Jerry Heasley
October 1, 2007

Pete says, "It took a lot of fabrication work. It looks sexy and it works fantastic. I wanted the rear to be balanced, especially with the type of stuff I was doing up front with the engine and drivetrain."

Behind the 4.6L is Ford's five-speed T45 transmission. It spins a set of 3.50:1 gears in a Currie Enterprises differential.

Another challenge the young engineer tackled was enabling the 4.6L to run with Ford's EEC-V computer. For Pete, the issue was service. What if the engine had a problem on a long trip? Pete wanted the driver to be able to pull into a Ford dealer to service the 4.6L just as he would for a '99-'01 Cobra. The '67 would have an OBD-II port underdash, a check-engine light, and a mass air fuel injection system. Pete refers to the theme of the car as "built to be driven, not just to look at."

Roughly halfway through the build, Pete says "somebody stepped in and wanted to buy the car." From that point on, the new owner directed the build to suit his taste. Still, the car continued to follow the theme Pete had laid out from the beginning.

The new owner is a prominent collector who wants to remain anonymous for now. He owns original Shelbys and other musclecars, but the Reenmachine is a high-performance Shelby look-alike he can drive every day.

There was no question the GT500 would look vintage, right down to the Billet MaRodder wheels from Wheel Vintiques. A Shelby aficionado could easily mistake them for '67 GT500 Mag Stars, but they're billet and measure 17x8 inches.

The interior follows the same theme. Seats are SCAT ProCar Elites, but as vintage as they look, right down to the correct Comfortweave inserts and grain in the vinyl, they're high-backs with modern seat tracks, adjustable headrests bolstering for additional support, and the ability to recline. Overall, the interior resembles a '67 Shelby Deluxe, with some modern touches that tastefully integrate with the overall appearance. For gauges, Pete chose Stewart-Warner for its history with Shelbys and other performance Mustangs. They're modern white-face gauges featuring a full-size tach and a fully electronic speedometer.

On the outside, the Le Mans stripes feature one wide stripe with the narrower stripes on either side. Readers in the know will recognize this pattern as specific to the '67 Shelby Super Snake. When the light bounces off the hood at the right angle, the pearlescent of the white stripes pops.

Pete built his inaugural Reenmachine with a sense of history. That's what you get from a mechanical engineer who worked on the Mars Rover project. But down deep inside, he is that 15-year-old kid, still fascinated with old Mustangs and Shelbys.

The Real DealShelby American never offered a convertible Shelby Mustang in '67, instead waiting until '68 to introduce the top-down GT350s and GT500s. However, a '67 Shelby convertible was considered, as evidenced by the existence of a lone prototype. The car was passed around on a regular basis to employees of Shelby American before it was stolen in the summer of 1967. It was eventually recovered and returned to Ford Motor Company, where it was updated with '68 Shelby parts and sold as a '68 GT500 convertible.

Now returned to its original configuration, the '67 Shelby convertible prototype is currently owned by the Volo Auto Museum in Volo, Illinois.

Quickspecs
Exterior

  • Body: '67 Mustang convertible with '67 Shelby bodywork
  • Taillights: '67 Shelby sequential
  • Grille: '67 Shelby replica with inboard lights
  • Body Color: Custom red
  • Stripes: Super Snake-type, pearlescent white
  • Side Stripes: '67 Shelby GT500, white