428 CJ Equipped: 1969 Shelby GT500

When the 1969 Shelby GT500 broke cover, the first thing that was obvious was the fact that it was a car that was noticeably larger than its predecessor. It was a car that still possessed impressive power and performance figures, but it had lost a bit of ground to its older brother. This attractive looking ’69 GT500 is located in Greeneville, Tennessee, and is listed for sale here on eBay. With bidding currently sitting at $60,701, the reserve hasn’t been met.

While this is a stunning looking car, there have been plenty of changes made to the GT500 during its life. The first, and most obvious, is the fact that according to the Marti Report, this car rolled off the line finished in Pastel Gray, not Black. I’m not knocking the black paint, because it does look very nice. However, it isn’t original, and originality is vitally important for cars such as these. The body itself looks nice and straight, and the series of underside photos that the owner supplies indicate that this is a very solid car. The owner also refers to the GT500 being a 1-of-1 car, but this is a claim that I take with a grain of salt. Maybe I’m being pedantic, but the fact that this was the only 1969 GT500 delivered to the Mid-West doesn’t qualify it for a 1-of-1 claim in my book. Am I right on that?

Where the Shelby does shine is when you open the doors and climb inside. The interior does appear to be very original and in good condition. There really isn’t a lot to fault with the GT500, with all of the upholstered surfaces appearing to be in good condition. It doesn’t appear as though the car has been fitted with any aftermarket equipment, and even the original AM radio is still in place.

Under the hood is the original 428 Cobra Jet engine, which sends its power to the 3.50 Traction-Lok rear end via a 4-speed close-ratio transmission. The engine recently underwent a rebuild, and a few non-original components have found their way into there. The owner isn’t specific about what these are, but he does say that the engine is strong. The increase in vehicle size for the 1969 model year did come at a cost. Not only was a ’69 GT500 longer than the previous model, but the weight had increased by a not insubstantial 279lbs. This weight was felt across the car, with slower acceleration figures right across the board. However, some specification changes to the 428 did see maximum power delivered far lower in the rev range, which generally made for a more driveable car.

At first glance, this 1969 Shelby GT500 is a nice looking car, but the change of color means that it is no longer completely original. It could be returned to its original color, but that is not going to be a cheap exercise. Just how viable this would be from a financial perspective will very much depend on what the final sale price of the vehicle is. Would you return the paint to original, or leave it as it is?


  1. Jeff H

    I am drooling and 😍 it.
    Would like to know what changed on engine..

    428 4 banger is sweet

    Like 12
  2. Tempo Matador Ray

    Get inside the cock-pit and drive it. The best thing you can do for a muscle laden machine like this is…exercise it. Parts and seals don’t like to sit idle for decades at a time. So far as paint, the deed has been done and the quality appears to be very good. The upgrades made, sound well thought out. Cars were meant to be driven…I just can’t imagine Caroll signing off on creating a powerful beast like this, only to be stored away and not allowed to breath…

    Like 13
  3. Tucker Callan

    Simple math. If it cost 50K to make it right, then you subtract that from actual bid price. That is why you get a Marti Report!

    Like 3
  4. Patrick S Newport Pagnell Staff

    Just love the look of these Shelby’s,especially the center exhaust. Just so cool!

    Like 7
  5. TinCanSailor

    My roommate when I lived in GA had a Sunbeam Tiger and a GT500. He needed to get rid of one of them, and he offered either of them to me for $13K. I was making about $15K a year at the time and was laden with a car payment for a mid-80s Charger 2.2. I just couldnt’ make it work at the time… In hindsight, I should have torched the Charger and bought the GT500. Woulda, coulda, shoulda! :)

    I swear if I kept all the cars I bought in my youth and bought some deals that were offered to me along the way… I would be sitting on a large pile of expensive collectibles – or, more likely, sitting on a field full of barn finds that I couldn’t maintain that you guys would be picking over on here…

    Like 24
  6. wuzjeepnowsaab

    Looks menacing in black. Love this car.

    Like 6
  7. David R Hafen

    I must DISAGREE with your statement, “Originality is vitally important for cars such as these”. Referring to Paint color!
    I am lucky enough to be the proud owner of a 1968 GT 500KR. I’ve owned my Shelby since 1983, third owner. The original color was GREEN MT, as stamped on the rotation tag. I painted it in 1987, Ford – Candy Apple Red (correct FORD color for 1968). The Shelby is a driver, which I am very proud to say. Extremely original. Correct motor, right down to smog rails, AC compressor, 4 speed transmission and even the tare in the drivers seat.
    As a driver I can enjoy it “MY WAY”! I wanted a RED Shelby. If I could have purchased this Shelby back in 1968 (I was 7 years old) I would have ordered RED!
    So for the last 30 plus years she (Elizabeth) has brought me and my family so much joy and friendship with other car enthusiasts. I wouldn’t change a thing. I am up front about the color NOT being original, most people agree. Except for the Super Purists, I refer to them as “Trailer Queen” owners.
    Maybe I missed something when I was growing up, weren’t cars made for enjoyment and the LOVE of driving???
    Now if I was going to sell my Shelby (NEVER), or Stage it in a Museum, maybe (not really) I may feel differently.
    That is why they were produced.

    Like 18
    • Cris

      Holy cow that’s a long ass rant on just a Color change. Good goly. Didn’t know people were that touchy on the subject.

