Shelby-made vehicles are often talked about as the stuff of legends. Founder Carroll Shelby led the movement in manufacturing famous vehicles like the AC Cobra and Mustang-based cars for Ford Motor Company known as Shelby Mustangs, meant for performance driving.
Shelby manufacturers are known for bold craftsmanship and decisions. For example, in order to appease insurance companies, manufacturers advertised the Shelby Mustang GT 500 as having a horsepower of 335, when the vehicle actually was closer to 400.
And just after Shelby American Inc?s creation in 1962 until 1968, Shelby built an impressive 350 big-block and 654 small-block Cobras. But according to Mustang 360 (The Rarest Shelby Mustang of Them All!), the company also manufactured a single, one-of-a-kind automobile. This vehicle was the 1967 G.T. 500 Shelby Convertible.
Its very existence has been debated for decades. But now, thanks to recent findings, we know that this car exists and is here to stay. Here are four things you may not know about this legendary automobile:
- We Only Recently Realized it Was More Than a Prototype
- Its Restoration Resulted in More Than Just Tuning and Upgrade Parts
- Its Parts Are Unique
- It Was Supposed to Be the First of Many
As recently as 2012, it was believed that this one-off 1967 convertible was a factory prototype or concept car. No one had ever seen a 1967 Shelby G.T. convertible, a replica, its upgrade parts, etc. Without having access to factory production numbers, the public and Shelby community assumed it had never been built.
This vehicle was restored in 2001, and the process revealed telling details about the car?s past. Those restoring the car found fingerprints and telltale style signs that it was a 1967. Clear evidence of tailpan modifications to accept the 1967 Cougar taillights were found, along with 1967 Shelby inboard headlight wiring and the 1967 emblem on the passenger dash panel.
The main takeaway from the restoration was that this convertible was truly the rarest assembly line-built Mustang on earth. The car had been ordered from Ford and delivered to Shelby with an 8-cyclinder ?Ford Cobra? dual-quad engine, including exhaust emissions and air condition. Similar engines and upgrade parts could be found in a cobra kit, but this specific combination tipped those restoring it off to the car?s legendary history.
We now know that this 1967 G.T. 500 Shelby Convertible was simply no fluke. Newly found paperwork and package codes show that it was, in fact, the first of a planned run of Shelby convertibles for 1967. Reason aside, its peers never followed.
Whether you?re interested in custom roadsters, muscle cars or just the automotive industry as a whole, the tale of the 1967 G.T. 500 Shelby Convertible is a fascinating one. Its creation and existence has captivated car enthusiasts and whoever its owners continue to be, they?re sure to have a gem on their hands.