Lyndon B. Johnson was president, the "space race" was
on and the Beach Boys released their best-selling album. It was the summer
After two successful
years of selling his Mustang-based G.T. 350 Fastback,
Carroll Shelby, with his 'go big or go home' mantra, decided
that 1967 would be the year to take his automobile company
to a new level of greatness.
There were three
primary objectives to Shelby's plan for 1967: (1) augment the
Mustang's design with fiberglass components to give it its
own distinct look; (2) include a new FE-series 428 cu.in.
big block engine option and finally (3) add coupe and
convertible body styles. This plan would result in consumers
being able to choose from six different Shelby G.T. models.
Carroll's plan was
put into motion on August 9th,
a week before production began on the redesigned '67 Mustang. Shelby American placed an order 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 cu.in. engine, C-6 automatic gearbox, A/C, P/S,
P/B, Thermactor, AM radio, tinted glass and a black
décor interior under a Candyapple Red exterior.
As history would
inevitably reveal, these automobiles would
be the first production-line Ford Mustangs outfitted with
the massive Q-code 428 cu.in. "Interceptor" engine,
and because they were ordered by Shelby, they also received
dual Holly 4bbl 600 cfm carburetors.
For Shelby, two out
of three goals were achieved: Carroll did get the styling
design approved, and the 428-equipped G.T. 500 model would
be offered, however, it appears that after inspecting the
two hand-built '67 Fastback prototype cars in September
1966, Ford management quashed part three of the plan that
would have expanded the model line-up to include a coupe and
decision to restrict Shelby's offering to the two fastback
models, the coupe and convertible (ordered back in August)
were still completed. The convertible was serialized on
November 1, 1966 and completed twenty days later at Ford’s San
Jose plant, approximately two weeks after the fastback
This trio would also become the first big block G.T. 500 cars
delivered to, upgraded by and serialized by Shelby.
Upon arrival at
Shelby American, 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.
Initially assigned to
Carroll Shelby as his own "personal driver," interviews
with his former employees indicate the convertible was often
being driven by a "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).
four months later, the convertible was was re-purposed for
use as a '68 styling and photographic car.
With Ford's design assistance, Dearborn Steel Tubing
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 for brochures, print ads and dealer
literature needed to promote the upcoming 1968 model year
Shelby G.T. cars.
Nearly half a
century has passed since this extra special GT 500
convertible rolled off Ford's assembly line. Several years
were spent researching the car's history prior to entrusting
Jason Billups to perform the Concours-correct restoration
with the priceless technical
contributions from many experts, enthusiasts and past
employees in the Shelby community.