      Like 2
  8. Sam61

    The seller took a 1 of 200 or so and made it 1 of 1 by changing the freaking color…what a juxtaposition. Although the bidders don’t mind the color change unless $60k is chump change for this model”tang.

    Like 3
  9. JoePa

    Actually in Pastel Gray color, would make it a 1 of 30 car, not a 1 of 200 or so. 1 of 26 with Traction-Lok, 24 with AM radios and 1 of 10 with the standard heater. So it is not 1 of 200 or so….

    Like 1
    • Cris

      Still not a 1 of 1.

  10. JoeNYWF64

    Owner sprung for very expensive battery but not proper silver wipers for $10 or 20 more?
    Odd the rear side windows on this gen don’t roll down, unless a convertible.
    I seen some try to put that rear on today’s narrow baby junior stang with rear way too high up in the air, & it looks terrible.
    I don’t think we’ll ever see a pony car with a roof height 50.5″ or less like back in the 60’s & ’70s.
    How could the new ones’ roofs be so high with such tiny side windows?
    Gotta be the stupid big wheels & resulting high beltline.

    Like 4
  11. ctmphrs

    How did fake shelbys get to be as valuable as a real shelby

    Like 5
  12. TCOPPS TCOPPS Member

    Is it just me or does the trunk alignment bother anyone else? That’s the only thing I can pick on for this one.

    Like 7
  13. JPPA

    If it was originally Pastel Gray that is 1 of 30 and one of 10 with the options so still a limited example

    Like 1
  14. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    No, Adam you are absolutely NOT being pedantic (good word BTW!) about his description of making this “one-of-one”;in using the criteria afforded in justification in categorizing this as that, my neighbors’ ‘67 Toyota Corona is one of one having been the only 2 door called “Buttercup” by its owner and (to this day!) parked in a garbage at the same address it’s been in since newly bought here in northern Nevada around Lake Tahoe..ridiculous.

    (Tempo Matador) Ray, RIGHT ON!!! Let that pony RUN and exercise her regularly for all she’s got,,,!!!
    (Do it safely though so she doesn’t get hurt.)

    Like 5
  15. JoePA

    Your neighbors Corolla is not the only Shelby delivered to the Mid-West. It is a fact and not made up, but whatever floats your boat….Is there another one, nope. And BTW, no one cares about the uniqueness of a Corolla. Understand the point, but it is what it is

    Like 1
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      And I can appreciate your perspective too, Joe, in that though neither of us would be especially engaged by a ‘67 CoroNa, I weary of those who would try to increase the intrinsic value by marketing it as “unique” using a factor not attributed to its alleged mechanical singularity. Would I buy Steve McQueens Porsche 917 or a Bud Elkins Triumph based on their previous ownership? Maybe, but what would influence someone to buy a car solely because of its initial delivery location? That’s silly, but then again there are people willing to spend “stupid” money on a sought after style muscle car that has documentation proving its onetime pedigree but now is just a shell; to that end, you’re correct, Joe. A machine can be made 1 of 1 based on whatever criteria makes it special to someone looking for that factor.
      I would buy this in a heartbeat, drive it and try to discover its own unique character based on those findings..

      Like 5
    • Cris

      If being delivered to a perticular geographic location qualifies a car as being 1 of 1, then let me tell you, there are a lot of cars out there that are 1 of 1. My Durango is the only silver Durango delivered to my neighbourhood. Do you see another one?? Nope. My Audi is the only Audi wagon delivered to the west end. Anybody else got one? Nope. My moms Edge is the only one with black hub caps delivered to the north side. No one else rocks those hub caps with winters! You get point…. I hope. Lots and lots and lots of special cars out there……

  16. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    The only year Shelby I got my dad to go look at when he was collecting Mustangs. Even at around $2500 in the late 70’s or early 80’s he thought it to much. It wasn’t a wreck an looked pretty good as much as I remember….still a hot rod to him.

    Don’t think it every clicked how his K-codes or GT’s always sold first.

  17. Troy s

    A bunch of performance Mustangs in ’69, only thing that made this standout were those aggressive looks. It’s just another cobra jet powered pony car with a man’s name on it that had nothing to do with these later versions. But, wow, what a cherry of a ride….and it’s powered by Ford!
    Fearsome Ford.

    Like 1
  18. Raymond Hurst Member

    Ouch! That hurt. I’m sorry, but i’m back now. Please excuse me but I fell out of my chair laughing when it said one of one. IF that is the case, then bidding should be around 2 or 3 hundred thousand by now. Is it?

    Like 4
    • JoePA

      Still 1of 10 with the options. Doubt the guy is too sad to own it, and his “chair” to fall out of is a 69 Shelby…just say’ n
      If a buyer finds it valuable based on its heritage and history then cool, if not then they can bid accordingly.

      • Cris

        Good god Joe, give it rest. Fine! It’s a 1 of 10. Are you happy now?


    Pardon me guys but I’m afraid I just don’t get this 1 of 1 because of it being delivered to ——- ( fill in your town) big deal.
    I’m not really sure how much it would mean to me that X car has this option that only 3 other cars in the whole wide world have. To me okay nice conversation piece but so what. It’s still a 19– X car. Now provable low mileage is a totally different situation. JMO
    Guess most of my opinions aren’t very popular oh well!!!

    Like 2
    • Cris

      Agree 100%.

      • JoePA

        It’s a Shelby
        They won’t make anymore
        It does have documentation noting it
        I can see why lots of folks just don’t bother with car shows, and internet stuff anymore. To someone’s comment above, drive and enjoy

        Like 1

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