Today’s 1968 Shelby GT500 Convertible has build sheet and Marti Report verified, Sunlit Gold over black, Factory A/C, power steering and brakes and it is Rotisserie restored! Achieving such great look is not an easy job – it costs a lot and takes time. However, a couple weeks back a Shelby expert was looking this muscle car over and everything went very smooth.
Before its inspection the car was very nice – you can see that in the pictures, but the top didn’t work too well, the exhaust was tired, and several small details were lacking. Here’s what the owner took care of in the past month: Click on Read more!
Installed both front shocks (Koni Classic,) air cleaner mounting hardware, air filter, oil pressure sending unit boot, date-coded spark plug wires, one horn (was missing,) radiator fan shroud, transmission pan gasket, the entire exhaust system from the manifolds to the tips, sway bar bracket bushings, power steering hoses, rebuilt power steering “ram,” fuel cap emblem, both power top hydraulic cylinders, both front window cranks, emergency flasher button, driver side vent cable, washer fluid floor pad and the battery. Tidied up some wiring, made sure all of the lights worked inside and out, and gave the car the once-over. Being an old car, some of those items are forgivable, but this car must exceed expectations.
When you think of significant muscle cars there are a few cars and names which come to mind. At the top of nearly every list you’ll find one ornery Texan, Carroll Shelby, and his fantastic reinterpretation of Ford’s Mustang. More desirable yet are the convertibles and the big block cars, and this gorgeous Sunlit Gold example here is both. Highly documented, a 25+ year SAAC member car and owned by the same man who took delivery for more than 30 years this show ready example is perfect for any high end collection.
The big three pieces of documentation follow this car: The ORGINAL build sheet, the Marti Report and a copy of the original invoice. Here’s how this car left Metuchen on March 5th, 1968:
428CI Police Interceptor V8
C6 Automatic Transmission
Exterior paint: Sunlit Gold
interior: Black Décor Bucket Seats
White Power Convertible Top w/Glass Rear Window
Visibility Group (light package)
Wheel Lip Moldings
Power Front Disc Brakes
Tilt Steering Wheel
Interior Décor Group
Tachometer and Trip Odometer
When Shelby got done with it there were a pile of changes from the specific bodywork to the rollover bar to the Goodyear Speedway tires to the Stewart Warner “green line” gauges in the center stack. Completed, it went to Pletcher Ford Sales in Jenkintown, PA, where it was picked up on July 22, 1968 by its new owner, James W. Sole.
The build sheet, the copy of the invoice, the original tax form from 1968, receipts for various services throughout the years, the brochures and ads for the car, previous registrations and damn near every SAAC dash plaque and member card he owned are kept. There’s even an autograph from Carroll himself!
You like to see long-term ownership of a car – it means it was something special to the person behind the wheel and not just a toy. Mr. Sole loved the car, and wherever his job took him the Shelby followed. It spent time in Philly, Rochester, NY, Westport, CT, and Palos Verdes, CA before winding up in Rockport, MA. If you’d believe it Jim used the car for his daily transportation through 1989! He retired the car to weekend duty and had the car restored in the next couple of years by specialist Mike White in Bow, Mass. Finished in time for the 1993 show season it took Best Restored Antique at the 1993 Boston World of Wheels show against a ton of competition. Shunning a trailer even after the significant restoration he drove it to the 18th annual Shelby American Auto Club meet and took home silver in class – the highest score handed out for a driven car at the meet. The biggest point deductions? Jim installed a set of Koni shocks and reinstalled the 10 spoke alloy wheels he bought from Shelby in 1981–two big no-no’s in a structured event like that. Out of the 19 points deducted a whopping 13 of them were for the shocks and rolling stock! Suffice to say Mike’s talents and Jim’s dedication produced a gold level vehicle!
Desirable doesn’t always mean rare, and rare doesn’t always mean desirable, but this car is a rare case where both are true. One of only 402 GT500 convertibles produced in 1968, one of 249 with the 428/C6 combo and one of only 82 convertibles (both 350 and 500) in Gold over black. Not as racy as red, not as menacing as black this classic gold beauty speaks to a more refined palette, and is a tough one to find!