Rare Shelby pre-production engineering and marketing GT500, the only one (1969-1970) painted Raven Black, is 428 Cobra Jet powered. And it’s been found, documented and restored.
As in any endeavor, one’s network of people is invaluable. This story of the finding, vetting, researching and revitalizing of a historic car proves that case once again – and that VIN 9F03Q1022336 is a Shelby Automotive pre-production (prototype) engineering and marketing development car. It is one of just four Shelbys that were used to develop what would be offered to the public on production models.
The cars were the first built at the Dearborn Assembly Plant for conversion into Shelby Mustangs. This prototype was also the first 428CJ Mustang built at Dearborn, as well as the first convertible Mustang built there. Its Raven Black color is also significant, as it is the only 1969-1970 Shelby Mustang that was finished in this color.
Where, when and how was such a gem found? During October 2014, the French Lick Concours d’ Elegance in Indiana had included the Shelby marque in its show field. This white-glove and sport-jacket event drew the top Shelby entries, and many restorers, owners, enthusiasts and business people. George Huisman of Michigan and Ed Meyer of Indiana were discussing a car that had surfaced near Detroit, a 1969 Shelby GT500 convertible. Tony King of Montana overheard that conversation and expressed some interest in it. Jason Billups from Oklahoma was also attending to help judge. As with similar shows, many of the people involved knew each other. Jason and his brother, Scott, own Billups Classic Cars in Colcord, OK. Tony King is one of their longtime customers, plus Jason and Ed have collaborated on numerous restorations over the years. Continued at Performance.Ford.Com
PHOTOS: Al Rogers, Freeze Frame Image LLC.
Continue reading Al Rogers and Don Bell’s feature at https://performance.ford.com/enthusiasts/newsroom/2019/01/1969-shelby-gt500-convertible-prototype.html