Amazing Warehouse Find: 1968 Shelby GT500KR

For those of us who have been lucky enough to experience it, opening the doors to a barn, a shed, or a warehouse, and then peering into the gloom to spot a well preserved classic car feels like a once in a lifetime experience. Can you imagine doing this and finding two classics instead? Forget about all of your Christmases coming at once, because you probably need to include your birthdays as well. Today we’re only going to focus on one of those classics because lurking in this warehouse is something very special. Hiding behind all of that junk, and camouflaged under a healthy layer of dust, is a 1968 Shelby GT500KR that has been squirreled away for decades. If this is a car that just grabs you so much that you seriously want to own it, you will find it located in Sarasota, Florida, and listed for sale here on eBay. At the time of writing, bidding has reached $10,100, and it should be no real surprise to learn that the reserve hasn’t been met. If the BIN price is any indication, there is still a fair way to go, because this has been set at $135,000.

It isn’t completely clear how long this Lime Gold Shelby has been in hiding, but the indications are that it had been there since some point in the early 1980s. Once it was rolled out and given a wash, what emerged is a stunning looking car. This wasn’t the only treasure hiding in the warehouse. There was also another Shelby GT500, which looks to be finished in Presidential Blue. That makes this quite a find. The seller says that the GT500KR is going to require some restoration work, and you can get some of the background on the car in this YouTube video.

Once it had emerged from hiding and had been given a clean, the Shelby has come up quite nicely. In spite of the dust, the storage conditions look to have been quite favorable, because there are no signs of any rust issues with the car. The seller provides just on 100 photos, and the underside is about as clean and rust-free as you could ever hope to find. The paint itself looks like it has survived well, and while it might not be perfect, it is certainly pretty impressive. There doesn’t seem to be much to do to the outside of the car but to stand back and admire its beauty.

The interior of the Shelby is nearly as nice as the exterior, but it is here that we can see some of the restoration work that would be required to return the car to its absolute best. There is a seam separation on the base of the driver’s seat that should be addressed before it deteriorates any further. I also noted a split in that distinctive center armrest, so it might be that the next owner will have to attempt to source a replacement for this. Otherwise, it just looks really nice and clean. The Mart Report indicates that the original owner had their pen out when it came to ticking boxes for options on this one. As well as tinted glass, you get air conditioning, shoulder harnesses, a Sport Deck rear seat, and a Tilt-Away steering wheel.

The GT500KR wasn’t all about looks, because this is a car that packed some serious horses under the hood. What makes it even better is that this Shelby is a full, numbers-matching car. The 428-4V Cobra Jet engine produced an official 335hp, but contemporary reports suggest that Ford was being somewhat frugal with the truth. The 440ft/lbs of torque that this same engine produced suggested that figures of around 410hp were closer to the truth. Backing that mighty 428 is a C6 automatic transmission, while power steering and power disc brakes were all part of the deal. We do know that a bit of work has been undertaken on the Shelby to get it up and running, including fitting a new fuel tank and sender, the original carburetor has received a rebuild, a new battery has been fitted, while all fluids have been flushed and fresh oil has been added. The result is a car that is now said to run and drive beautifully. The seller provides this YouTube video of the car running, and it sounds superb. The seller also informs us that this car isn’t just a survivor, but it is a low-mileage one at that. The odometer shows 12,994 miles, and these are said to be original. Given the fact that there is a substantial cache of documentation that is to be included with the car, I see no reason why we should doubt this claim.

With a total of 1,053 cars being built during the 1968 model year, the Shelby GT500KR Fastback is not the rarest car to wear the Shelby badge. However, it is probably a car that demonstrates better than most how a Pony Car can be transformed when you give it more horses. This one happens to be a great, low mileage survivor that has been in hiding for decades. Trying to convince people that a classic car with a BIN option of six-figures is a good buy can be a pretty hard sell, but that really does look like it’s the case with this Shelby.

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Comments

  1. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Exceptionally clean classic car from top to bottom! And what’s the message you get when you look peer inside and see the SHOULDER HARNESSES in a 1968 “passenger car??!!?!
    This car continues to generate fun and excitement 51 years after it hit the road-the whisperings of a hidden classic, the chase and confirmation of the rumors, the discovery of the place it was last seen, and the surprise when not one but two classics are found inside!
    And then to the new owner when they outbid for a machine that will take them back to an era where any increase of engine output was at the hands of a mechanical means; when the Safetycrats tried forcing us all to become mewing sheep, to “Stay Alive-Drive 55” we began a steadfast downhill slide of the Machine Age and now are immersed in the Electronics Age. This car may be a museum piece, but it’s a piece of art a real driver can appreciate for their lifetime..
    Now if it was a STICK..😱👍🏻😎

    20
    • CATHOUSE

      Shoulder harness seat belts were part of the new for 1968 federally mandated safety features.

