December 8, 2002

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

The stir the Shelby Mustangs have made in the hobby over the years has been huge. Of all Mustangs, these heady beasts have the greatest impact on the marketplace and the show field--even greater than the Boss cars we peeked at last month.

What drives this desire by most--if not all--Mustang enthusiasts to lust after these sometimes hairy-chested beasts that Carroll cranked out of his Los Angeles and finally the Ionia, Michigan, plants? The answer is as varied as it would be for any Mustang, but surely it just boils down to a couple of things: first, is value. The Shelby GT350 and GT500 hold their value well. Even when the old-car market goes soft, the Shelby does well. The second reason is jazz. The Shelby has that "certain something" that stops people in their tracks at a show and makes them want to take a closer look. This is especially true where the average joe is concerned in regard to the '67-and-up GT350 and GT500. To the typical car guy, these Shelbys are markedly different from the Mustang herd.

So we are going to delve into the things that make a Shelby "Shelby," and we'll even give some values and tips on where to go if you are interested in these cars.

Shelby
The First And The Last (Sort Of)

The two cars on our cover were found serendipitously. We have walked down hundreds of rows of cars and never had this kind of thing happen. Our original goal was to find a nice '65 GT350 for the cover. What we got was well above our expectations. At the Mustangs Northwest Mustang Round-up sat not just the "perfect" car, but two cars that represent the beginning and the end of Shelby American's production of the Mustang from 1965 through 1970. So, we did what any red-blooded American photographer would do--we begged them to let us shoot their cars. Odd that we didn't have to beg too hard.

The '65 GT350, owned by Dave Lennartz of Brush Prairie, Washington, is none other than 003. The very first one--numero uno. So, why was it number three? Well, the car started life as the Shelby Press and PR car to promote interest in the Shelby Mustang program. It was built first, but it wasn't really serialized (outside of the 001 on the cowl for press shots). It had a number of oddities that made it unsaleable. For instance, the scoop on the hood was clay, it had the quarter-windows that would not see actual production until 1966, and the side stripes were painted on. There were other niggling details, but the aforementioned were the "majors." After these were worked out, Chuck Catwell of Shelby American serialized the car as 5S003. The configuration in which Dave shows the beast is its "as-raced condition," and believe us when we say the Shelby has the stones. For a peek at the car, check out www.mustangmonthly.com. For a breakdown of how this Shelby was equipped, see the sidebar "What They Were."

Larry McEwen of Bothell, Washington, and his '70 GT500 were nestled in right beside Dave and his GT350. Though his Shelby is not the last GT500 built, it's close enough for us. And he only misses having the highest serial number Shelby by 154 cars. That's not bad.

The car is typical for a GT500 from Shelby's last year. The Competition Orange GT500 packs a 428 Cobra Jet, four-speed, and 3.50:1 Traction-Lok rear axle. Cushy options include a fold-down rear seat, an AM/FM stereo, tinted glass, and a power antenna. The car was first bought by a woman from Wisconsin who kept the 38,428 mile jewel until 1988 when she let go of the big-block beast. From there it changed hands twice before landing in Larry's garage. "I get a tremendous amount of support from my family," Larry says. "My wife, Kristi, has helped support the hobby financially as well by giving up her garage space." You can also see Larry's GT500 wheeling past our tiny camera at www.mustangmonthly.com.

Hertz So Good
Starting in 1966, Shelby got the kind of contract that most small manufacturers would have killed for. Peyton Cramer, Shelby American general manager, was the man behind the plan. That plan was for Hertz to buy cars from Shelby. When all was said and done, Shelby signed on the dotted line with Hertz rental car agency to produce 1,000 GT350s for the Sports Car Club. Of course, that wasn't the end. Many folks don't realize that after 1967, Hertz continued to buy Shelby GT350s and even GT500s for the rest of the Shelby American life cycle. These cars are not as easy to identify on the surface because they are pulled from regular production.

