Jim Smart
December 1, 2004

Wayne Pichon is keen about green. No, he doesn't work for the Environmental Protection Agency. Nor will you find the Anchorage, Alaska, resident living in a tree. And no, before you say it, he isn't a banker.

Wayne is into green for reasons outside the more traditional clichs. He's into green Mustangs, Grabber Green Mustangs to be exact. He's owned three of them, all from 1970-a Boss 302, a Boss 429, and this Shelby GT500 convertible. You can't blame him. Rides like that are hard to pass up, especially in Alaska where cars are used for winter practicality, not all-out performance.

Wayne's Grabber Green Shelby started out in Houston, Texas, where he purchased it from the original owner. It had been stored for many years by a man who bought it for his wife. When she passed away, it was never driven again. Sold new at Joe Myers Ford in Houston, it didn't come cheap at $4,878.98. It also didn't come easily for Wayne. Pete Geisler at Orlando Mustang advised him that a Grabber Green GT500 convertible was advertised in the DuPont Registry. Wayne found the ad, got the number, and contacted the seller directly.

After the Shelby arrived in Alaska, Wayne undertook a full-scale restoration that included bodywork and paint, a new top, and other assorted odds and ends. Alaska Custom Refinishing gets the credit for the glistening finish and nice stripe work. Outside of the bodywork and a new top, 0F03R481710 didn't need much because it sat idle for so many years. The interior was in new condition. Underhood, the 428 needed a mild cleanup and detailing.

You have to admit-this one catches the eye in many ways. The Grabber Green exterior sets the stage for a lot more, like the Thunderbird taillights in the Shelby-specific tailpanel and the elongated fiberglass front end that makes the Shelby so different from standard '70 Mustangs. Because the '70 Shelbys were actually leftover '69s serialized as '70 models, they don't have the features of a '70 Mustang. On Wayne's GT500, there is no locking steering column because it's basically a '69 model. Grab the ignition switch in the dashboard and get started on a pre-1970 experience. The black hood stripes and front chin spoiler differentiate it as a '70 model, and Wayne likes that.

Beneath the fiberglass and scooped hood is Ford's 428 Super Cobra Jet big-block sporting 335 factory-rated horsepower with its 780-cfm Holley 4160 carburetor. Behind the CJ is the C6 Select-Shift transmission, which was specifically designed and built for big-block power. What makes this powertrain unusual is the 3.91:1 Traction-Lok 9-inch rearend. In 1970, Ford called this combo the Drag Pack, adding an oil cooler, quick rearend gears, and a 428 "Super" Cobra Jet engine with beefed-up internals.

With the Drag Pack rearend, Wayne's Shelby is certainly impractical for that long road trip down to Prince William Sound. However, it's great fun leaping from traffic light to traffic light, and watching all the startled faces along the way.