1967 Shelby Ford Mustang GT500 Fastback Coupé Chassis no. 67400F9A02173
Legendary Texan racing driver Carroll Shelby's team had been campaigning Ford's Mustang 'pony car' with considerable success in North America, winning the SCCA's B-Production title three years running in the mid-1960s. Capitalising on his success, Shelby began manufacturing modified Mustangs, which were officially sanctioned and sold through selected Ford dealerships. Ford supplied Shelby with part-completed 'Sportsroof' (fastback) Mustangs, which were finished off at Shelby's plant in Los Angeles. The first Shelby Mustang - the GT350 - arrived in 1965 powered by a modified version of Ford's 289ci (4.7-litre) small-block V8 producing 306bhp, with options of a 340-360bhp unit in competition trim or 400bhp supercharged. A four-speed Borg-Warner manual gearbox was the stock transmission on early Shelby Mustangs, though a heavy-duty, three-speed automatic soon became available as an option. The running gear was appropriately up-rated to cope with the GT350's increased performance, incorporating the optional Kelsey-Hayes front disc brakes, stronger Ford Galaxie rear axle, Koni adjustable shock absorbers and alloy wheels. The first cars were supplied minus the rear seats, thereby qualifying the GT350 as a two-seat sports car! Outwardly there was little to distinguish Shelby's GT350 from the standard product apart from a pair of broad 'racing' stripes down the body centreline. On the open road there was, of course, no comparison. When the factory introduced a 390ci 'big-block' V8 option on the Mustang for 1967, Shelby went one better, installing Ford's 428ci (7.0-litre) Cobra Jet V8 to create the GT500, one of the great, iconic muscle cars of the 1960s. Produced at the A O Smith Company's plant in Ionia, Michigan from 1968, the Shelby Mustang continued to be based on the stock version, receiving the latter's styling changes and mechanical improvements while retaining its own distinctive special features, until production ended in 1970. Accompanied by the all-important Mart Auto Works report confirming its provenance, chassis number '2173' is one of only 2,048 Shelby GT500 fastback coupés produced for the 1967 model year and was delivered finished in 'Candyapple Red with black interior. The report lists the following factory fitted options: power steering, power front disc brakes, fold-down rear seat; extra cooling package, interior décor group, courtesy light group, special tyres and a heavy duty battery. This particular car was delivered with the 428ci 'Police Interceptor' V8 engine and four-speed manual gearbox. We are advised that '2173' was collected by its first owner in August 1967 in Detroit and driven home through the 'race riots' then in progress. The Mustang was driven on a regular basis until the late 1970s when it was taken off the road having covered some 76,000 miles. The engine was removed to stop the owner's children driving the car, which then sat unused for 22 years. It would seem that the Mustang was then purchased (in 1999) by one Roy Evans of St Louis, Missouri (see certificate of title on file). Located by USA Shelby expert Bill Collins, it was subsequently brought to England by specialist Shelby restorer Alan Faulkner-Stevens of Dragon Wheels Ltd, who describes it as 'a full number matching factory correct car and the most authentic '67 Shelby I have ever restored.' During 2005/2006, '2173' was treated to a no-expense-spared, bare-shell, concours standard, 'last nut and bolt' rebuild. Every single component from the vehicle was carefully removed and restored in detail. All bodyshell repairs were completed by ex-Aston Martin panel beaters with careful attention to how the original shell was constructed and assembled, replicating the Ford factory methods. Every steel component was shot-blasted clean, etch-primed and then powder-coated black in a Ford specification finish. If any steel part was bare metal when new, it was first blacked and then painted to replicate the unpainted finish thus ensuring longevity. Every nut, bolt and washer was acid cleaned and zinc plated. The bodyshell was repainted in the correct colour following the original factory methods and then fully rewired. All soft interior trim was replaced with factory correct materials. Every rare and unique Shelby-specific part was in place when purchased and these were all carefully restored. A full set of photographs of the restoration is available. As a special upgrade, the engine was rebuilt by Knight Racing Services using the original cylinder block and heads but increasing capacity to 462ci (7.6 litres) while retaining the engine's stock appearance. The result is a maximum power output of 425bhp with 525lbs/ft of torque. Fewer than 1,000 miles has been added to the car's total mileage since it returned to the road (the current odometer reading is 76,878). Presented in fully restored condition, this rare and desirable GT500 is offered with the aforementioned Marti report, State of Missouri Certificate of Title and MoT to July 2013.