'66 Shelby GT350H
(see page 22 for specs)
Price Then: $3,750 (to Hertz)
If New Now: $19,282.50
Rental Price: Then $17.00 plus $0.17 a mile If Available Now: $87.41 plus $0.87 a mile
Value Now: Between $30,850 and $46,275 (CPI Value Guide)
Transmission: Borg-Warner four-speed (85 cars). All others were C4 automatics
Differential: 3.89:1, 3.50:1 on the automatic
Front disc with rear drum, functional rear cooling vents added (sticker placed on some cars noted hard braking due to competition brakes). Some cars received power-brake boosters
Wheels: Magnum 500 steel 14x5 chrome wheels (though the early cars had the '65 base wheels). Optional wheels (early) were 15x6 Cragar/Shelby steel-rim aluminum-center wheels. Later could be ordered with the 14x61/2 or 63/4 aluminum 10-spoke wheels
Colors: Wimbledon White with blue GT350H stripes (all others had gold GT350H stripes), Candyapple Red, Sapphire Blue, Ivy Green, Raven Black. LeMans Stripes were gold or blue
Interior Add-Ons: Standard black with tach mounted on the dash, aftermarket steering wheel, and AM radio
Seating Capacity: Four

Quarter-Mile ET.: 15.60 at 94 mph
Top Speed: 124 mph at 6,100 rpm
Total Street Production: 1,365

Hertz Production by Year:
'66 GT350 Fastbacks: 999
'68 GT350 Fastbacks: 224
'68 GT500 Fastbacks: 2
'68 GT500KR Convertibles: 1
'69 GT350 SportsRoofs: 152

Competition
Shelby American actually "backward engineered" the street version of the '65 GT350 from the competition model. What was really cool about the Competition model (often referred to as the "R" model by hobbyists) was that it was the only time, until 1993, that Ford had offered a full road-race car to the general buying public. Prior to that, the only type of race car that had been built was the Fairlane Thunderbolt.

The Competition model had been developed to compete in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) racing and held its own very well in the fray. There were 34 Competition models built and raced by the "public," and two prototype cars were raced by the factory team. Below is a list of the special items on the Comp cars to give you an idea of how much Shelby did or didn't tone down the street car.

'65 Shelby GT350 Value Now: N/A
Engine: 289 High Performance, fully competition prepped
Power Adders: Shelby high-rise intake and 715-cfm Holley carburetor, Tri-Y headers
Dress-Up: None--it's a race car!
Transmission: Borg-Warner T-10, wide or close ratio
Differential: 3.89:1 Detroit Locker or 4.11, 4.33, 3.70
Brakes: Front 11.3-inch diameter disc with 10x21/2-inch rear drum
Suspension Mods: Extra-heavy-duty springs front and rear, upper control arms lowered 1 inch, new pitman and idler arms, Koni shocks at all four corners, 1-inch front sway bar, rear override traction bars (mounted over the axle), axle-limiting cables, export brace, and Monte Carlo bar
Wheels: Steel 15x7 Magnesium American Racing Torque Thrusts
Tire Recommendations: Goodyear Stock Car Specials 15x6.70 or Goodyear Sports Car Specials 15x9.75
Other: Fiberglass hood and front apron with functional brake airscoops, Plexiglass rear window for ventilation and weight savings, lightweight side windows, fireproof interior, special instruments in custom panel, rollover protection, oil cooler
Body Styles: Fastback
Colors: Wimbledon White with blue GT350 stripes
Interior Add-Ons: Aftermarket steering wheel
Interior: Standard Black with racing seats
Seating Capacity: Two

Shelby
What They Where
The standard models are listed below. In this section you will find none of the one-offs or the competition models. This list represents the "average" Shelby for each year of production as well as total production for that year.

'65 Shelby GT350
Price Then: $4,547
If New Now: $24,049
Value Now: Between $44,200 and $66,300 (CPI Value Guide)
Engine: 289 High Performance
Power Adders: Shelby high-rise intake and 715-cfm Holley carburetor, Tri-Y headers
Dress-Up: Cobra open-letter valve covers
Transmission: Borg-Warner T-10
Differential: 3.89:1 Detroit Locker
Brakes: Front disc with rear drum
Suspension Mods: Upper control arms lowered 1 inch, new pitman and idler arms, Koni shocks at all four corners, 1-inch front sway bar, rear override traction bars (mounted over the axle), axle-limiting cables, export brace, and Monte Carlo bar
Wheels: Steel 15x51/2 (early), 15x6 (late) painted argent (silver). Optional were the 15x6 Cragar/Shelby steel-rim, aluminum-center wheels
Other: Fiberglass hood and deck area that held spare tire to allow for trunk-mounted battery
Body Styles: Fastback
Colors: Wimbledon White with blue GT350 stripes
Interior Add-Ons: Standard black with tach mounted on the dash, aftermarket steering wheel
Interior: Standard black
Seating Capacity: Two

