Mustang MonthlyFeatured Vehicles
1967 Shelby G.T. 500 - Dusty Might
A Potent Shelby Sits Idle In New Jersey
Brothers George and Randy Porubski are dyed-in-the-wool Blue Oval fans. Not only have they bought, collected, and restored too many Ford products to count on their collective toes and fingers over the last 30 years, but they also have made the restoration hobby their fulltime job. They own and operate Perogie Enterprises in Hightstown, New Jersey, a company that supplies "must-have" parts and services to the discriminating Ford restoration junkie. Need a rare part for that Mustang, Torino, or other Ford model? These guys probably have it.
Back in 1980, George owned a sweet '68 Shelby G.T. 500. Though it was the real deal and a highly sought-after ride, it wasn't exactly what he wanted. When Randy purchased a 1967 Shelby G.T. 500 for himself, good 'ol George knew that his brother's newly acquired Shelby would have to be his. Luckily Randy was more than game to trade their rides, as he actually preferred George's '68 to his freshly acquired '67. So the brothers swapped Shelbys, and George got his dream car. On the flipside, Randy was just as joyful as his bro. It was win/win all around.
The '67 was in decent shape when George got his mitts on it. Though the original Lime Gold paint was covered with a shade of red, the rest of the car was original and intact, including all the important parts that make a Shelby a Shelby. Parts like the original 428, the original transmission, rearend, gauges, wooden steering wheel, and rollbar were all present and accounted for. The paint, unfortunately, was in a sorry state; it had faded severely in several spots. So George decided to pull the motor and take care of a few necessities to get this Shelby back in top form.
George ran the car with the headers uncorked and was clocked at 148 mph
Once the 428 was out, the owner decided to tuck the engine away for safekeeping. George had other plans for the car's motor motivation brewing in his car-crazy cranium. A red repaint was ordered up first, and so the Shelby got a reskin in '67 T-code enamel. But now, to fill the vacant engine bay, a 427 medium-rise motor was built and installed. The big-block was standard bore, stuffed with 12.5:1 slugs, topped with a 2x4 tunnel wedge, and finished off with a set of Hooker headers. Being a collector of rare speed parts, even George was quite proud of the 427's radical intake—a NASCAR piece topped with a pair of 600-cfm Holleys.
Needless to say, the car was an animal on the streets. The 427 made the Shelby into a true race car. But the accolades didn't stop there. She was as beautiful as she was fast, and the brothers showed the 'Stang whenever they could. Since they were members of the Shelby American Automobile Club, their G.T. 500 hit the show circuit. In 1982, at SAAC 7, the car made an appearance at the Shelby Convention held at Pocono Raceway. At the meet, George ran the car on the open track with the headers uncorked and was clocked at 148 mph! The brothers, and employee Larry Tanedo, took turns bringing friends out for rides (which you could still do back then), running the Shelby the way it was meant to be run.
The car was also an object of admiration in the brother's respective families. Many a time the blazing red Shelby was rolled into "show and tell" day at their kid's elementary schools. Imagine the unlucky classmate who had to go on after one of the Porubski's kids had their dad rumble into the parking lot with that nasty 427 throwing all that horsepower down to the pavement. I guess that next kid's pet frog didn't seem so cool after that display.
In 1988, the Shelby went into the garage at Perogie and the potent 427 was pulled out. It sat with an empty engine bay for more than 20 years. Not forgotten, really, but just "put aside" when life's duties came calling. By now their business had blossomed, and all that extra time they had earlier had dwindled. Family life was put first, as it should be, and the Mustang took a back seat to wives, kids, and of course the business.
In 2009 some steps were taken to get the car back on the road. The original 428, which had been pulled back in 1981, was freshened up and reinstalled. The motor was broken in while the car sat in the garage. George ran it for a good two hours, making sure that the big-block would once again deliver its original dose of horsepower. The transmission was also rebuilt with new bearings and gaskets, and a 31-spline Trac-Lok unit was added out back. New four-caliper discs were installed along with Ford rotors for precise stopping power. Once these modifications were completed, the Shelby went back to another peaceful slumber for the last five years and has not been reintroduced to the winding rural roads around Hightstown as of yet.
With only 54,000 miles on it, the '67 still has a lot of life ahead of her. George plans to get her out again one day but just doesn't feel the need to rush. Hey, after 26 years, what's a few more months—or years—to make sure you get it right? Knowing the handiwork of these two brothers, there's no doubt this G.T. 500 will once again tear up the streets of Jersey, and do it with the style that only a true Shelby can deliver.
At a Glance
1967 Shelby G.T. 500
Owned by: George Porubski, Highstown, NJ
Restored by: Owner (restoration ongoing)
Engine: 428ci/355hp Police Interceptor V-8
Transmission: Top Loader 4-speed manual
Rearend: 3.91 gears with Trac-Lok
Wheels: 15x7 Shelby 10-spoke
Tires: P215/70R15 BFGoodrich T/A radials
Photo GalleryView Photo Gallery