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1967 Shelby GT 500 Convertible

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The Only G.T. 500 Convertible Built by Shelby American
born from the first (and only) 1967 Ford Mustang 428 dual-quad convertible

Lyndon B. Johnson was president, the "space race" was on and the Beach Boys released their best-selling album. It was the summer of 1966...

After two successful years of selling his Mustang-based G.T. 350 Fastback, Carroll Shelby unveiled his plan for 1967 and readied his company for a new level of greatness.

1967 Shelby G.T. 500 ConvertibleThere were three key parts to Shelby's plan for 1967:

Augment the redesigned Mustang with fiberglass components to give his new G.T. its own distinct look,

Add coupe and convertible body styles, and

Offer the potent FE-series 428 cu.in. 'big block' engine as an option.

This plan would would have resulted in customers being able to choose from six different Shelby G.T. models, and was put into motion on August 9th, a week before production began on the redesigned '67 Mustang.

Shelby American placed orders 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 428 CID engine, C-6 automatic gearbox, A/C, P/S, P/B, exhaust emissions, AM radio, tinted glass and a black décor interior under a Candyapple Red exterior.

As extensive research would ultimately reveal, these automobiles would be the first production-line Ford Mustangs outfitted with the potent 428 cu.in. "Interceptor" engine -- and because they were ordered by Shelby American, they also received dual Holly 4bbl 600 cfm carburetors. 

For Carroll Shelby, two out of three goals were achieved: he did get his styling design approved, and a 428-equipped G.T. 500 model would be offered. Unfortunately, Ford quashed the third part of the plan that would have expanded the model line-up to include the coupe and convertible body styles.

Despite Ford's decision to scale-back Shelby's offering to just a fastback model, the one coupe and one convertible (ordered back in August) would still get built. The convertible was serialized on November 1, 1966 and completed twenty days later at Ford’s San Jose assembly plant, approximately two weeks after the fastback (0100) and coupe (0131). This trio would become the first regular-production big block cars delivered to, upgraded by and serialized by Shelby American.

Upon delivery to Shelby American in Los Angeles, the convertible received sequence number 0139, was designated a "company car," and like all early-built '67 Shelby vehicles, was upgraded with the same off-the-shelf parts, including fiberglass, inboard headlights, emblems & stripes.

Promptly claimed by Carroll Shelby as his own "personal driver," interviews with his former employees indicate the convertible was often being driven by "Patricia" who worked for Shelby in the upstairs executive offices at the L.A. facility (she was the originally the receptionist at the Venice shop).

About four months later, the convertible was was re-purposed for use as a '68 styling and photographic car. With Ford's updated design, A.O. Smith fabricated and shipped two sets of redesigned hoods, front-ends and tail light panels to California. In April 1967, Shelby American installed the fiberglass components and began extensively photographing the convertible at numerous California locations. These photos were printed in brochures, magazine ads and dealer literature that was used to promote the upcoming 1968 model year Shelby G.T. cars. 

Nearly half a century passed since this unique  G.T. 500 convertible first rolled-off Ford's assembly line.

After several years of researching and documenting this convertible's special history, Jason Billups was entrusted to perform the Concours-correct restoration with the priceless technical contributions from many experts, enthusiasts and past employees in the Shelby community.

Today, the convertible has been restored to its "earliest point as a Shelby" and wears 1967 Shelby styling and upgrades, just as she did when the legendary Carroll Shelby first sat behind the wheel in December 1966.

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