Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
January 14, 2019
Photos By: John Young

The devastating brushfires that consumed parts of California late last year unfolded for many on social media. One of the more engaging images was of what appeared to be a Wimbledon White 1966 Shelby G.T. 350 being pushed out of harm’s way by some firefighters. As typical of social media, some lauded their desire to save the owner’s prized possessions, while others argued it was a waste of resources to do such a thing. Regardless of what side of the playing field you’re on, the image certainly had some amazing reach.

We recently heard from John Young from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. A Shelby owner and enthusiast himself, he was able to verify the white fastback in that image was a tribute (a C-code built in San Jose). Still, we’re happy to see any Mustang saved. John’s own 1966 G.T. 350 barely escaped the fire as well. His Shelby, SFM6S1117, narrowly escaped the encroaching Malibu fire as well. John is the fifth documented owner of his Shelby and as soon as he packed up his wife and two sons so they could leave the house for safety he grabbed two full binders of documentation dating back to the original owner’s purchase and took off in the Shelby for the safety of his sheriff’s department parking lot.

“It’s an original paint, four-speed car with five documented owners. Also (for whatever it’s worth) most likely the last vintage Shelby Mustang sold while Carroll was still with us. I purchased it outside Austin, Texas and drove it back home to SoCal two days prior to his passing,” John states. With the massive size of the blaze John spent several weeks working the fire, all the while not sure if his own home would still be standing, but at least he knew his family was safe and so was his Shelby. When the smoke cleared the family was elated to find their house and all possessions still intact. Not everyone was so lucky.

The day John bought the Shelby from owner number four, Z Ray Richter. It was raining and it was the first drive in any Shelby, let alone his own.
Z Ray Richter is shown here next to the Shelby right after John bought it from him.
This picture was sent to John by the original owner, Floyd Bevers. He dates the picture at either 1967 or 1968. Floyd did drag race the Shelby (note the drag tires out back).
At just two days old john’s son, Johnny, gets the nickel tour of the Shelby. “I did pop the clutch and moved it for about 10 feet. I figure that counts as his first ride in any car,” John says.
07 John’s other son, Jake, is shown here at a year old with the Shelby. “For the record that is a fiberglass over steel hood, not one of the rarer steel over steel hoods,” John explains. Note the Schwinn Krates hanging behind the Shelby. John tells us they might be for sale someday if he gets a larger garage. They’ll be used to finance his other dream Mustang—a ’67 Mustang K-code GT fastback.
08 John sent in this photo of himself from 1968 at three years of age where he’s holding a toy first gen Mustang fastback.
Just a couple of pages of the large photo album John has amassed over the years from the previous owners, including photos, paperwork, and more.
Just a couple of pages of the large photo album John has amassed over the years from the previous owners, including photos, paperwork, and more.
The original G.T. 350 supplemental owner’s manual. Floyd Bevers name (the original owner) can be seen hand written on the cover.
The original sales contract for John’s Shelby is part of his vast collection as well.

Photography by John Young