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 1967 Shelby G.T. 500 Convertible


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Home Factory Paperwork Memo from Shelby Automotive to A.O. Smith
Document: Memo
Date: November 8, 1967
From: Shelby Automotive
To: A.O. Smith Corporation
Subject: Release of Vehicles from A.O. Smith

This memorandum is effectively a complaint from John E. Kerr, General Manager of Shelby Automotive Company Inc. to George F. MacFarlane, Manager-Sales and Engineering, A.O. Smith Corporation.

The letter has been transcribed for easier reading. Our analysis follows.





  November 8, 1967


  G. MacFarlane, Manager - Sales and Engineering

Release of Vehicles from A.O. Smith


Several recent unfortunate experiences with vehicles prepared by A.O. Smith have resulted in this request to have all vehicles inspected and the release of the vehicle signed by the Chief Engineer of Shelby Automotive Inc., or his authorized representative.

In the past, it has become necessary for A.O. Smith to prepare several show cars that were shipped to various parts of the country for review by the press and various executives of Ford Motor Company.  Without exception the vehicles were found deficient in such areas as decor, finish, and operation of the mechanical components.  When these vehicles were show, malfunction and extremely poor appearance resulted in considerable embarrassment to myself and other officials of Shelby Automotive.  To prevent the re-occurrence of these difficulties, I shall place the responsibility for the release of the vehicles with Mr. Goodell, Chief Engineer. At my request no vehicles are to be shipped without the express approval of Mr. Goodell or his authorized representative.

Thank you for your cooperation.  We hope to improve our public image by these actions.

  John Kerr
General Manager


J. Kerr
R. Grimm
P. LaVoie
R. Brozel





Analysis of this Document

It reveals that A.O. Smith's preparation of the six 'show cars,' also referenced by item #8 of the December 8, 1967 VanAkin letter, was less than satisfactory (as far as Shelby Automotive was concerned).  This memo is indicative of the ongoing relationship problems and in-fighting between Shelby Automotive and A.O. Smith during early 1968 Shelby production.

Because of the November 8, 1967 date, we believe that the six 'show cars' were most likely 'pilot' or the first early production cars built by Ford in September/October 1967.

This memo was typed on plain paper -- not stationary or letterhead. Perhaps Shelby Automotive still didn't have letterhead as of this date?

John Kerr was located in Shelby Automotive Inc.'s Manufacturing & Development Office, 15670 West 10 Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48075.

See Also: SAI Task List, Activities by SA Ionia, and Letter to Ken VanAkin at Ford



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