Donald Farr
Former Editor, Mustang Monthly
June 8, 2012
Photos By: Jerry Heasley

Vintage Photos

Photo Model

April 1967 was a busy month for 0139. In addition to its "theft," the convertible was used for a photo shoot on a southern California beach with a female model. Photos from the session (the only time the convertible was seen with 10-spoke wheels) eventually appeared on the cover of the tri-fold '68 Shelby dealer brochure, the "Specifications and Features" sheet, and the first color print ads.

Over the next two months, 0139 was involved in at least two additional photo shoots in its original red color (but with hub caps), including the well-known shots of Carroll Shelby standing between the "new" '68 Shelby convertible and fastback.

Styles notes that close examination of photos confirms that the convertible still had many of its '67 components, including the steering wheel, instrument cluster, rear view mirror, and vent windows. The side reflectors, which were scheduled to become government-mandated safety items for '68, were simply decals stuck onto the rear quarter-panels. The Shelby parts were obviously prototype. For example, the nose was one-piece fiberglass, unlike the three-piece used for production. The tie-down clasps were missing on the rollbar and the hood used earlier-style hoodpins with cables as opposed to the twist-locks found on production '68 Shelbys.

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

At that early stage, the '68 stripes, emblems, and gas cap had not been finalized. Based on original versions of the photos, the convertible was fitted with prototype "GT 500 Cobra" metal emblems, one on the passenger-side instrument panel and larger versions on the doors within the side stripes. It was even possible that the convertible wore two different emblem treatments, one on each side of the car. By the time the photos were used for promotional material, they had been retouched with the production-style gas cap and "GT500" lettering within the stripes on the fenders.

Sometime in June 1967, the convertible prototype was repainted in Wimbledon White, possibly for better contrast in the predominantly black-and-white publications of the time. At least three additional photo shoots took place--at Shelby American, the Hollywood Park horse track, and Coldwater Canyon in Beverly Hills. Photos from the various sessions were used throughout the '68 model year for advertising and promotional purposes.

The G.T. 500 convertible and fastback were also part of Ford's '68 model press long-lead event at Riverside Raceway in early July 1967. Photos from the Motor Trend archives show that Carroll Shelby was there to describe his restyled Mustangs to the press.

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery