Shelby GT500 Fastback 1969

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GT500 Fastback 1969





For 1967, the GT 350 carried over the K-Code high performance 289 with a 'COBRA' aluminum hi-rise. The GT 500 was added to the lineup, equipped with the 428 Police Interceptor engine with two four-barrel carburetors. These later cars carried over few of the performance modifications of the 1965–66 GT350s, although they did feature more cosmetic changes.

In September 1967, production was moved to the A.O. Smith Company of Ionia, Michigan, under Ford control. Shelby American had substantially less involvement after this time.

Eleven 1966 GT350s were equipped with the special-order Paxton supercharger, Autolite 4100 4-barrel carburetor and Carter high-volume fuel pump. With approximately 390 horsepower on tap, these cars were capable of sub-six second 0-60 acceleration and topped out at over 150 MPH, astounding performance for that era. Shelby offered the Paxton supercharger kits again in 1967, eventually installing them in 35 GT350s.

One 1967 Fastback was built as the "Super Snake" - a GT-500 equipped with a 427 FE GT 40 racing engine producing 650 horsepower. The car was capable of speeds over 150 mph; hitting 170 mph during a demonstration (by Shelby himself) of Goodyear's Thunderbolt tires. No cars other than the prototype were built due to limited interest.

For 1968, the Cobra name was applied to both models, and they were now marketed as the Shelby Cobra GT 350 and the Shelby Cobra GT 500. In February 1968, the Cobra GT 500-KR "King of the Road"; under the hood was a 428 cubic-inch Cobra Jet V8 which was rated at 335 horsepower (250 kW).

Its initials KR stood for King of the road, and the mid-year 1968 KR had Ford's new 428 Cobra Jet engine with Ram Air Induction and traction-lock 3.50 rear end. The Cobra Jet engine was campaigned at drag strips and was the Super Stock Eliminator Champ at the 1968 Internationals. Shelby's 1967 GT 500 had a 428 Police Interceptor engine with two four-barrel carburetors. The 1968 GT500 used a 428 Police Interceptor with single four barrel carburetor. In April 1968, Ford unveiled a version of the 428 Police Interceptor with better breathing heads and bigger exhaust manifolds. The GT 500-KR 428 was rated at 335-bhp as other Cobra Jets, but with 440 foot-pounds of torque at 3400 RPM. Shelby's KR version had die cast aluminum valve covers with "Cobra Lemans" to note Ford's FE engine family victory over Ferrari at Le Mans in 1966 and 1967

The GTs lost their Cobra tag for 1969 and once again were marketed simply as Shelby GT 350 and Shelby GT 500. The GT 350 and GT 500 for the 1969 model year received an extensive face lift, the body alone increasing in length by 4 inches (100 mm). Ford was involved with design and style decisions, with Shelby having little input. The GT 350 was now equipped with a 351 cubic-inch V8. Carroll Shelby terminated his agreement with Ford in the summer of 1969.

The updated GT350 of 1969 introduced a number of stylistic and mechanical changes and, like any good car, a touch of drama. The GT350’s new engine was a Windsor 351-cubic inch V-8, registering 290 brake horsepower. Cosmetic changes included a new grille, hood, side ducts to help cool the engine and rear brakes, and an overall body length that grew by four inches.

Ford handled the redesign work of the 1969 GT350 themselves, giving Carroll Shelby little input. As a result, Shelby pulled his contract with Ford in the summer of 1969. With this in mind, Ford wanted to keep consumer interest in the GT350 alive, leading to some corporate mischief. Ford sent the 788 unsold 1969 Shelbys to Kar Kraft, the aftermarket shop that assembled the Boss 429 in Dearborn, Michigan, to outfit them with hood stripes and a chin spoiler. Ford made these modifications in 1969 in order to avoid an upcoming federal law that required the installation of an anti-theft locking steering column in 1970. Upon leaving factory grounds for a third time, these unsold 1969 Shelbys were given new VIN numbers and data plates for 1970, since the FBI destroyed the 1969 data plates.

The GT 500 always retained its unique identity, and for 1969, it featured a longer fiberglass front end, a unique grille, updated taillights and revised exhaust outlets, plus an aggressive hood with five functional NACA-style air scoops. Front and rear air scoops ducted cool air to the brakes, and inside, a roll bar, inertia-reel racing harnesses, luxurious amenities and special trim maintained the performance-oriented, limited-production character of the GT 500. While the 1969 GT 500 is quite rare with 3,150 produced, the GT 500 Convertible is much more so, with just 335 built.

As a 1970 model, this Shelby is the last of a breed. The first was the 1965 GT350 fastback, built to homologate a two-seater sports car for SCCA B-production road racing. Yes, Shelby toned down the racing mission year by year, but he still put out an extraordinary high-performance car every year. The last iteration was the 1969/70 series. Model year production for the ’69 started in November 1968, very late to get the ’69 model to market. Already in September of 1969 Carroll Shelby himself had announced Mustang production would cease at the end of the ’69 model year.

But alas, with the shortened model year, Shelby-American had ’69 GT350s and GT500s remaining unsold on dealer lots. The decision was to update the cars to 1970 models, starting with the VIN. The FBI oversaw the destruction of the 1969 VIN plates and installation of new 1970 plates – the aluminum tabs on top of the dash. Shelby-American also replaced the door data trim plates with adhesive-backed stickers.

Next, to differentiate the 1970 models from the 1969s, Shelby-American came up with a plan. They added a pair of black hood stripes and a Boss 302 black chin spoiler. The 1969s were now 1970s. The difference is readily apparent on the first glance.

Sold for: 165000 USD
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