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 1967 Shelby G.T. 500 Convertible

 

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Home » Research » 2011 SAAC World Registry 65-66-67, 4th Edition, 2011 - Car 0139
 
  One of the things that we learned during project Red Hot is that as soon as our research findings make it to print, we will undoubtedly discover new details that ultimately change and/or update our previously drawn and published conclusions.

The SAAC World Registry 1965-1966-1967 4th Edition 2011 is no exception. The write-up of 67-0193 on pages 889-890 represented our findings, theories and conclusions up through the summer of 2010.

Since that time, we've nearly tripled the quantity of vintage photographs and amount of documentation that we had previously discovered. Subsequent discoveries have added important details, clarified facts, and allowed us to update our timeline of the convertible and other engineering cars.

Because researching Shelby American engineering cars is an ongoing process, please be sure to review the updated information contained within this website.
 

 
VIN: ENG-67413C9A00139 - 1967 G.T. 500 Convertible Prototype. The 'C' in the serial number stands for 'convertible.' Car 0139 is the only big block convertible ever manufactured by Shelby American (Los Angeles) in '67, the only convertible to leave the factory with dual-quad carburetion, and according to former Shelby engineer Jim Frank, the first car to receive ’68-styled fiberglass.

Ordered from Ford via a "Special Retail Sale" on August 16, 1966, Shelby selected the following options for this

 
Candyapple convertible: 428ci "Police Interceptor" engine, C-6 automatic, air conditioning, P/S, P/B, Thermactor (smog), AM radio, tinted glass and a white power top over a black décor interior. Serialized on November 1, 1966 and completed on November 21 at Ford’s San Jose plant, this GT-500 was shipped to Shelby American as a complete car. Upon arrival, car 0139 was designated a "Company Car – Engineering Proto" on the Production Order, dated December 7, 1966.

The initial hand-built body parts were installed on this G.T. 500 prototype between January and March 1967. According to the Vehicle Information Report obtained from the Carroll Shelby Foundation, this one-of-a-kind convertible was immediately assigned to Carroll Shelby, was used by various Shelby American personnel, and was often loaned to several non-employees.

In April, the convertible was loaned to a Ford Motor Company executive and was not returned. In June 1967, Shelby American sent invoice #5040 to Zurich American Insurance for “Repairs of Engineering 1968 Prototype Convertible Stolen and Returned, April 1967.” The bill totaled $506.78 for labor and bolt-on parts, including two 4bbl carburetors, air cleaner, distributor, rotor, radiator cap, oil cap, oil filter, hood pin kit, tail light bezel, tail pipe extensions, AM radio, steering wheel, seat belts, shoulder harnesses and two fire extinguishers.

By mid-August 1967, this convertible received more ’68-styling accoutrements including a prototype roll bar, wheel covers, fuel filler cap, emblems and Woodgrain interior trim. Car 0139 was the convertible used for initial press photos, factory brochures and the first print ads that appeared in November 1967.

How this car escaped Ford Motor Company’s strict policy of crushing all engineering prototypes is unknown. It is one of only a few known prototypes to have avoided that gruesome fate.

Car 0139’s provenance has been authenticated though interviews of Jim Frank (1986), Fred Goodell (1988) and Carroll Shelby (2003), and also by original Shelby American documents including the Production Order (12/07/1966), Vehicle Tax Register (03/31/1967), Theft Repair Invoice #5040 (06/20/1967), Vehicle Fixed Asset Ledger (07/31/1967), Ionia move planning notes (circa 07/1967) and Vehicle Information provided by the Carroll Shelby Foundation.

Previously owned by Jamie Ventrella (Wheeling, IL), Richard Kot (Riverwoods, IL), Volo Auto Museum (IL) ‘03 and Dana Mecum (IL) ‘07. In 2009, the current caretakers acquired the car and conducted a year of research to document the prototype’s unique history. The convertible was then sent to a concours judge to perform the historically-correct restoration with the assistance and supervision of SAAC ’67 head judge Bob Gaines.

The extensive history, documentation and photographs of car 0139 can be viewed online at www.67shelbyconvertible.com.

 

 

See Also: CSF Vehicle Information, Marti Report
 

 

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