Bill Collins

Collector Fords

'68 GT-500

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'68 GT500
VIN 8T02S143389- 01428

Description prepared by Bill Collins on May 7, 2011

AUTHENTICITY: Genuine ’68 GT500 fastback, Shelby serial number 1428. The base vehicle was initially built semi complete by Ford, then delivered to Shelby Automotive for finishing. The Ford VIN was expanded at Shelby by addition of a suffix identifying their sequential build number for this vehicle. The original Ford dash VIN and door warranty tags were retained, supplemented by a Shelby unique VIN plate incorporating the suffix number. This plate is installed on the front driver’s side inner fender in the engine compartment.

All identification tags, including Shelby VIN, build or "body buck", dash VIN and door warranty are present on this vehicle. The Ford VIN is believed to be stamped into both the left and right inner fender aprons, but have not been actually observed.

The door warranty tag codes for this car are as follows: Body 63B: Fastback with deluxe interior. Color M: Wimbledon White. Trim 6F: Saddle non comforweave vinyl. Date 05A: Scheduled January 5, 1968 build date. DSO 8D2613: Shelby Automotive. Axle 8: Non-Locking 3:50 ratio. Trans 5: 4-speed manual.

The build or body buck tag codes are as follows:

035 - Rotation number (this vehicle's place on the assembly line for that particular build)

33 - Welding bay number

02A - Actual build date (may vary from scheduled date shown on door tag) January 2, 1968

63B - Fastback body style with deluxe interior

FDS – Fold down rear seat

6F - Interior trim code – saddle vinyl (non comfortweave)

8T02S143389 - Vehicle identification number

M WHITE - Exterior color Wimbledon White - color code M

PS - Power steering

SHELBY - Shelby Automotive

PB - Power brakes

DE - Dual exhaust

IT – Intermittent taillights

TC - Tilt column

FD – Front disc (brakes)

ST - Standard transmission

The original Ford build sheet, which verifies the car’s color, equipment, trim and build status as a "Shelby Unit" has not yet been located. A "Marti Report" has also been secured. This report is sourced from original Ford computer records and likewise verifies this as a genuine Shelby VIN, together with the vehicle’s original color, trim and equipment. The original owner’s manual survives with the car and displays the first owner’s name, that of the selling dealer, and various related information.

This GT500 is listed in the Shelby American Automobile Club (SAAC) World Registry 1997 Edition pages 853 and 946. This is the latest edition presently available for 1968 model year cars.

HISTORY: Produced at Ford’s Metuchen, NJ assembly plant on January 2, 1968 and shipped to Shelby Automotive / A. O. Smith in Ionia, Michigan for completion. Completed by Shelby and shipped February 22, 1968 to Jack Gibbons City Ford in Watchung, New Jersey.

Purchased from Gibbons Ford by the first owner, Mario Patullo of Bound Brook, NJ on April 2, 1968. Patullo kept the car until the late 1990’s, whereupon it was sold to an owner in Maryland. The identity of that person is presently unknown.

Acquired from Maryland by David Winkler of Newtown Square, PA on December 11, 2001. The mileage was recorded at that time as being 81,750. Winkler is currently a member of the Board Of Directors of the Shelby American Automobile Club, although he did not assume that position until after he sold # 1428 in 2004.

Acquired by Bruce D. Montgomery of Bethlehem, PA on December 7, 2004. The mileage was recorded at that time as being 83,500. Montgomery used the car very little, accumulating only a bit over 500 miles during his over six years of ownership.

The car was delivered to Bill Collins Collector Fords on April 25, 2011.

CONFIGURATION/CONDITION: Odometer displays 84,011 miles as of April 25, 2011. This is believed to be the actual mileage. It is supported by available records.

The exterior has been repainted to the original Wimbledon White with owner added Guardsman Blue "Lemans" stripes in the style of the 1965-66 GT350. The saddle interior color is original. This Shelby is equipped with reproduction ten spoke aluminum wheels. Other equipment includes four speed transmission, 3:50 non-locking differential and tilt / flip away steering wheel. The original AM radio has been replaced with a modern aftermarket AM/FM/cassette unit.

ENGINE / DRIVELINE: The engine is the 428 Police Interceptor (PI) originally factory installed into this vehicle. The block has a C7ME-A engineering number. The block casting date is 7M19 (December 19, 1967). The cylinder head casting is the correct C8AE-H but the casting dates have not been observed. The exhaust manifolds are the factory original C7OE 9430-C on the right and C7OE-9431A on the left. The water pump is a generic replacement. The cooling fan is the factory original with C8OE-E engineering number. It is mounted on an original C8ZX-A clutch.

The factory original Cobra oval air cleaner unit with cast aluminum lid and stamped steel bottom is in place. The carburetor is a replacement Holley aftermarket unit. The aluminum intake manifold is the original PI with C7AE-F casting number. The original Cobra Lemans lettered aluminum valve covers are in place. The distributor is an MSD brand aftermarket conversion unit with external box.

The engine air injection emission system, "Y" tube PCV system and thermostatically controlled idle compensator systems have been removed. The engine exterior has been painted but is now showing wear. The engine appears to have been rebuilt but no information is presently available to confirm this. Inquiries are being made to past owners in this regard. This description will be updated as more information becomes available.

The driveline is all the factory-installed components original to this vehicle. The transmission tag is RUG-S, confirming that it is the proper "large input" 31 spline style correct for a GT500. The vehicle VIN may appear on the top of the transmission case, but this has not been observed.

