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
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.
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)
unknown during this time period. Ventrella recalls
his research had 0139 in Illinois back to 1973 at least.
1976 - Jan. 1977 (Classified ads found in four local
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,
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
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,
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.