Saving a Shelby G.T. 500 Left Dormant Since 1976
With two similar examples for sale, Mike Lattin bought one of them—a 1967 Shelby G.T. 500 that has been disassembled since 1976
When Mike Lattin told one of his contacts in Northern California to go look at a Shelby for sale in Corning, California, for a customer in the Netherlands, his contact Chris said, “Is that the one on eBay?”
“What are you talking about?” Mike asked.
Mike was excited to find a 1967 Shelby G.T. 500 for sale that was a Moss Green, inboard headlight, four-speed car from a longtime owner in California for sale on Facebook. Funny thing, there were two Moss Green, inboard headlight, 1967 Shelby G.T. 500s for sale at the same time—one in Corning that Mike had found, and one located 114 miles away in Sacramento that Chris had found.
Mike took the aggressive route. He called on both cars to increase his chances of getting one and tried to buy both of them. Mike says, “He was supposed to send me the Shelby number that goes under the tag—the Ford number? And before he got that, someone else bought it.”
1967 Shelby Mustangs are hot items, and a buyer might have to move fast on one that is advertised at a good price. Mike did manage to purchase the one in Corning, buying it over the phone without hesitation after perusing a bunch of photos, even though the fastback was in pieces. He says, “The motor was out, tranny out, front seats missing, back seats and carpet and headliner original, original steering wheel. He put a tilt wheel in out of a Cougar years ago.”
Barn finds that have been parked for decades typically have at least a few abnormalities. The seller bought the Shelby in 1970, hurt the motor, and installed a 390. In 1976, he began fixing up the Shelby, which included disassembly and sanding work on the body. “He got a divorce and that was the end of it. It sat in his garage in Corning, California, until we bought it,” Mike says.
Buying any car disassembled can be very risky because inventorying the parts is a job for an expert and is very complicated. The mitigating factor on this long-distance purchase was the rust-free condition, plus photos showed the presence of most of the tough parts, such as the dual-quad intake and carburetors. Also, this wasn’t Mike’s first 1967 Shelby purchase, and he had parts in reserve.
When the car arrived at Mike’s Mainly Muscle Cars in the small community of Granite Falls, Washington, he was pleased with his purchase. “I had to buy that underdash gauge cluster. I had [front] seats. I had a 1967 428, so we put that in. He had had the dual-quads still, so we put those back on.”
Neither the 390 nor the original 428 came with the Shelby, and 428s of 1967 vintage are very difficult to find. Luckily, Chris had one. He didn’t worry about a VIN stamping because to his knowledge, Ford did not stamp the 1967 vintage 428s with a VIN.
Photography by Jerry Heasley