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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 Mustang's body with fiberglass components to give the Shelby G.T. its own distinct look,

Introduce coupe and convertible body styles by mid-year, and

Offer the potent FE-series 428 cu.in. 'big block' "Ford Cobra" 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 a week before production began on the redesigned '67 Mustang.

Beginning on August 8th, 1966, Shelby American placed the first orders with Ford Motor Company. Twelve orders for a total of 111 cars; all fastbacks except for one coupe and one convertible.

Unfortunately when the first small block equipped cars began to arrive in September, Shelby American was plagued with fitment, supply and financial problems. Ford stepped in and took control over the ordering process and tapped A.O. Smith to solve the fiberglass-related issues. As part of this triage effort, Ford management also abandoned the plan to introduce the mid-year coupe and convertible body styles. As history has now taught us, Shelby's aggressive plan to go from one G.T. model in '66 to six models in '67, while his focus was still on racing and winning Le Mans, proved to be too much...

Even though the plans changed, the coupe and convertible (ordered back in August) were still completed by Ford's San Jose assembly plant in November 1966. Along with the first G.T. 500 fastback, this trio (0100, 0131 and 0139) became the first 428-equipped production Mustangs built by Ford and subsequently the first big block G.T. cars delivered to, upgraded by and serialized by Shelby American.

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

With plans for a mid-year '67 convertible cancelled by Ford, the only convertible delivered was 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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