Options: Guardsman Blue LeMans stripes, Cragar/Shelby wheels

Quarter-Mile E.T.: 14.70 at 90 mph
Top Speed: 124 mph at 6,100 rpm
Total Street Production: 521

'66 Shelby GT350
Price Then: $4,428
If New Now: $ 23,419.69
Value Now: Between $31,800 and $47,700 (CPI Value Guide)
Engine: 289 High Performance
Power Adders: Shelby high-rise intake and 715-cfm Holley carburetor on manual-shift cars, Autolite 4100 on automatics, Tri-Y headers
Dress-Up: Cobra open-letter valve covers
Transmission: Borg-Warner four-speed on early cars before number 252, later Ford Top Loader four-speed or C4 automatic
Differential: 3.89:1, 3.50:1 on the automatic
Brakes: Front disc with rear drum, functional rear cooling vents added
Suspension Mods: Upper control arms lowered 1 inch on many of the cars; some after car number 800 did not receive this mod. New pitman and idler arms, Koni shocks at all four corners, 1-inch front sway bar, rear override traction bars (mounted over the axle on early cars; later cars had underride), axle-limiting cables, export brace, and Monte Carlo bar
Wheels: Mostly Magnum 500 steel 14x5 Argent wheels (though the early cars had the '65 base wheel). Optional wheels (early) were the 15x6 Cragar/Shelby steel-rim, aluminum-center wheels. Could later be ordered with the 14x61/2 or 63/4 aluminum 10-spoke wheels
Body Styles: Fastback with Plexiglass quarter-windows and fiberglass rear scoops behind the door
Colors: Wimbledon White with blue GT350 stripes (all others had white GT350 stripes), Candyapple Red, Sapphire Blue, Ivy Green, Raven Black Interior Add-Ons: Standard black with tach mounted on the dash, aftermarket steering wheel
Seating Capacity: Two or four (most all '66 Shelbys left Shelby American with their rear seats intact. Only 95 were built as two-seaters).

Options: LeMans Stripes, Cragar/Shelby wheels (early), 10-spoke aluminum wheels, automatic trans, fold-down seat, Detroit Locker, Paxton supercharger

Quarter-Mile E.T.: 15.60 at 94 mph
Top Speed: 124 mph at 6,100 rpm
Total Street Production: 1,365

'67 Shelby GT350
Price Then: $3,995
If New Now: $21,129.55
Value Now: Between $26,400 and $39,600 (CPI Value Guide)
Engine: 289 High Performance
Power Adders: Shelby high-rise intake and 715-cfm Holley carburetor on manual-shift cars, Autolite 4100 on the automatics
Dress-Up: Cobra closed-letter valve covers
Transmission: Ford Top Loader four-speed or C4 automatic
Differential: 3.89:1, 3.50:1 on the automatic
Brakes: Front disc with rear drum, functional rear cooling vents added on some cars
Suspension Mods: Progressive-rate front coil springs, special rear leaf springs, Gabriel shocks at all four corners, 1-inch front sway bar, rear underride traction bars, export brace
Wheels: Base wheels were 15x51/2 steel with Thunderbird hubcaps. Optional wheels were the 15x7 chrome steel rim with aluminum center Kelsey Hayes Mag Stars. Also available were aluminum 10-spoke wheels in 15x7
Body Styles: Fastback with fiberglass hood, fascia, decklid and quarter extensions, as well as a panel for the Cougar taillights and vent scoops behind the door and window
Colors: Wimbledon White with blue GT350 stripes (all others had white GT350 stripes), Red, Acapulco Blue, Brittany Blue, Dark Blue, Dark Moss Green, Lime Gold (green), Medium Metallic Gray, Bronze Metallic, Raven Black Interior Add-Ons: Amp and oil gauge under dash, Nardi steering wheel, rollbar with inertia reel harness
Interior: Deluxe Black or Parchment
Seating Capacity: Four

Options (Mandatory): Power brakes, power steering, shoulder harnesses, fold-down rear seat
Available Options: Rally (LeMans) stripes, Mag Star Kelsey Hayes wheels, aluminum 10-spokes, automatic trans, fold-down seat, air conditioning (available on all Shelbys including four-speed cars) Detroit Locker, Paxton supercharger

