1967 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 Fastback Coupé Registration no. NNA 158E Chassis no. 67402F5U00425
Legendary Texan racing driver Carroll Shelby's team had been campaigning Ford's Mustang 'pony car' with considerable success in North America, winning the SCCA's B-Production title three years running in the mid-1960s. Capitalising on his success, Shelby began manufacturing modified Mustangs, which were officially sanctioned and sold through selected Ford dealerships. Ford supplied Shelby with part-completed 'Sportsroof' (fastback) Mustangs, which were finished off at Shelby's plant in Los Angeles.
The first Shelby Mustang - the GT350 - arrived in 1965 powered by a modified version of Ford's 289ci (4.7-litre) small-block V8 producing 306bhp, with options of a 340-360bhp unit in competition trim or 400bhp supercharged. A four-speed Borg-Warner manual gearbox was the stock transmission on early Shelby Mustangs, though a heavy-duty, three-speed automatic soon became available as an option.
The running gear was appropriately up-rated to cope with the GT350's increased performance, incorporating the optional Kelsey-Hayes front disc brakes, stronger Ford Galaxie rear axle, Koni adjustable shock absorbers and alloy wheels. The first cars were supplied minus the rear seats, thereby qualifying the GT350 as a two-seat sports car! Outwardly there was little to distinguish Shelby's GT350 from the standard product apart from a pair of broad 'racing' stripes down the body centreline. On the open road there was, of course, no comparison.
When the factory introduced a 390ci 'big-block' V8 option on the Mustang for 1967, Shelby went one better, installing Ford's 428ci (7.0-litre) Cobra Jet V8 to create the GT500, one of the great, iconic muscle cars of the 1960s. Produced initially at Shelby's Los Angeles facility and from 1968 at the A O Smith Company's plant in Ionia, Michigan, the Shelby Mustang continued to be based on the stock version, receiving the latter's styling changes and mechanical improvements while retaining its own distinctive special features, until production ended in 1970.
Regarded by many as the ultimate American muscle car, the GT500 also features in Rock Music mythology thanks to its association with The Doors' Jim Morrison. Given a 1967 Night Mist Blue GT500 by Elektra Records for his work on the band's eponymous debut album, Morrison famously crashed the car on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. Leaving the scene of the accident, he went to the Whiskey-A-Go-Go club and returned several hours later to find that the GT500 had gone. Its whereabouts remain unknown to this day.
Documented in the Shelby American Automobile Club (SAAC), chassis number '0425' was completed on 20th January 1967 and served as a Shelby American company car, assigned to Don Cunningham, until it was despatched to Johnny Bolton Ford Inc on 25th August that same year. Only 59 of the GT500s built in 1967 were 'company cars', of which only 11 were specifically designated as 'Engineering' cars like '0425'. Constructed at Shelby's California plant alongside the equally legendary Cobra, this '67 car has the early model's inboard headlights and the desirable, and rare, four-speed manual gearbox, and was originally finished in Highland Green with white interior. It currently displays a believed-genuine total of only 52,000 miles on the odometer.
The first owner, Charles W Park of Apopka, Florida purchased the Mustang on 13th October 1967. Its next owner was Jerry Dietrich of Phoenix, Arizona followed by Chris Perry and then Dean Ullman, both of Scottsdale, Arizona. During its 20-year sojourn in Arizona, the car underwent a full body and mechanical restoration (in 1985) and in 1990 was exported to the UK.
During the current ownership some £10,000 has been spent on the Mustang to ensure it remains roadworthy. Noteworthy features include the 428ci (7.0-litre) V8 engine equipped with original twin Holley four-barrel carburettors (unique to the '67 model year); the original push-button Ford radio; and original door locks and keys. The car is fitted with four after-market Magstar alloy wheels (to original specification) and comes with its five original (but un-roadworthy) Magstars. The only notified defect is a non-functioning fuel gauge. Accompanying paperwork consists of a copy of the SAAC Registry Report and Shelby American Inc Company Cars production details; current MoT certificate and a V5C registration document.