John Gilbert Staff Editor
December 18, 2015

If the Doors’ Jim Morrison was alive today it’s likely the first question any Mustang guy would ask him is, “what ever happened to your 1967 Shelby GT500?”

The scene is in West Hollywood, at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Doheny Drive. Gil Turner’s liquor store has been known as “the liquor store to the stars” since it opened in 1953. I knew that my friend Sonny Goulet, a Hollywood stuntman, had worked at Gil Turner’s before joining the Screen Actors Guild, so I asked him if he had met Morrison during that time. Sonny replied Morrison was coming into the store regularly for about two weeks. He said Morrison was boisterous and a nice guy, and would buy a bottle of Wild Turkey and then walk back up Doheny Drive. I asked Sonny if he ever caught a glimpse of Morrison driving a car and he told me he watched Janis Joplin pull up to Gil’s in her psychedelic mural-painted 356 Porsche the week before she died, but no, he never witnessed Morrison driving a car. Sonny is a hardcore Ford man so he would have committed seeing the Nightmist blue Shelby to long-term memory.

In 1966, beginning on May 23, the Doors were the house band at the Whisky `a Go-Go opening for acts like Arthur Lee’s band Love, Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention, Buffalo Springfield, and more. The Doors’ gig at the Whisky ended the night of August 21, 1966 with the band getting fired thanks to Jim’s impromptu lyrics of an Oedipal enhanced nature creeping into The End.

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The success of the Doors’ first album was rewarded with Elektra Records gifting Jim the ’67 Shelby GT 500. There are several theories on the ultimate fate of the car. Because it keeps the saga confined to the Sunset Strip I like the version where Morrison, in a drunk and doped stupor, plows into a light pole on Sunset Boulevard. The story goes that Jim climbed out of the Shelby, chuckled at the damage and then finished the rest of his trek to the Whisky on staggering foot. For sure not next to a blue bus, but there’s a chance Jim might not have been able to recall where he left the Shelby. The urban legend continues that when Jim returned the car was gone, and supposedly never seen again. We doubt expired tags would have prevented Jim from driving, but the last known registration of the Shelby expired on April 30, 1970.

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On May 8, 1971 the Doors LA Woman album debuted and on July 3, 1971 Jim Morrison died. Although crossed out in the copy of the registration that we found, the VIN to Jim Morrison’s 1967 Shelby GT500 is known, and perhaps like the Phil Spector Cobra Daytona coupe, there’s always a chance that Jim Morrison’s ’67 GT500 will reappear.