Quarter-Mile E.T.: 15.30 at 91 mph
Top Speed: 129 mph at 6,100 rpm
Total Street Production: 1,175

'67 Shelby GT500
Price Then: $4,195
If New Now: $22,187.35
Value Now: Between $33,700 and $50,550 (CPI Value Guide)
Engine: 428 Police Interceptor
Power Adders: Shelby high-rise intake and two 600-cfm Holley carburetors
Dress-Up: Cobra LeMans open-letter valve covers and Cobra oval aluminum air cleaner
Transmission: Ford Top Loader four-speed or C6 automatic
Differential: 3.50:1, 3.25:1 on the automatic
Brakes: Front disc with rear drum, functional rear cooling vents added on some cars
Suspension Mods: Progressive-rate front coil springs, special rear leaf springs, Gabriel shocks at all four corners, 1-inch front sway bar, rear underride traction bars, export brace
Wheels: Base wheels were 15x51/2 steel with special hubcaps. Optional wheels were the 15x7 chrome-steel rims with aluminum center Kelsey Hayes Mag Stars. Also available were the aluminum 10-spoke wheels in 15x7
Body Styles: Fastback with fiberglass hood, fascia, decklid, and quarter extensions, as well as a panel for the Cougar taillights and vent scoops behind the door and window
Colors: Wimbledon White with blue GT500 stripes (all others had white GT500 stripes), Red, Acapulco Blue, Brittany Blue, Dark Blue, Dark Moss Green, Lime Gold (green), Medium Metallic Gray, Bronze Metallic, Raven Black
Interior Add-Ons: Amp and oil gauge under dash, Nardi steering wheel, rollbar with inertia-reel harness
Interior: Deluxe Black or Parchment
Seating Capacity: Four

Options (Mandatory): Power brakes, power steering, shoulder harnesses, fold-down rear seat
Available Options: Rally (LeMans) Stripes, Mag Star Kelsey Hayes wheels, aluminum 10-spokes, automatic trans, fold-down seat, air conditioning (available on all Shelbys including four-speed cars), Detroit Locker

Quarter-Mile E.T.: 14.50 at 101 mph
Top Speed: 120 mph at 5,100 rpm
Total Street Production: 2,048

'68 Shelby GT350
Price Then: $4,116 (fastback) $4,238 (convertible)
If New Now: $21,769.53 (fastback) $22,414.78
Value Now: Between $24,100 and $36,150 (fastback), between $32,925 and $49,400 (convertible) (CPI Value Guide)
Engine: 302 High Performance
Power Adders: Shelby high-rise intake and 600-cfm Holley carburetor. Early cars received the stock intake and were to be retrofitted; some were not
Dress-Up: Cobra closed-letter valve covers. Cobra aluminum oval air cleaner
Transmission: Ford Top Loader four-speed or C4 automatic
Differential: 3.50:1, 3.25:1 on the automatic
Brakes: Front disc with rear drum, functional rear cooling vents added on some cars
Suspension Mods: Progressive-rate front coil springs, Gabriel shocks at all four corners, 1-inch front sway bar, rear underride traction bars, export brace
Wheels: Base wheels were 15x6 steel with special hubcaps. Optional wheels were the 15x7 aluminum 10-spokes
Body Styles: Fastback or convertible with fiberglass hood, fascia, decklid and quarter extensions, as well as a panel for the '65 Thunderbird taillights and vent scoops behind the door and window on fastbacks, only behind the door on convertibles
Colors: White with blue GT350 stripes (all others had white GT350 stripes), Red, Acapulco Blue, Dark Blue, Dark Green Metallic, Lime Green Metallic, Gold Metallic, Yellow, Orange, Black
Convertible-Top Colors: Black or white
Interior Add-Ons: Amp and oil gauge in console, rollbar with inertia-reel harness on fastbacks
Interior: Deluxe Black or Saddle
Seating Capacity: Four

Options (Mandatory): Power brakes, power steering, shoulder harnesses, fold-down rear seat on fastbacks
Available Options: Ram Air hood, aluminum 10-spokes, automatic trans, air conditioning, tinted windows, Tilt-Away steering wheel, Traction-Lok, Detroit Locker

Quarter-Mile E.T.: 14.90 at 94 mph
Top Speed: 119 mph at 6,100 rpm
Total Street Production: 803 fastbacks, 404 convertibles

