Race car driver, WWII ‘Flying Sergeant’, philanthropist, automotive entrepreneur and a racing team owner, Carrol Hall Shelby was a man whose vision for performance transformed the automobile industry. This colorful American racing driver and engineer who drove for Ferrari, Aston Martin, won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, set land speed records at Bonneville Salt Flats, named twice as the Sports Illustrated ‘Driver of the Year’ and who later gave his legendary name to the iconic Shelby American Cobra high-performance sports car, died this month at the age of 89. Believer of combining big horsepower with inspired engineering, Shelby was the one who defined the world of fast Fords, and was integral to all of the stunning performance Fords in the United States for almost 60 years. Now, Carroll Shelby’s one-off 1967 GT-500 Convertible, widely known as the world’s rarest muscle car has been restored to be the part of this year’s elite invitational display at the Ford Nationals, to be held on June 1-3, at the Carlisle Fairgrounds in Carlisle, PA.
This particular 1967 GT-500 Shelby Convertible is not just most expensive and rare, but it is also highly desirable, for being the only big block GT convertible manufactured by Shelby American Inc. Documented as a Shelby American company car and assigned to legendary Carroll Shelby; this convertible also became a 1968s styling prototype and photographic car, this particular example is the recipient of Ford’s first C-6 automatic transmission built.
The car’s original trim package includes, white power top, Candyapple Red paint, deluxe black interior, 428cid “Police Interceptor” engine, emissions system and air-conditioning.
Samantha and Brian Styles, the caretakers of this single-most photographed and publicized GT ever built, are pleased to have the car’s 3-year restoration completed in time for the 50th anniversary of the iconic Shelby Cobra and Shelby American. As said by Styles, “Having the 1967 GT 500 Convertible invited to the Carlisle Ford Nationals as part of their special T-building display is both an honor and a perfect means of helping us to achieve our goal of sharing this unique car’s history with other enthusiasts,”
Historically, this 1967 Shelby GT 500 Convertible was the one among the three; 428cid-equipped 1967 Mustangs, a coupe, a fastback, and convertible, as ordered by Shelby American on 15 August 1966. After its arrival at the Shelby American Los Angeles facility in 1966, this convertible was designated a ‘company car’ and was assigned to Carroll Shelby. Then after one year, the car was re-tasked as a ‘68 styling prototype’, and got updated with fiberglass body parts so that the car can be used extensively for brochures, print ads, and dealer literature to promote the upcoming 1968 Shelby Cobra GT 500 and GT 350 models.