Update 4/24/2014 - We just wanted to remind everyone that this Shelby will hit the auction block tomorrow! It has garnered a lot of media attention, but hopefully the lack of absentee and online bidding will keep bidding from reaching absurd levels. We know either way it’s well out of our budget, but we can always dream! If anyone is in Central Pennsylvania and can attend, we would love to hear how it goes.
Update 2/28/2014 - Imagine that you just picked up your brand new Shelby GT500. What is the first thing you would do with it? For us, we would be spinning the tires and driving it as much as possible, but that isn’t what Mr. Larry Brown did when he got this 1969 Shelby GT500. Unlike us and our rowdy ways, Mr. Brown babied his brand new Shelby. From the day he got it, his car was meticulously cared for and only saw 8,500 miles of use. Up until just a few years ago, it still ran and drove, but has since fallen into disrepair. Mr. Brown’s estate is now being auctioned off, including this Shelby, a 1971 Ford Ranchero GT, and several other low mileage vehicles. The auction is being handled by Ron Gilligan Auctioneering on April, 25th. Special thanks to Michael B for this tip!
Michael posed a good question to us, “Who buys something like this and never drives it?” We know if it had been us we would have driven it just about every day, but then again if we had the means to own this and a dozen or so other vehicles maybe we wouldn’t have. These cars might have been built to tear up the street, but the most damage they did was to their driver. They weren’t built to be comfortable or practical, they were built to go fast. Perhaps he didn’t want to damage it, maybe he had another car in his collection he enjoyed more, or possibly he didn’t want to ruin the joy of driving it by using it too often? Looking at Mr. Brown’s collection it’s obvious that he didn’t have any lack of other cars to drive on a regular basis. We are sure he had his reasons for not using it much, but whatever the reason, we are just glad he kept it parked in his garage.
By the time this Shelby was built, actual Shelby involvement had greatly diminished. The GT500 was powered by Ford’s 428 Cobra Jet V8 and while they weren’t tuned by Shelby, they still put out 340 horsepower. Without as much Shelby involvement, the GT500 grew in size, weight, and amenities. Even with these changes, the GT500 was still a brutal performance machine. Mr. Brown’s mechanic claims this one was running up until about 3 years ago, but hasn’t worked on it since. Hopefully getting it running is a simple matter, but considering how long it has been sitting and the fact that it still wears its original belts and other rubber bits, we would guess it could use a rebuild.
It’s hard to see what kind of condition the interior is in, since it looks to have turned into storage for random junk, but what is visible looks to be in great shape. We often see low mileage cars with cracked and dried out interiors, but where this one has been indoors and cared for up until recently, we would assume everything is still nice. The junk piled in it makes us a bit nervous though, as it increases the chances of there being tears or damage to the vinyl seats and plastic pieces. With any luck, nothing has been damaged and is still in great shape.
While we are sure there was a good reason why the owner chose not to enjoy this Shelby more, we would have struggled to see it parked in the garage and not drive it. Hopefully the next owner will be able to get it running and enjoy it on a more regular basis. If someone happens to be in the Centre Hall, Pennsylvania area, be sure to stop by and take a look. Even if this Shelby ends up being out of your price range, the Ranchero GT or one of the other vehicle might be worth picking up!