'68 Shelby GT500 and GT500 KR
Price Then: $4,317 (GT500 fastback), $4,438 (GT500 convertible); $4,472 (GT500KR fastback), $4594 (GT500KR convertible)
If New Now: $22,832.61 (GT500 fastback) $23,472.58 (GT500 (convertible); $23,652.40 (GT500KR fastback), $24,297.66 (GT500 KR (convertible)
Value Now: Between $29,150 and $43,725 (GT500 fastback), between $47,000 and $70,550 (GT500 convertible); between $32,300 and $48,450 (GT500KR fastback), between $49,500 and $76,725 (GT500KR convertible)
Engine: 428 Police Interceptor (GT500), 428 Cobra Jet (GT500 KR)
Power Adders: Shelby high-rise aluminum intake and 735-cfm Holley carburetor
Dress-Up: Cobra open-letter LeMans valve covers Cobra is stacked over LeMans
Transmission: Ford Top Loader four-speed or C6 automatic
Differential: 3.50:1, 3.25:1 on the automatic
Brakes: Front disc with rear drum, functional rear cooling vents added on some cars
Suspension Mods: Progressive-rate front coil springs, Gabriel shocks at all four corners, 1-inch front sway bar, rear underride traction bars, export brace
Wheels: Base wheels were 15x6 steel with special hubcaps. Optional wheels were 15x7 aluminum 10-spokes
Body Styles: Fastback or convertible with fiberglass hood, fascia, decklid and quarter extensions, as well as a panel for the '65 Thunderbird taillights and vent scoops behind the door and window on fastbacks only; behind the door on convertibles
Colors: White with blue GT500 (or GT500KR) stripes (all others had white GT500 or GT500KR stripes), Red, Acapulco Blue, Dark Blue, Dark Green Metallic, Lime Green Metallic, Gold Metallic, Yellow, Orange, Black Convertible-Top Colors: Black or white
Interior Add-Ons: Amp and oil gauge in console, rollbar with inertia-reel harness on fastbacks
Interior: Deluxe Black or Saddle
Seating Capacity: Four

Options (Mandatory): Power brakes, power steering, shoulder harnesses, fold-down rear seat on fastbacks
Available Options: Ram Air hood, aluminum 10-spokes, automatic trans, air conditioning, tinted windows, Tilt-Away steering wheel, Traction-Lok, Detroit Locker

Quarter-Mile E.T.: 14.75 at 98 mph (GT500), 14.04 at 102.73 (GT500KR)
Top Speed: 130 mph at 5,100 rpm (GT500), 130 mph at 5,100 rpm (GT500KR)
Total Street Production: 1,044 GT500 fastbacks, 402 GT500 convertibles, 1,053 GT500KR fastbacks, 517 GT500KR convertibles

'69/'70 Shelby GT350
Price Then: $4,434 (SportsRoof), $4,753 (convertible) '69 only
If New Now: $23,451.42 (SportsRoof), $25,138.61 (convertible)
Value Now: Between $26,000 and $39,000 (SportsRoof), between $34,800 and $52,200 (convertible)
Engine: 351 High Performance with ram air
Power Adders: Shelby high-rise intake and 470-cfm Autolite 4300 carburetor
Dress-Up: Cobra closed-letter valve covers
Transmission: Ford Top Loader four-speed or FMX automatic
Differential: 3.25:1, 3.00:1 on the automatic
Brakes: Front disc with rear drum, functional rear cooling vents added on some cars
Suspension Mods: Export brace
Wheels: Base wheels were 15x7 aluminum five-spokes
Body Styles: Fastback or convertible with fiberglass hood, fascia, fenders, decklid and quarter extensions, as well as a panel for the '65 Thunderbird taillights and vent scoops behind the door
Colors: White with blue GT350 stripes (all others had white, black or gold GT350 stripes), Candyapple Red, Acapulco Blue, Grabber Blue, Black Jade, Silver Jade, Royal Maroon, Grabber Green, Grabber Yellow, Grabber Orange, Competition Orange Convertible-Top Colors: Black or white
Interior Add-Ons: Amp and oil gauge in console, inertia-reel harness, rollbar
Interior: Deluxe Black or white (limited number of Maroon)
Seating Capacity: Four
Options (Mandatory): Power brakes, power steering, shoulder harnesses, fold-down rear seat on fastbacks, Tilt-Away steering wheel (when available)
Available Options: Close-ratio four-speed, fold-down rear seat (SportsRoof only), F60x15 Polyglas GT tires, air conditioning, tinted windows, power ventilation, intermittent wipers, heavy-duty Battery, Traction-Lok.

