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 1967 Shelby G.T. 500 Convertible

 

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Home » Research » Comparing the Interviews and CSF Vehicle Information
 
  The 1967 Shelby GT500 Convertible was a topic in three interviews of former Shelby American personnel. The following analysis outlines the similarities and differences between the interviews of Jim Frank, Fred Goodell, Carroll Shelby and the Vehicle Information provided by the Carroll Shelby Foundation (CSF).
 
 

Jim Frank
1986

Fred Goodell
1988

Carroll Shelby
2003

CSF
2003

 
CSF states the car was initially built for Carroll himself and then loaned to various Ford [employees], Shelby [employees] and "non-employees."

Fred Goodell indicates the car was upgraded to ’68 specifications. This differs from Jim Frank’s recollection that his memories were that the convertible was dressed in ’68 coachwork from the day it was built. [Note: Goodell started in Oct-1966. Frank started in Feb-1967]

Goodell mistakenly refers to the Green Hornet as "another convertible." The Green Hornet was a coupe, not a convertible, and therefore we can assume that when Goodell refers to the theft of the car, he is referring to the disguised '67 convertible he discussed earlier in the interview (car 0139).

CSF states the convertible was loaned to a Ford Motor Company executive. Both employees (Frank and Goodell) believe the car was on loan to a Ford engineer. Frank believes the engineer was visiting from South America while Goodell believed the engineer was from Dearborn.

Frank’s comment about “We built the damned thing and it got stolen almost immediately!” This statement correlates with the approximate time the convertible would have been updated with the '68 styled fiberglass, built by A.O. Smith and shipped to SAI. The theft was reported in April 1967.

The theft and recovery locations seem consistent in both Frank’s and Goodell’s interviews. Goodell stated the car was stolen from the Polynesian Village apartment complex in the Pacific Palisades. Goodell and Frank both recall the vehicle being recovered in the Palos Verdes Hills.

Both employees (Frank and Goodell) believed that the car was actually stolen. Conversely, Carroll Shelby stated that the car was not stolen, was subsequently returned and some compensation tendered (records not available). In his 2003 interview, Shelby laughed about the "stolen car" story and said that was the public story and then started to relate the true circumstances. He stopped and said, "It's better to let a sleeping dog lie."

Frank’s and Goodell’s recollections about the stolen parts differ; Frank states they stole the carburetor[s] and intake; Goodell states they took the entire engine. The Theft Repair Invoice aligns more consistently with Frank’s recollection and clarifies the parts "stolen" from the engine bay were "bolt-on" components – not the entire engine.

CSF suggests that it may have been the "theft" that disrupted the standard disposal process. Goodell suggests that it may have been the “penny pinching” controller that was the reason for the convertible not being destroyed. Handwritten notes, scribed when Shelby was closing up the California operation, indicate the convertible was "disposed of." (i.e. sent to Dearborn for Ford to do with as they please).

 

 

 

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