Jerry Heasley
February 4, 2015

The words “an old blue Mustang with white stripes” got Rich Barnes excited. “Typically a regular coupe, fastback, or convertible doesn’t come with those kinds of stripes,” Barnes said. How right he was. Peeling back a car cover revealed what appeared to be a real Shelby. Barnes popped open the hood and with wild-eyed fascination stared at a 428 Police Interceptor big-block, dual four-barrel carburetors, and the correct oval air cleaner that screams Shelby.

Underhood, the Shelby tag was visible, too. Inside, Barnes could see the instrument cluster on the passenger seat. Maybe somebody was trying to fix an electrical problem under the dash? A four-speed shifter poked out of the transmission tunnel. Barnes felt a strong urge to thank the man who had led him here. He had “bumped into a guy” in Central City, Colorado, a few days earlier.

“My wife and I were visiting the Teller House. We were in the bar of this old cowboy-mining town. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the story about the ‘face on the bar room floor?’ We were looking at the famous painting on the bar room floor and just started talking to people. They were really friendly.”

This famous painting dates back to the early 1900s. The area was once a hotbed for mining, which petered out. In fact, when Barnes was a kid he would go down there with his family and pan for gold. Limited stakes gambling, legalized in 1991, revived the region’s economy, located just 35 miles west of Denver.

Yes, the valuable wood rimmed steering wheel was inside.
The 428 Police Interceptor appeared complete.

A man named Mickey noticed Barnes was wearing a Ford jacket. They started talking about Mustangs. (Barnes owns The Mustang Ranch in Golden, Colorado. They specialize in ’64½-’73 Mustangs and particularly Shelbys.) Mickey said, “I had an old friend who had a ranch on the outskirts of Golden, Colorado. Have you ever heard of the OK Corral?”

Barnes was not familiar with the place. So, Mickey began telling how his friend, Rodger Hall, had just died and the sons and daughter were liquidating the property. The OK Corral was going to be demolished. They had some old cars and old tractors and things of that nature they were going to sell. Barnes has a gift for gab and likes people. Mickey told him his friend Rodger Hall liked to watch old western movies and TV shows from the ’50s and ’60s, such as Gunsmoke and The Rifleman. Maybe that’s why this old cowboy drove a Shelby. I figure he must have been a fan of Carroll Shelby, a Texan, as well, and the cars he built.

Anyway, the family was liquidating the OK Corral. Among the machinery was this old Mustang, which, like everything else, was to be sold. Barnes wasted no time hustling down to the OK Corral. He wanted to be there first. But, exactly where was the place? “He drew me a little map on a piece of paper because the phone had been disconnected [at the OK Corral]. Sure enough I went over there and sitting back by one of the barns was a car under a cover. You could see it from the road.” Was this covered car the Shelby? Barnes says he could tell by the shape that the car under the cover was a Shelby.

Barnes visited with the son and daughter of the deceased owner. They were fine to let him go check out the ’67 Mustang on his own. Barnes has owned a slew of Mustangs and Shelbys. He spent maybe an hour just messing around with the car, checking it out. Barnes concluded he had run across a superclean ’67 Shelby G.T. 500 fastback with little rust, and very little body damage.

The body had been repainted Midnight Blue, but the original color appeared to be Lime Gold. The stripes were white. The fiberglass hood was there with dual inlet scoops. The car appeared complete, just sitting there in the weeds, curiously, with a car cover. By the condition, Barnes concluded somebody had taken care of this car. The owners explained they didn’t have time to advertise or auction the Mustang. So, after talking for a while Barnes threw an offer at them.

“They were kind of shocked and surprised that the car was possibly worth that much. I could have probably gotten it for a little less money, but I didn’t want to insult anybody or come across like I’m trying to rip them off or hurt their feelings.” They accepted. Barnes was elated. He towed the car back to Mustang Ranch. “I put a battery in it, poured some fuel down the carburetor, and I took a jumper wire and ran it to the positive side of the battery. And then just jumped the starter solenoid and I got the thing to fire right up.” Barnes has another Shelby Mustang for his Mustang Ranch. He plans to restore the Shelby.