Quarter-Mile E.T.: 14.90 at 94 mph
Top Speed: 119 mph at 6,100 rpm
Total Street Production: 935 SportsRoofs, 194 convertibles

'69/'70 Shelby GT500
Price Then: $4,709 (SportsRoof), $5,027 (convertible) '69 only
If New Now: $24,905.90 (SportsRoof), $26,587.80 (convertible)
Value Now: Between $32,100 and $48,150 (SportsRoof), between $47,525 and $71,300 (convertible)
Engine: 428 Cobra Jet with ram air
Transmission: Ford Top Loader four-speed or C6 automatic
Differential: 3.50:1, 3.25:1 on the automatic
Brakes: Front disc with rear drum, functional rear cooling vents added on some cars
Suspension Mods: Export brace
Wheels: Base wheels were 15x7 aluminum five-spokes
Body Styles: Fastback or convertible with fiberglass hood, fascia, fenders, decklid and quarter extensions, as well as a panel for the '65 Thunderbird taillights and vent scoops behind the door
Colors: White with blue GT500 Stripes (all others had white, black, or gold GT500 stripes), Candyapple Red, Acapulco Blue, Grabber Blue, Black Jade, Silver Jade, Royal Maroon, Grabber Green, Grabber Yellow, Grabber Orange, Competition Orange
Convertible-Top Colors: Black or white
Interior Add-Ons: Amp and oil gauge in console, inertia-reel harness, rollbar
Interior: Deluxe Black or white (limited number of Maroon)
Seating Capacity: Four

Options (Mandatory): Power brakes, power steering, shoulder harnesses, fold-down rear seat on fastbacks, Tilt-Away steering wheel (when available)
Available Options: Fold-down rear seat (SportsRoof only), F60x15 Polyglas GT tires, air conditioning, tinted windows, power ventilation, intermittent wipers, heavy-duty battery, Traction-Lok

Quarter-Mile E.T.: 14.00 at 102 mph
Top Speed: 115 mph at 5,100 rpm
Total Street Production: 1,534 SportsRoofs, 335 convertibles

One Of Ones
Shelby American built a few prototypes that managed to sneak out into the marketplace. And it's stunning how many of them there are still lurking around. Below is the short list of the cars we know about. Obviously there are others, many of which are in the Shelby American World Registry. We'll list the items that make these cars special; otherwise they are normal Shelbys--if any Shelby can be called normal. We will note only the changes from the factory original Shelbys.

Super Snake '67 GT500
The baddest Shelby ever built? Probably. But at a cool $7,500 in 1967 ($38,565 in today's market) the price kept many potential buyers from the idea of it, so the 427-powered beast never saw production. Why? Because the buyer could get a 427 Cobra for the same price. So the Super Snake, a Mustang capable of sustained speeds of 140 mph, died on the vine.

'67 Shelby GT500 Super Snake
Price Then: $7,500
If New Now: $38,565
Value Now: N/A
Engine: 427 medium-rise GT40 MK II with mechanical cam, aluminum heads, high-rise aluminum intake mounting a 780-cfm Holley carburetor aluminum water pump, unique headers, external oil cooler
Dress-Up: Cobra LeMans open-letter valve covers and Cobra oval aluminum air cleaner
Transmission: Ford Top Loader four-speed
Differential: 4.11:1
Brakes: Front disc with rear drum, functional rear cooling vents
Wheels: Aluminum 10-spoke wheels in 15x7.
Colors: Wimbledon White with blue GT500 stripes

Quarter-Mile E.T.: N/A
Top Speed: 142 mph
Total Street Production: 1

Little Red
The Project dubbed Little Red (due to its Candyapple Red topcoat) was a Shelby experiment that delved into the what-ifs of producing a hardtop. This car passed through many hands, including a stint in the garage of Bill Cosby. Sporting Connolly leather and more varied engine packages than you can shake a stick at, the GT500 went from mild to wild before the hardtop GT500 was eventually shelved.

Even so, it was picked up by Ford as the GT/CS for 1968. Though the GT/CS had some of the Shelby goodies (decklid, fender extensions, taillight panel, and sidescoops) the car was not a Shelby.

