The Shelby Mustang, born from Ford’s ubiquitous pony car, elevated the millions of Mustangs made just by way of association with Ol’ Shel’s race-winning sports car. Unfortunately, like the fruit fly, the original Shelby Mustang was a short-lived creature. The Shelby G.T.350 emerged in 1965, and while cars bearing the G.T.350 and G.T.500 nameplate continued to be made until 1970, it was really just the first three model years that can be regarded as “true” Shelbys. Carroll Shelby himself once told me that.
For the 1968 model year, production was taken back to Ioina, Mich., and, in this writer’s estimation, the 1968 and the 1969/1970 models were mostly tarted-up Mustangs, the latter with multiple NACA ducts on the hood. The 1967 Shelby, however, was an especially interesting transitional car. It was huge by comparison with its 1965 and 1966 predecessors, and was available with the 428 ci V-8 engine, as well as the stellar 289 ci small-block V-8, the latter being in its final year. A 1967 Shelby G.T.500 was the right choice for those who believed “there’s no substitute for cubic inches.” And they would not be disappointed.
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On Saturday, October 7, a very special 1967 Shelby G.T.500 will cross the block at the Mecum Auctions Indy Fall Special at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. Of the 3,225 total examples of Shelbys made for 1967, 2,048 were big-block cars. All were fastback coupes, with only one convertible prototype (later known as “Big Red”) that preceded the popular 1968 soft-top model.
The styling, identical for both models, was dramatic, featuring an extended fiberglass nose and an upswept spoiler at the rear. Scoops on the C-pillars, ahead of each rear wheel, and a wide fiberglass hood scoop identified the Shelby as hardly an ordinary Mustang. Rear taillights, borrowed from the Mercury Cougar, enhanced the car’s wide rear stance. And a pair of menacing high-beam lights, center-mounted in the mesh grille, were positively awe-inspiring when approaching in one’s rearview mirror.
While it was bigger and absolutely luxurious compared to its spartan predecessor, the G.T.500 was a genuine sports car, with capable handling, big brakes, and Ford’s Police Interceptor engine. Topped with twin Holley 650 cfm carburetors on an aluminum intake manifold, the big-block officially developed 355 hp and 420 ft lbs of torque, though these were conservative numbers in the spirit of the times. Good for a 14.3-second quarter mile, the big Shelby was a quick car for the period, and, priced at $4,195, was also a bit of a deal.
Along with the ’65 G.T.350, the big-block ‘67 is an iconic muscle car and could be considered a lynchpin in any Shelby collection. This example, Shelby No. 00706, completed a restoration in 2021, and is painted by Legendary Motorcar in Nightmist Blue with white Le Mans stripes. The color scheme is a great combination, as it shows off the fastback lines and complements the rare Parchment Comfort Weave interior, found in only 8 percent of Shelbys made that year.
The 428 ci V-8 engine—built by Barry Rabotnick of Survival Motorsports—uses a replacement block and heads dated January of 1967, but the original heads are included in the sale. And the four-speed manual transmission and factory roll bar are reminders that this car was meant for motoring purists. Listed in the Shelby American Automobile Club Registry, it is accompanied by a copy of the window sticker and dealer invoice.
Click here for more photos of this 1967 Shelby G.T.500 offered through Mecum Auctions.
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