      6
      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        Forgot about that, Cathouse-you’re right! But you have to admit the ones in this car aren’t the namby-pamby sorry little lap belt hanging from the ceiling that we saw in something like a Pinto- these look like maybe they’d pass tech at Monterey or Sonoma!

        2
      • Bama

        Im actually writing a college paper right now on this subject and shoulder seatbelts weren’t mandated until 69.

        4
  2. Sandy Claws

    I sure wish the writers would try harder to dig into the story to hear the back stories on some of these cars. Why were they shelved 30+ years ago?

    9
    • Will Fox

      I’m willing to bet insurance rates had at least a little to do with the decision.

      5
      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        Probably, as we all know how that has always played into the picture.
        Too, perhaps the 1979 “oil crisis” when Iran had their revolt and shut their oil off-again, the world market overreacted as Iran produced less than 4% of the global oil needs at the time so the speculators freaked and gas prices went thru the ceiling..

        6
    • Barzini

      I’d love to know the backstory too. (This could make a great TV show if it was done by the right people.) I am sure are many different reasons (heath, finances, lack of expertise, estate quarrels, etc.) and the current owner may have no idea why. Nevertheless, it fascinates me that someone would forego the pleasure of driving this car for that long

      2
  3. TimS Member

    I’m not a Mustang guy and this checks all the boxes. It would be lightly refreshed and pick up a few miles if I had the means.

    6
  4. Spit

    I thought the KR designation (King of the Road) indicated a supercharger. Not so I guess…

    • andy

      That is correct, KR does not indicate a supercharger.

      1
  5. Terry Smith

    Quite simply,THE most gorgeous Shelby ever.Hats off to Carroll & Ford for making such a masterpiece.

    3
    • ACZ

      Don’t for get a “hats off” to Lee Iaccoca for bringing Shelby on board.
      If it were left up to anyone named Henry, they’d still be making Model T’s.

      3
  6. Miles Rochester

    Wish I won the lottery cause it would be in my garage, Very Few Cars Stir Me like this. Unfortunately even if I was Rich I Don’t think I Could… Oh Who am I Kidding… I’d Smoke those tires

    4
  7. Mike

    WOW! Some lucky so-and-so just hit the lotto. Look at the shape this car is in. I guess I’d have to sell my house, to own this. Might almost be worth it. Just WOW!!!

    2
  8. John M.

    8 days to go and the bidding has topped $82 grand.

    2
  9. JOHN

    Super nice Shelby, a shame about the rust bubbles in the wheel well, but still an exceptional car. It even has the Lucas driving light covers on it!

  10. Steve S

    The car would be a lot better and more fun to drive if it had a 4 speed manual transmission instead of the automatic transmission. It probably could bring a little more money if it had the 4 speed manual transmission instead of the automatic transmission. I don’t see any kind of light covers on the car.

    3
  11. Jonny the Boy

    Jim Morrison drove one of those babies!!

    1
  12. Johnmloghry

    This car will sell for more than my house is worth, and I have no mortgage. Houses in Houston Texas sell in excess of 1/4 mil. On average. I will not be surprised to see this car surpass that point.
    God bless America

    • andy

      It has a buy it now for 135K

    • Johnny Joseph

      I highly doubt that this will pass a quarter million dollars. It will very likely sell for the asking price of $135,000, but if it goes over that I would wager to say it stops at $150,000. That’s still a LOT of money for a car that has sat for 30+ years, but for those who have it, God bless em. The 2020 Shelby 500 will cost right around the same price and you get a warranty, and 850 horses! And zero questions after you plunk down your cash. $250,000? Nah, not in this market.

  13. Bob McK Member

    Is that beautiful or what? 135 Large is a lot of money, but this is one fantastic car with few miles. I bet it is probably the lowest mileage one like it anywhere.

  14. bruce baker

    I wonder if there was only like only 7 years of dust on the car before it got washed? Because the car is so well preserved, like it was wrapped in kitchen plastic wrap for like thirty years. Then it was un-wrapped for who knows why? I got 7 years of dust on my plastic model cars/planes that looks just as thick as those eBay pictures of this great “masterpiece” of art. A lack of a four-speed is the only thing near to a bummer about this car.

  15. KevinLee

    Whoa! ^^^😁

    3
  16. TimM

    It seems to good to be true!! There are people that know were every Shelby on the Shelby registry is at!! It just seens hard to believe that no one knew where this car was!!

    2
  17. JoeNYWF64

    Was that the only steering wheel avail in ’68? I heard it’s like that cause the column is still not collapsible. Wonder how many people swapped it out for a ’67 sports wheel – or similar aftermkt.

    • CATHOUSE

      A 1968 Mustang/Cougar steering column is collapsible.

  18. Frank

    Owner cannot provide any proof that motor is original tho, He offered it for $115 originally privately to myself, but could not verify engine, even when I offered $120K if he could do so. Is it worth $135 with non-numbers matching engine? Not to me, but maybe someone

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