Ford Mustang in the UK, and a few big pickups with some grumpy looking accessories, maybe we're in a phase of peculiarity. The sensible ones among us already know that a big, lazy engine that you don't stress too hard can return as good fuel economy in the real world as a smaller, highly stressed turbo.
And perhaps new WLTP, rather than the old NEDC legislative drive cycles, if they really are more representative of real world driving conditions, might free the shackles from downsizing and turbocharging, which have brought us a four-cylinder Porsche turbo that, in my hands, is less economical than a naturally aspirated six.
Or maybe, more likely, that has nothing to do with the Shelby appearing at a Paris motor show and it's more down to do with the organisers having space available for any takers. Either way, you know where to head for random, big-engined sports car goodness for a heady premium.