Lyndon B. Johnson was president, the "space race" was
on and the Beach Boys released their best-selling album. It was the summer
On August 9th,
a week before production was about to begin on the newly
redesigned '67 Mustang, Shelby American placed an order with Ford for three
specially-equipped cars; a coupe, a fastback, and a convertible.
Other than the body style, all three
were to be
identically equipped with
the 428cu.in. engine, C-6 automatic, A/C, P/S,
P/B, Thermactor, AM radio, tinted glass and a black
décor interior under a Candyapple Red exterior.
These automobiles would
be the first production-line Ford Mustangs outfitted with
the massive Q-code 428 cu.in. "Interceptor" engine,
and because they were ordered by Shelby, they also received
dual Holly 4bbl carburetors.
The convertible was serialized on
November 1, 1966 and completed twenty days later at Ford’s San
Jose plant, approximately two weeks after the fastback and
This trio would also become the first big block GT 500 cars
delivered to, upgraded by and serialized by Shelby American.
The convertible received sequence number 0139, was designated a "company
car," received '67 Shelby upgrades and was initially assigned to
Carroll Shelby as his own "personal driver."
After being thoroughly enjoyed by Carroll and
his friends, the
convertible was re-purposed into a '68 styling prototype.
With Ford's design assistance, Dearborn Steel Tubing
and shipped two sets of redesigned hoods, front-ends and tail light panels to
California. By May 1967, Shelby American installed the
fiberglass components and began extensively photographing the convertible for brochures, print ads and dealer
literature to promote the upcoming 1968 model year GT cars.
Nearly half a
century has passed since this extra special GT 500
convertible rolled off Ford's assembly line. Several years
were spent researching the car's history prior to entrusting
Jason Billups to perform the Concours-correct restoration
with the supervision of SAAC head judge Bob Gaines and with the priceless technical
contributions from many experts, enthusiasts and past
employees in the Shelby community.