1968 Shelby Mustang GT500 Matching Numbers

May
22

1968 Shelby Mustang GT500 Matching Numbers - Muscle Cars Blog1968 SHELBY GT500 no.0833 (as listed on Ebay auction id: 250811487932)

First of all, the Candyapple Red over Saddle color combination is extremely rare, with fewer than 8% of 1968 Shelbys being configured in the same way. Second, it is a documented, numbers-matching car with original invoices, order sheets, and a Marti report. Finally, it IS a GT500 after all—428 cubic inches of big block Ford in a killer, race-bred package. Buy it, drive it, and watch its value stay rock-solid.

Restored by noted Mustang restorer Bob Wilson several years ago, this snake started out as an extremely clean original piece that was really straddling the line between “superior survivor” and“in need of restoration.” The ensuing restoration was done to extremely high standards and the car has been driven less than 50 miles since completion. Today it is in outstanding condition throughout, with excellent panel gaps, and gorgeous Candyapple Red paint. The fiberglass pieces on this car are high quality reproduction units, which really is a good thing since the originals often fit so poorly that no amount of rework can make them look as good as they do on this car. The GT500 stripes along the rocker panels are accurate, and you’ve probably also noticed that this is a stripe-delete car, which is very unusual. The paint is deep, rich, and lustrous, and I can’t find any evidence that this car has ever been driven on the road. If a bright red Shelby big block can be subtle and sophisticated, this is it. Read more!

The trim is also show quality throughout, from the S H E L B Y block letters on the hood and deck to the polished stainless steel rocker and windshield moldings. Speaking of the windshield, it’s a correct Carlite “Sunvisor” piece with the markings in the center. The bumpers are fresh chrome, the grille surround is perfect, the hood pins are correct, and the argent silver tail panel is as-new. The trick sequential taillights are fully functional, too!

Under the hood, you’ll find a highly detailed S-code 428 cubic inch V8 painted the correct shade of Ford Blue and topped by a single 4-barrel carburetor. Factory rated at 355 horsepower, everyone pretty much acknowledges that these motors crank out substantially more than that. This one has been fully rebuilt to stock specs, then fully dressed for show duty at the highest levels. The original thermactor emissions control system is intact and functional, the hoses and clamps are correct, and there is a new Autolite battery in its tray. The original Shelby data tag is still affixed to the inner fender. This car is also loaded with luxury features like power steering and power disc brakes, as well as the Extra Cooling Package whose radiator has been restored to new condition up front. Engine bays simply do not get any nicer—this one is proverbially “eat off of it” immaculate.

Behind the engine there’s a durable numbers-matching C-6 automatic transmission that has also been rebuilt and reinstalled in the highly detailed chassis. And before you frown on automatic-equipped muscle cars, remember that automatics were often the transmission of choice for hardcore racers simply because of their consistency. In fact, this car comes with a copy of a period road test pitting a GT500 with an automatic against a 427/435 Corvette, and the editors found the GT500 incredibly potent, but a lot more civilized—which is exactly where Ford was headed when they took over Shelby’s operation. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?

The rest of the chassis is exceptional—if anything, the restorer was TOO careful with his workmanship and things are TOO tidy under there. The floors are the correct red oxide primer, the finishes on the front suspension are correct, and the proper markings and paint stripes are present on things like the driveshaft and axle. The brakes are freshly rebuilt, the front end is all new, and the 3.50 geared 9-inch rear is correctly detailed with a painted housing and red oxide primer center section. Despite the Shelby’s minimal exhaust system with glasspack-style mufflers, this car is quiet and smooth, belying its dual personality.

Wheels are authentic Shelby 10-spoke alloys (with tapered spokes, not straight ones like the reproductions) with reproduction E70-15 Goodyear Speedway tires.

I’ve seen a lot of Shelbys, but very, very few with a Saddle tan interior as on this car. It’s a great change from the usual black, and really gives this car an upscale look. Again, with the Shelby and the GT500 in particular, Ford was straddling the luxury/performance fence with both available in large doses. Of course, as part of a top-flight restoration, there are fresh materials everywhere in this Décor interior. The seats, door panels, carpet and padded center console are new. The wood graining has been refinished as new, and the gauges (even the cool auxiliary gauges in the console) are freshly restored. The correct Shelby logo has been embossed in the center armrest, and the correct seat belts hang from the Shelby-only roll bar behind the front seats. You’ll also notice that this luxury-oriented snake offers a tilt steering wheel, tachometer, and an AM radio that works perfectly.

The trunk is just as good as the interior, with a matching spare, correct jack, and fresh trunk mat.

Documentation on this ’68 Shelby GT500 is substantial. There are original invoices and order sheets from Shelby Automotive, Inc. We also have an original owner’s manual, which is a stapled-together booklet that looks incredibly crude but that was what Ol’ Shel was all about—who cares about frills? There’s also a complete Marti report detailing this car’s production facts and figures. There are those reproductions of original ads that I mentioned in the beginning, and copies of articles on the GT500 from a variety of sources. This car is also registered with the Shelby American Automobile Club (SAAC) and is listed in their registry with an ownership history.

For reasons that aren’t altogether clear to me, Shelby Mustangs are still lagging behind their Mopar and General Motors contemporaries in terms of value. If a six-figure Mustang can be considered a bargain, this one is it, because many indicators suggest that the prices of these cars will continue to go up while prices on the overheated Hemis and LS6 Chevelles have started to deflate. Nobody is surprised by this, of course, since all along most folks figured only the Shelbys were valued appropriately. Now is the time to move on this one—correct, documented, and freshly restored, its value is well established. If previous trends are any indication, this one will continue to inch its way up the value scale, making it the ideal car to invest in today. Shelby Mustang values haven’t gone crazy, there isn’t any fear of a “market correction” in their future, and transaction rates have been strong. Good Shelbys always find new homes, and this one is one of the nicer ones available today. Make a move before the market does and enjoy the stability that comes from a blue-chip investment.

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