Dan & Anna Mohry
1968 Gold Shelby GT500, Automatic w/Air
The order was placed by a fellow in Arizona in December of 1967, so on the day of my 3rd birthday a Sunlit Gold Shelby GT500 received its serial number and the build was completed on February 19th of 1968. Two score and 5 years later, I was finally in a position to search, find and hopefully buy a Shelby.
Anna and I searched up and down the the east coast. We traveled to Shelby dealers and spoke with Shelby brokers. We found many cars, but they just never felt right. In June of 2013 we were at Ford Carlisle and checked out a few cars brought by Shelby brokers. We looked at cars that didn't have the original engines, we looked at cars that needed complete restorations and it just didn't make sense for the money that they were asking. Earlier that day I bid on a 1968 GT350 on Ebay. I spoke with the owner, even had a friend of mine inspect the car in Boston. unfortunately the bid didn't meet the sellers reserve so when biding closed, there were no winners. Later that morning, we walked under the pavilion and there was a Blue 1967 with white stripes, just what I thought I was looking for. I looked around and Anna wasn't next to me anymore. Anna was looking at a Gorgeous Gold 1968 GT500. I don't believe that I ever saw Gold 1968, the light reflected off the gold color like no other color. There were only 270 sunlit gold cars made in 1968. It was only a half year color, "Why ?" Well, there were not too many fans of gold painted Shelbys at AO Smith. During the spring of 1968 someone noticed the AO Smith gold paint did not match Meutchen Ford assembly gold paint. Not really a problem, unless you have already assembled a batch of brand new gold Shelbys. Fiberglass front ends and deck lids were pre-painted. AO Smith was forced to remove the fiberglass from 38 cars and repaint them to match the body shells. It was an expensive undertaking and no doubt, caused some hard feelings. Sunlit Gold was replaced with Yellow.
I became more interested so I called the owner and asked him to meet me by the car because I had questions. I came back about an hour later with my friend Butch to take a better look at the car. I noticed the S engine code and wondered why the car came with a 390 engine code. All GT500s were originally equipped with FORD's 428 Police Interceptor engine. The engine was also designated by an "S" engine code. This code was also used on the FORD's 390 engine. Ford sent out a special letter to explain this oddity. The owner assured us that it had the original drive train. We checked it out the best that we could, but obliviously unable to verify it there.
I briefly spoke numbers with the Frank, the owner and his asking price was over my budget so I went back to the flea market and continued selling off extra parts. I found myself on the internet comparing the price to other auctioned cars and soon realized that his asking price was really out of line. Although he was into the car for more than he was asking, he was not going to sell the car if he wasn't willing to drop significantly lower.
That night, driving home, the owner of the Ebay car called me and asked if I would raise my bid $2,000. I told him that I would sleep on it and call him in the morning. I came home and continued my search, I found a 1967 GT500 in Ohio and an upscale muscle car dealer. I noticed that the dealer was in Springfield Ohio, only about 40 minutes away from a good friend of mine that deals in early Porsches. I called him in the morning and he and his wife jumped on his Indian and took a ride to Springfield. It was a beautiful light blue GT500, dual quads, outboard headlights, 4 speed, low miles and a realistic price, sounded great. To good to be true, The dealer had the bad side of the car against a wall to hide the imperfections. The car had an older restoration and a bunch of issues so back to the search.
I called Frank back in the morning and made what I considered a fair offer. By this time, I wanted the Gold GT500, I wanted automatic and air. The fact that it was an Arizona car for most of it's life and an all original panel car with only 53000 miles on it, made it even more enticing. Frank laughed at the offer and immediately rejected it. , I told him that I would be leaving for a fund raiser and if he wanted to drop it off in Bethlehem on his way back to Long island, that I would be here, but he would need to let me know in the next 15 minutes. He called me back five minutes later, told me that his wife wanted a motor home and that he would take the loss on the car.
Later that afternoon, he pulled up, we unloaded the car and took it for a ride. Butch and I checked everything that we could so I know what I was getting. I was satisfied and we agreed to the deal. I already had the check/cash prepared and we finalized the deal.
Now Anna and I are the proud owners of the Shelby. We actually put almost 2,000 miles on the car since we owned it. We took the bias tires off and replaced them with radials to make it safer and more enjoyable to drive.