50-Year-Old Shelby Mustang Still Brings Joy

Original Shelby GT500 Convertible: A Muscle Car Bargain

Whilst the 1967 Shelby Mustang GT350 and GT500 are presently some of the most prestigious and desirable classic cars, it is curious to note that as originally formed, the collaboration between Ford and Shelby only endured a four year span.

The 1969 GT500 Cobra Jet proved to be the last Ford vehicle Carroll Shelby sanctioned and validated prior to him officially ending his early association with Ford in 1969. It is potentially the least acknowledged of all 1st Generation Shelby Mustangs.

The YouTube station Muscle Cars With Eric had the privilege of tracing the possessor of this entirely unmodified 1969-constructed Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 428 Cobra Jet Drop-Top. This unconventional pony car’s narrative was then learned while having a ride to get it.

"Unbelievable Garage Find: The Rare 1969 Shelby Cobra Mustang Convertible!" 27000 original miles

The story of Ford and Carroll Shelby is prominently known; by contrast, however, the narrative concerning the Cobra Jet label is much less familiar. Even though Chevrolet and Pontiac had presented 325+ HP large block V8s by 1967’s end, Ford was lagging behind with its Mustang seriously underpowered relative to its rivals.

In 1968, Ford endeavored to ameliorate this dilemma by unveiling the 7.0-liter Cobra Jet V8 engine, first mounted in a Mustang Fastback. Initially, only fifty of these extraordinary Cobra Jet Mustangs were manufactured by the company for one particular aim: conquering drag racing.

The striking Ford Performance 428 cu. in. V8 engine was originally proclaimed to deliver 335 HP and 440 lb-ft of torque. Though, it is popularly believed that Ford had underestimated the power output, with actual readings being around 410 horsepowers.

Chuck, the proprietor of this special GT500 Cobra Jet, has been its owner for approximately 50 years. He recounts purchasing it from his brother-in-law in between 1972 and 1974 for a meager $150–its value today being $1091 in 2023. Chuck and his family have taken this car with them on their travels from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Phoenix, Arizona.

Chuck boasts with immense pride that the car is a totally genuine model, having only undertaken insignificant mechanical repairs approximately eight years ago to make sure it was driveable. Astonishingly, this Cobra Jet just has 27,000 miles on the odometer, with Chuck having added barely more than 230 to the total since his fixes eight years back.

This particular GT500 is unique, being one of only two of its kind- a convertible Candyapple Red with an antiquated AM radio. It may contain signs of age after a half century of ownership, yet Chuck would certainly reap a handsome reward if he put it up for sale at auction.

Flawless, perfectly renewed GT500 428 Cobra Jets are selling for around $130,000 at auction currently. Even though it may not be concourse-worthy, its tremendously appealing and would highly likely garner a sizable sum. It does not appear that Chuck will part with this auto anytime soon as the car produces a spark on his face each time he beholds it.


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