1968 Shelby Mustang GT500 Convertible Restoration

This 1968 Shelby Mustang GT500 Convertible is the subject of a full rotisserie restoration thread on INR8.com, by member “quadcammer32”. The car was not running and in need of extensive rust repair when it was brought to his shop by a customer who had purchased it at an estate sale. In addition, there was evidence that an under dash fire had occurred at some point in it’s life. The good news is that it was a real Shelby GT500 with it’s original, numbers matching big block Cobra Jet 428 and factory 4 speed. It was even traced back to have been originally sold new at their local NY Ford Dealership.

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In previous years, Carroll Shelby had produced all of his specialty Mustangs in California until manufacturing was moved to Michigan in 1967, where they were assembled at Ford Motor Company among the more pedestrian Mustang models. By that point, Shelby no longer had much control over the new crop of GT500’s, but they still managed to outsell the previous small block GT350’s. That may have been due to the fact that they were now adorned with luxury features such as air conditioning, a rear seat, and power steering as standard equipment, making them appeal to a wider audience. Unfortunately, more luxury features means more weight, the enemy of any performance car.

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In any case, the featured subject car still has enough power and torque to scoot it along quite nicely at a more than satisfactory rate, and this particular model is rare as hens teeth, especially when adorning it’s original, numbers matching engine and transmission with only 68k miles. But don’t let the low miles fool you, most everything on it was still fairly shot. As “quadcammer32” points out, low miles does not guarantee zero rust, and this car had plenty of it.

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Therefore,the first step to this car’s restoration was sandblasting the entire underside of the car and replacing it with a host of new parts, including the following:

-front floors
-complete inner rockers
-front torque boxes
-patched the front frame rail
-patched the lower shock tower
-replaced the battery apron
-patched the upper inner fenders
-replaced the drivers side B pillar
-re skinned the doors
-took off the original quarters and saved them, re welded them after wheel tubs were replaced.
-inner and outer wheel tubs
-trunk drop offs
-center trunk floor

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The car was then sealed in red epoxy primer, all of the suspension components were sand blasted and redone in the correct finish, and then the car was taken off the rotisserie and put on the ground so that all of the body panels could be re-fitted.
The bodywork was done and the car was then painted in the original factory Ford red, the engine bay was painted the correct black and re assembly continued.  Over spray was applied to the exhaust manifolds, just as the original Ford’s had from the factory because they were painted while bolted to the engine block. Once the interior and new white top were installed, this pony car was complete once again.

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Hagerty Classic Car Insurance currently values these 428 cubin inch, 360 horsepower “Police Interceptor” V8 convertible monsters at an average of approximately $110,000. This one is certainly an extremely nice example now that is in show condition. What may be most impressive is that “quadcammer32” was only 22 years old at the time of the restoration. Very impressive work.

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Find the full thread here at:

http://forums.inr8.com/showthread.php?5971103-1968-Shelby-GT500-Restoration

 

 

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