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My Dream - A Big Stroke Of Luck


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It was August or September of 1979. I was 15 years old at the time and had caught the Shelby bug from seeing the cars in magazines. It must have been contagious because my father, Frank, decided that if we could find a car at a decent price; that he and my mother, Pat, might be able to help me buy one. Talk about exciting times for a 15 year old!


We lived in Westminster, Colorado at the time. One Saturday, my father and I went down to Phil Cronkite Auto Sales on West Colfax Avenue in Denver to see if they had any Shelbys. Well, they had three Shelbys at the time. Sitting out on the lot was a red '67 G.T. 350 4-speed car with a Paxton supercharger, an R-Model front valence, and in-board headlights. They also had a red '67 G.T. 500 4-speed car with out-board headlights. Sitting inside their small show room was a yellow '69 G.T. 500 4-speed car. They were asking $9,500.00 for each of the three cars. We decided to test drive the red '67 G.T. 500. My dad drove the car. I was really excited about going for a test drive in a Shelby! It did not turn out very well. I remember the car did not run real well; it seemed to be suffering from ignition system problems. It ran decent up to about 3,000 rpms or so and then just started running really rough. We took it back to the dealership and told the salesman about the ignition problem. It seemed to go in one ear and out the other. He said if we were interested in any of the three cars; they would take $7,500.00 for any of them. We decided to pass on those cars and keep looking. Sorry, I do not know what serial numbers those cars were.


I turned 16 in October of 1979. I had decided the car I wanted was going to be a red '67 G.T. 500 with an automatic transmission. Fast forward to Thanksgiving weekend in November. We went to the World Of Wheels car show at Currigan Hall in Denver. We were walking by the Denver Mustang Club display and there sat a red '67 G.T. 500 with an automatic transmission. The car was not perfect by any means, but I sure wanted it. My father and I struck up a conversation with the owner of the car. One thing lead to another and we ended up talking about buying the car from him. As it turned out, the guy that owned the car lived in Arvada, about three miles from our house. We went to his house to see and drive the car on the weekend after the car show. The car had a 428 with a 1x4V intake manifold on it. It smoked a little, but it ran pretty well - much better than the first one we had driven a few months ago. I was hooked and told my mother and father that I wanted to buy the car and I asked for their help. My father and the guy that owned the car agreed on a price of $8,500.00.


My parents took out a second mortgage on our house to get the money to buy the Shelby. I had been working since I was 13 in the sheet metal shop at a heating and A/C company. My parents told me that I would have to make the payments on the loan and keep my grades at an "A" level for the rest of high school. These were terms that I gladly accepted and was able to follow through on and live up to my side of the deal. We took possession of 67411F--0100-ENG on 12/27/79.


We did not know it at the time, but we had just purchased the very first production G.T. 500 fastback built by Shelby American. With help from SAAC, by about the early spring of 1981 we knew what the car was. Kevin Marti has researched the Ford records at his disposal and has concluded that this car is in fact the very first production G.T. 500 fastback built by Shelby American and it carries the lowest Shelby serial number assigned to any G.T. 500. This car was also a factory engineering car and was used for public relations. It remained assigned to the Shelby American/Shelby Automotive engineering departments into 1969. The car was featured in the February 1967 issues of Car and Driver and Road and Track and in the March 1967 issue of Sports Car Graphic.


The car has been modified/restored over the past 29-1/2 years. It has been powered by a stroker 427 MR engine since 1992. I am currently planning on replacing the 427 with a correct date coded GT390 block and heads. This car's Ford VIN carries an "S" engine code and is thought to be the only 1967 G.T. 500 fastback that was originally equipped with a GT390 engine rather than a 428. The car has been driven hard in SAAC Colorado region open track events and in 1994 was trailered to SAAC-19 in Indianapolis where it was drag raced and driven in the road course open track event.


My wife, Carrie, and I enjoy driving and showing the car here in Colorado. We were fortunate to be able to put the car on display at the Shelby American Collection in Boulder, Colorado for six months in 2007/2008. During the 2007 Christmas Party and fund raiser at the collection, we were able to get pictures of Carroll Shelby with the car and he signed the dash for us.


Carroll Shelby has stated these car were built to be driven. We definitely believe in that philosophy and intend on owning and driving this piece of Shelby American history for many years to come.


Best regards,





The first day of ownership - 12/27/79.



Current front/side view.



Current rear/side view.



Current engine compartment.



Fairly recent interior shot.



On display at the Shelby American Collection.



Autographed photo of Shelby and I.

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