Jeff Ford
January 1, 2001

Step By Step

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P163471_large 1970_Ford_Mustang_Shelby Front_Passenger_SideP163470_large 1970_Ford_Mustang_Shelby Front_Driver_SideP163471_large 1970_Ford_Mustang_Shelby Rear_Driver_SideP163472_large 1970_Ford_Mustang_Shelby Front_Driver_Side_BurnoutP163473_large 1970_Ford_Mustang_Shelby InteriorP163474_large 1970_Ford_Mustang_Shelby Battery_StickerP163475_large 1970_Ford_Mustang_Shelby Engine

In a nice subdivision in Brandon, Florida, there is a beautiful but unpretentious house. In that house lives Kent Hatchett; his wife, Cindy; their cute little boy, Brian; and two fuzzy poodles. However, out there in the garage lurks a beast of powerful proportions. "Out there" in the inky darkness that can only be dispelled by a single 60-watt bulb is a '70 Shelby GT500; however, this isn't just any GT500--this big-inch Chevy-eater is an unrestored example. Therefore, we can't discuss how Kent took his time and meticulously restored and detailed the car, nor can we talk about the struggles of how Kent spent hours looking for the correct interior pieces to complete the car.

But we can marvel at how a big-block 428 Cobra Jet managed to stay unmolested and pristine all these years. Think of it sitting in your garage, calling out to you in the darkness--begging you to come out and play, teasing you with its Red topcoat and black Shelby interior. Somehow you resist and manage to stay away from that big powerhouse that packs its punch through a C6 automatic and 3.91:1 Traction-Lok gears. After all, the car is super-rare since it is a '70 model, right? Best to let it accrue interest and remain an investment.

That's probably how it was for the former owners of this GT500--the last of the Shelby Titans. Fortunately for Kent, he has none of those qualms. How do we know? We asked the most deadly of questions of this owner: "Will you do a smoky burnout?" The answer? You can see for yourself. Most folks would shy away, saying that they are too scared to risk the potential damage. Not Kent. He feels as Carroll Shelby does: these cars are meant for driving and the occasional gratuitous tire fry. How else are people going to know that these cars are something special--something more than a trumped-up Mustang with cool graphics? Even so, the original tires--with their 28,825 miles of wear--and the factory Autolite battery were removed: the tires because of dry rot and the battery because it wouldn't start the car. After all of this was completed, we went to school--the local middle school, to be exact--to shoot these photos, which captured a time capsule of 1970. All the tags are there, and all the factory markings are in place, as well as the original power steering, power disc brakes, and the big, ol' subtle-as-an-anvil 428 CJ. Best of all, the car just plain rocks when you stomp the go-pedal--and you know we stomped that go-pedal. Of course, the burnout was performed off school property 'cause you know smokin' ain't allowed at school.