The rear axle is the original nine-inch unit with the correct 3:50 gear ratio. The center section is the proper nodular style with 7M29 casting date (Nov 29, 1967). The axle ID tag is in place and reads "WES-U". This decodes to 3:50 ratio, non-locking 4 pinion with 31 spline axles. The tag date code is 7MC, which indicates that it was assembled during the third week December 1967.

The factory cast iron exhaust manifolds connect through a factory style "H" pipe to a Flowmaster style system with dual flow though mufflers as opposed to the original single transverse type. The system appears to be recently installed and is in good condition. It exits below the rear valence via original style ’68 "pipe within a pipe" chrome outlet tips.

The ten spoke aluminum wheels are reproductions. Tires are BF Goodrich T/A radials, size 225/70-R15. The spare tire is non-matching on an original plain steel wheel.

BODY: All Shelby exterior equipment, unique identification and trim are intact. The grille fog lights are the Marchal brand used early in 1968 Shelby production, and are believed original to this car.

Overall body integrity is good. There is no accident damage or evidence of accident repair. The outer metal is all OEM Ford. The fiberglass is all factory original. Panel fit, straightness and alignment are all very good, and the opening gaps around the hood, doors and trunk are generally even. Windshield, side window and rear glass is all the original Carlite, in good condition with no cracks or substantial scratches. All weatherstrip is original. The exterior trim is in good condition. The gas tank is a new appearing replacement.

The exterior paint is of average body shop quality but quite presentable, with acceptable smoothness and gloss. The finish is touched up in various spots. Subsurface corrosion has resulted in moderate paint bubbling on the outside front lower corners of the doors and quarter panels. Portions of the rocker stripe have been touched up with blue paint to mask this condition. These flaws are not immediately evident upon casual observation, so upon first impression, the car presents itself well overall.

The inside front corners of the doors have small patches using an epoxy style material. The lower quarter panels have both received rust repair aft of the wheel openings; their bottom areas have been replaced and the inner trunk drops repaired or replaced.

The underneath of the car is lightly undercoated in some areas. The floor pans and structural underbody are original, undisturbed and in solid condition at both front and rear with exception of the front torque boxes. The right side has been repaired and the left is rusty and must be replaced.

The engine compartment is showing patina. Hoses, belts and electrical components are generic replacements. The Shelby unique export brace is intact, supplemented by an owner installed Monte Carlo bar curved to fit around the oval air cleaner. The radiator is an aftermarket replacement aluminum unit with a later OEM style fan shroud. The windshield washer system has been removed to make way for the MSD ignition box; only the cowl squirters remain. The power steering cooler is in place at the front of the radiator support.

INTERIOR: The interior has its original dark saddle dash pad in good condition. The dash gauge bezel and other dash trim components are in very good condition. The speedometer / tach are the correct 140mph/8K calibrations. The steering wheel is an early production style, all saddle colored wheel rather than the later wood grain faced version. It has a saddle color center pad with Shelby Cobra identification plate. There is wear on the wheel’s outer rim and it is discolored from age.

The original Shelby unique console is in place with embossed snake logo armrest. The console gauges are the original Stewart – Warner units, properly labeled "oil pressure" and "alternator". The shifter handle is the correct OEM style with the pull up ring for reverse, and is topped with the factory blue striped imitation walnut knob.

The seat upholstery appears to have been replaced. The installation work is not to factory standards and has also become worn There is a tear in the driver’s seat back cushion. The light saddle color of various interior soft trim items has faded at varying rates, resulting in shade differences throughout the interior.

The door panels and armrests are original and in average condition; the plating on the plastic bright trim has rubbed off. The correct metal grilles are in place on the lower door, with integrated courtesy lights. The driver’s side grille is showing some wear from repeated entries and contact with the seat belt. The doorsill plates are in average condition and have the proper Shelby Automotive logo plates.

The foldown seat assembly is intact, operates smoothly, and its chrome trim is in good condition. The rear interior panels and trunk access door are intact and uncut. The roll bar, inertia reels, shoulder harnesses and all seat belts are intact with correct "Shelby Cobra" logos. The headliner is in good condition.

The trunk interior is painted white to match the exterior. Some black undercoat has been sprayed onto the lower areas of the quarter panels where rust repair has taken place. There is a standard quality mat. The jack, lug wrench and spare wheel holdown hardware are intact. The Shelby unique cardboard tail light protectors are in place.

OPERATIONAL: This GT500 drives very well. The clutch engages smoothly. The transmission is shifted easily. The rear differential is quiet. Handling and road manners are good with stable steering and suspension. Handling is improved by the installation of 600# rated aftermarket front coil springs. The shock absorbers appear to be recently installed, both front and rear.

The power brake booster and master cylinder are working properly, the car stops straight. Brake and fuel fluid lines are in good condition, as are the front brake rotors and remainder of the brake system. No fluid leaks are evident from the engine or any system. The parking brake mechanism does not work.

The radio, heater and all gauges including the tachometer and speedometer are in working order, except the clock. The automatic flip-away combination feature on the tilt steering wheel is not working. The manual tilt feature is functional.

All of the interior and exterior lights, including the sequential rear brake lights, turn signals and four way flashers, are in working order. The horns work but one is weak. The windshield washer system has been removed,

OBSERVATIONS: This is an average driver example of the ‘68 GT500 fastback. The color and 4-speed transmission enhance its desirability. The original engine and driveline, documentation and largely known history add to its integrity. This Shelby is recommended for the enthusiast on a budget who can drive and enjoy it while enhancing its condition on an ongoing basis.

PRICE: $79,500

Description prepared by Bill Collins on May 7, 2011