1968 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500KR Survivor Barn Find 66K Original Miles
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1968 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500KR Survivor Barn Find 66K Original Miles for sale
My late wife Mary loved. really loved. cars from a young age. She was the girl in high school who went against conventional roles when it came to her tastes. She was greatly angered when her school dictated that she take Home Ec. instead of Autoshop. She was also very discerning when it came to what cars she would own. The year she graduated from high school in 1978. she found an ad for a 1968 Shelby GT500KR in the next state over. She had been saving every dollar she had earned for years in anticipation of actually being able to buy her dream car. She had talked to Fred Diehn. the original owner of the car. and he had told her that he had bought another car. but was debating for a while as to which one to sell. for his recently purchased car wasn't as comfortable to drive as the Shelby. When she arrived at Fred's home. he opened his garage. and her jaw hit the floor. She said it was a scene right out of heaven. for next to the GT500KR sat an AC Cobra.
She was the second owner. and this car was her pride and joy. It was her daily driver from 1978 to 1980. but then the Shelby's primary role was to be driven to car shows and NHRA events. She went to the US Nationals. albeit without driving the Shelby to Indy. every year until she passed. Through her life. she encountered many rough times financially. but through each one. she opted to work harder so she didn't have to sell this car which was so much a part of her life.
I've heard many stories about the Shelby over the years. The fact that it was an early production model. which is evident by the hubcaps. The story goes that after production of the KR began. Carroll Shelby toured the plant and when he saw that they were putting hubcaps on the car. he halted production and demanded that they put 10 spoke wheels on the car. At one of Shelby's events. he signed the little plaque in the glove compartment that says if this car is driven “at 100 mph for more than an hour” a certain type of oil is needed. The car has won many many trophies over the years. as you can see in the pictures. I met and married my wife in 2001. and the car has been stationary in the garage since I met her. always under a car cover. only to be occasionally shown to friends who would come over and usually end up taking a picture of themselves next to the car. for it is such a unicorn. the type of car people hear about. but never actually see or get to sit in.
Several years back. for her birthday. I purchased a plaque for her in the NHRA Hall of Fame Museum in Los Angeles. I didn't have to think long about what to put on the plaque. It had to capture her love for cars. particularly hers. and be something of which she could be proud. One Saturday. I told her to get ready; we were going somewhere. We ended up at the museum. and she was just thrilled that I took her there for her birthday. I knew the plaque was somewhere. but had to search for it. When I did find it. I called her over to have her look at a certain area near a display. I got out the camera and waited for her to discover what I wanted her to see. Eventually. she looked above the display. and as the look of astonishment washed over her as she read the words. I took the picture of her that you see below. That car was a centerpiece of her life. and to have it memorialized in the building that pays tribute to her favorite sport was the greatest gift I think I ever gave to her.
She was a wonderful woman. but breast cancer took her in 2009. I couldn't bring myself to sell the car for several years. because to do so would be to separate myself from part of her spirit. She would NOT ever want the car to go to someone who would not love and enjoy it as she did. As a buyer. of course you are free to do with it as you wish. but the car is built to be driven. and cherished. And whoever does buy it. please do me a favor and take a video of it moving and being enjoyed. I'm greatly looking forward to seeing it move on. take wings again. and see the spirit of my beloved wife smiling down and wishing it. and you. well
The Shelby is in very original condition. As far as we can tell every bit of the car is original. There have been repairs to the body over the years. the front upper and lower valance was repaired at a Ford dealer in 1971 and the roof was repaired by a body shop in 1993 after it was damaged on an auto transport. The car has never had a complete repaint. All of the lenses. bumpers. sheet metal. interior. drivetrain. etc is original. The car has an Accel electronic ignition. however we have the original distributor. Hooker headers were installed in 1978. and we cannot find the original exhaust manifolds. There are 6" pioneer speakers installed in the rear seat side panels. Other than that. there are no other modifications that we can see. The starter delay. smog equipment. and air snorkel are missing. All of these are very normal things to be missing on these cars.
The engine was repaired by New Minar Ford in 1969 due to a clunk. They installed new bearings. no bore was done. the engine only had 7800 miles. In September 1978. shortly after Mary purchased the Shelby she took it to Jim's Automotive to have the car tuned up. Jim sold her an engine rebuild(remember. 18 year old girl with a Shelby!). She was never happy with the job they did and we have the documentation to show that. At that time the original block was bored. We also have the receipts of all of the work done from 1969 till now.
Mary befriended Jay Bittle of JBA (jbaracing. com) through the Shelby Club and Mary asked Jay to take a look at the Shelby in 1991 because it was smoking a little. He recommended a proper rebuild which Mary had him do. to the cost of 5000. 00. The engine was not bored at that time. The mileage at that time was 65K
She drove the car about 1200 miles from 1991 until 1996. It has only had 42 miles from 1996 until 2001 when it was parked in the garage. It hadn't moved two feet since 2001 when I took the pictures you see here. Mary parked it with a half tank of gas. and it still has that gas in it. We have decided not to drain the tank and get it running. If the new owner would like us to. we can. In my experience. car collectors prefer to do that work. so we chose not to. We have Mary's original receipt from buying the car. a copy of the cashiers check. a notebook detailing the first couple years of the Shelby in Mary's care. a receipt for warranty work in 1969 at the original selling dealership. as well as so much more.
We have extensive documentation proving the original miles. Not to mention the evidence is all over the car itself. The doors and trunk open and close perfect just like they did in 1968.
I have over 200 pictures in a Photobucket account and can take any more that you may like. Please email me if you are seriously interested in the car and would like me to send you the link.
Please feel free to email me as well if you have any questions.
Also published at eBay.com
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