Jerry Heasley
November 1, 2004

The $280,800 sale price ($266,000 without commissions) got everybody's attention last January at the televised Barrett-Jackson collector car auction because it was for a 427-powered '67 Shelby GT500. But no, this Shelby was not the one-and-only historic Super Snake. It was a regular Shelby fastback, with a color change from black to red and modified with a new aluminum Shelby 427.

Curt Vogt from Cobra Automotive told us, "That would be Ted Diller. I sold Ted that car. It was originally a red Shelby with a 428 automatic. Ted bought an aluminum 427 from Shelby, put it in, painted the car black, detailed it out, put some aftermarket wheels on it, and specifically targeted it for the Barrett-Jackson auction, hoping to get a tall dollar for it."

Shelby, Boss, and Cobra Jet Mustangs have been leading the way upward in the '6411/42 to '73 Mustang market, but Ed Meyer says Mach 1s are bringing good money too.

"Anything that's performance, like Boss 302s and Shelbys," Meyer told us. In the course of his normal business of restoring and buying and selling parts, Ed puts big deals together on rare performance Mustangs. He was in the audience when the GT500 brought $280,000.

"I thought that was ridiculous," Ed says. "I thought it was a $90,000-$100,000 car. It would be different if it was a real 427 car. The owner bought the 427 from Shelby the summer before and installed it, and he got a signed letter from Shelby saying it was authentic. I'm thinking a lot of people thought the car was a real 427 Shelby. You can do that all day long, but if it wasn't done in 1967, what difference does that make? Buy a Shelby right now and put in a 427 just because you buy it from Shelby and he signs a letter-does that make it worth $200,000 more?"

Ed echoes the sentiments of tens of thousands of people who have been in the Mustang hobby for decades. The old rule of thumb was the original cars bring the most money. Historically, however, it's been the entrance of new collectors and investors into the hobby who change the old rules.

We've received many letters at Mustang Monthly about how the Eleanor cars are driving up the prices of '67-'68 fastbacks. Now Shelby and Unique Performance are coming out with the GT350SR, which is a modern-day re-creation of the original '65 GT350 R-Model, and once again the fears set in. Will the supply of '65-'66 fastbacks dry up? Now Dallas Mustang is building its Terlingua '65-'66 Trans Am coupe series, and enthusiasts are once again asking, "What's going to happen with the prices? Where's it all going?"

The fact is, ponycars are just flat popular. Everybody likes them. And the enthusiasm goes much further than Fords. Meyer dabbles in Chryslers and GM. When we asked him what has happened with those prices, he said, "The Chryslers have gone nuts more than the Fords. But, the Chevrolets-like the Yenko Camaros and ZL-1s-they're nuts, too."

At this year's Mid-America Ford Performance and Shelby Meet in Tulsa, we were astonished by a '67 GT500 fastback, painted Corvette Torch Red with white stripes. It really turned heads. But this car wasn't stock; it was a clone, modified from Shelby's original to look bolder and hotter (see last month's issue). The owner and builder, Ken Godsey, comes from the street-rod ranks. He told us he and his father built a couple of '47s and a '39 Mercury. The '67 was Ken's first Mustang project, and it won't be his last.

We wondered why a Mustang and not another street rod. Ken was frank, "The street-rod market seems to be fading a little. There are so many street rods and it's been going on so long. I mean, you can see the trend going toward the '60s cars. There's been a big push to upgrade them. A lot of the street-rod guys are coming over." Basically, the street-rod guys know the art of modification, and they're primed and ready to apply their talents to Mustangs.