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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 'Q-code' Convertible

1967 Shelby GT Convertible - the World's Rarest Production CarLyndon 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.

There were three key parts to Shelby's plan for 1967: (1) augment the redesigned Mustang with fiberglass components to give the G.T. its own distinct look; (2) add coupe and convertible body styles and (3) offer the potent FE-series 428 cu.in. big block engine as an option. This plan would 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 CID engine, C-6 automatic gearbox, A/C, P/S, P/B, emissions, AM radio, tinted glass and a black décor interior under a Candyapple Red exterior.

As extensive research would ultimately reveal, these automobiles would be the first production-line Ford Mustangs outfitted with the potent Q-code 428 cu.in. "Interceptor" engine, and because they were ordered by Shelby American, they also received dual Holly 4bbl 600 cfm carburetors. 

For Carroll Shelby, two out of three goals were achieved: Carroll did get his styling design approved, and the 428-equipped G.T. 500 model would be offered. Unfortunately, Ford management quashed part three of the plan that would have expanded the model line-up to include the coupe and convertible body styles -- presumably after inspecting the two hand-built '67 Fastback prototype cars in August 1966.

Despite Ford's decision to restrict Shelby's offering to a fastback model, 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 assembly plant, approximately two weeks after the fastback (0100) and coupe (0131). This trio would become the first big block G.T. 500 cars delivered to, upgraded by and serialized by Shelby.

Upon delivery to Shelby American in Los Angeles, 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.

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 new 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 for brochures, print ads and dealer literature used to promote the upcoming 1968 model year Shelby G.T. cars. 

Nearly half a century has passed since this unique  G.T. 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.
 

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