'67 Shelby GT500 Hardtop
Price Then: N/A
If New Now: N/A
Value Now: N/A
Engine: Several variants tried. The initial project was a 390 FE. The final engine package was a 428 FE with twin superchargers--wow.
Dress-Up: Cobra LeMans open-letter valve covers and Cobra oval aluminum air cleaner
Transmission: Various; final trans was a C6
Differential: Various
Brakes: Front disc with rear drums, functional rear cooling vents
Wheels: Aluminum 10-spoke wheels in 15x7.
Colors: Wimbledon White with blue GT500 stripes

Quarter-Mile E.T.: N/A
Top Speed: 142 mph
Total Street Production: 1

GT350S
The folks at Shelby wanted to see if the Paxton supercharger was feasible as a regular production car. One prototype was produced with a special GT350S badging. However, Shelby decided to offer the supercharger as an option rather than deal with the warranty headaches of regular production.

It's A Drag
In 1965 and 1966, Shelby built eight drag cars to compete on the old straight-line, quarter-mile battlefield. Although Shelby was not known for this, some within the company were hot for the idea, and Max Muhleman helped get the program off the ground.

The cars were basically stock GT350s, with some minor mods made in consideration of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and for better straight-line performance. Below is a list of the items changed or added to the cars.

* Four-tube "drag" headers
* Special 90/10 shocks up front
* Special 50/50 shocks in the rear
* Cobra scattershield
* Ladder bar torque-control arms
* Hurst shifter
* 14x9 tires on 14x5 steel wheels ('66s used 15-inch wheels)
* 5.13:1 rearend ('66s used a 4.86:1)
* Engine torque strap
* Driveshaft safety loop
* '66s used only the aluminum carb plenum from the Competition model

Coming In First
It's interesting that Carroll and Company really helped to propel the Mustang to a number of firsts. And it's interesting how many things Ford didn't really get around to until the mid-'80s. These firsts by Shelby American paved the way in many respects for later improvements to the Mustang. Below are the most obvious firsts.

* First to use headers on a Mustang. Ford wouldn't get there until 1985.
* First supercharged Mustang. Ford didn't supercharge until 2003. Saleen didn't supercharge until 1995.
* First Mustang to use the 15-inch wheel as a standard part of the car. Ford didn't get there until 1985.
* First Mustang to use traction bars. Ford started to use a traction-control device in 1968 but truly didn't have a damping device until 1985.
* First to use lightweight components (fiberglass) on the cars. Ford only recently went to lighter-weight materials for the Mustang's hood.
* First to break the 390ci barrier in 1967 with the 428 Police Interceptor. Ford followed suit in 1968 with the 428 Cobra Jet.
* First (and only) Mustang to have factory dual quads. In 1967 the GT500 got two 600-cfm Holleys.

So Blue
As Shelby began to get more and more into the mainstream of producing cars that were, for lack of a better term, "softer," they experimented with ideas that had very little to do with performance. One such idea was to offer interiors in other colors than black. Two prototypes were built with Blue interiors.

The End. . .Almost
At the end of the 1969 model year, Shelby still had cars left. This was due to the short production cycle that, for Shelby, had been only nine months in 1969. Therefore, there were still cars coming off the assembly line as the model year closed out. These cars were updated to be '70 models--right down to their serial numbers. The Feds (as in the Federal Bureau of Investigation) had to come in and watch as all the numbers were changed. The '70 is nothing more than a '69 Shelby with minor updates. The updates are listed below.

* Vented fuel systems
* Black stripes on the hood in gloss black (Black Jade cars received semigloss black)
* Chin spoiler from the Boss 302

The End (Really)
Of course, we couldn't have done this story without the help of some great people--namely the Shelby American Automobile Club (SAAC). Their book, The Shelby American World Registry is the best and most complete source of information on the Shelby ever produced. If you're in the market for a Shelby (Mustang or Cobra), we recommend you pick this up before buying. The hefty tome weighs in at 9 pounds and is worth the $125 price--especially when you look at the prices going for Shelbys. There is one caveat: The book is out of print, but SAAC should have new copies available by the time you read this. If you are interested, you can reach them for a copy at: www.saac.com or via mail at: Shelby American Automobile Club, P.O. Box 788 Sharon, CT 06069.