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 1967 Shelby G.T. 500 Convertible

 

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Home Caretaker (Ownership) History
 
 

Enthusiasts know that a vital part of researching any classic is documenting the car's past ownership, or as we like to call it -- the caretaker history.

Upon closing down the California operation, Shelby American 'disposed' of the convertible and a handful of other engineering cars by shipping them to Dearborn on August 18, 1967.

And this is where we have a break in the paper trail. We're not sure if the convertible was immediately sold via the employee/auction resale lot (a.k.a. the "B Lot") at the corporate headquarters, sold through a dealer, or if the car remained in engineering use at the new Ionia-based Shelby Automotive up through the end of 1968.

Previous caretakers of the 1967 Shelby GT Convertible had been traced back to 1973 in Illinois. Unfortunately information from 1973-1976 was lost when ownership changed hands in the 1980s.

  • November 1966 - Shelby American  (Los Angeles, CA)
     
  • August 18, 1967 - Ford Motor Company and/or Shelby Automotive Co. (Dearborn, MI)
     
  • 1967-1976 - Ownership unknown during this time period.  Ventrella recalls his research had 0139 in Illinois back to 1973 at least.
     
  • Oct. 1976 - Jan. 1977 (Classified ads found in four local newspapers)
    Current research leads us to believe the car was owned by an individual that owned the S&N Construction company with an address of
    10 Heather Ln. in Oak Brook, IL.
     
  • January 8, 1977
    Donald Neil Osbjornson
    1455 Lawrence Ave, Lake Forest, IL
    According to Ozzy's friend, Scott Salzwedel, 0139 was purchased from a seller located in or near Hinsdale, IL. The convertible was painted Acapulco Blue and was equipped with a "Blazingly fast" high-compression engine. Another friend, Billy Dunbar added that he remembers the convertible being equipped with air shocks at the time of purchase. It is also rumored that Osbjornson may have driven 0139 in the annual Lake Forest Day parade in 1977 and that a photo might have been published in the local Lake Forrester newspaper. 
     
  • August 20, 1978
    James B. Ventrella
    2311 Dorina Dr, Northfield, IL
    Purchased with approximately 45,000 miles on the odometer, Jamie was the first person to theorize that the Shelby convertible was actually a 1967 model year car in '68 disguise. The SAAC club didn't have factory records during Jamie's ownership so they were never able to authenticate the car as being a real Shelby.
     
  • December 16, 1985
    Richard S. Kot 
    601 Glenwood Ln, Glenview, IL
    It was during Richard's ownership that SAAC was finally able to validate the hidden Ford VIN and authenticate the car as the only 1967 Shelby G.T. Convertible ever serialized and built.
     
  • May 2001
    Volo Auto Museum / Grams Family
    27582 Volo Village Rd, Volo, IL
    It was Brian Grams that made the discoveries of the telltale '67 Shelby modifications when the car was torn-down and being restored in 2001.
     
     
  • March 27, 2007
    Dana Mecum Collection
    950 Greenlee St., Marengo, IL
     
  • May 17, 2009
    Samantha & Brian Styles
    Boynton Beach, FL
     

Photos shared by previous caretakers

A detailed timeline of the GT500 Convertible's history

* Note: We have contacted the Department of Motor Vehicles in both Michigan and Illinois to attempt a title/VIN search, however, both have stated they only retain records for 10 years.

 

 

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