Basement Find: 1969 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500

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At Barn Finds, we are all about finding desirable classics hidden in barns and sheds, but those unearthed in basements are less common. We’ve seen a few, but this 1969 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 is among the best. It is a largely unmolested survivor that spent forty years in hiding, and the Marti Report confirms it is a rare beast. The Shelby recently emerged into the light of day and needs a new home to settle an estate. It is listed here on Craigslist in Buford, Georgia. The seller’s price of $175,000 is eye-watering, but this car’s originality and rarity should justify that figure. We always appreciate input from our readers, so I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder T.J. for spotting this amazing classic.

The 1969 GT500 remained available in Fastback and Convertible form, with the drop-top the rarest by a fair margin. The Marti Report confirms that of the Fastback variants, this is 1-of-18 ordered in Grabber Green by its original owner. Someone added period-correct pinstripes, but it appears to be otherwise unmolested. This survivor isn’t perfect because a close inspection reveals chips and marks. However, most readers will agree such imperfections are acceptable in any survivor-grade vehicle. I’m unsure whether removing the aftermarket pinstripes will reveal paint fading, so lifting one edge to investigate would be wise before removing the lot and spoiling this car’s appearance. The storage environment was almost perfect because this Mustang is impressively preserved. There is no paint fading, and the dry and warm basement ensured it remains rust-free. The trim and tinted glass are exceptional for a vehicle of this vintage, and the wheels are flawless.

I’ve reviewed classics in the past and commented on White vinyl trim, stating that such a choice is brave. It was the one made by this Shelby’s first owner, and it carries a few marks that help explain why it isn’t always the best option. However, I don’t believe the seller detailed the interior before the listing, and a professional approach might remove most of the problems. I hope so because there is no wear or signs of developing splits or rips. The dash and pad are spotless, and the faux woodgrain is equally impressive. It seems free from aftermarket additions, and the Marti Report confirms the paint, trim, and tilt-away wheel contribute to this car’s unique status.

When we lift its hood, this Ford continues scoring home runs. The engine bay contains the mouth-watering 428 Cobra Jet V8. The rest of the drivetrain includes a four-speed close-ratio manual transmission, a Traction-Lok rear end, and power assistance for the steering and front disc brakes. With 335hp and 440 ft/lbs of torque on tap, the GT500 was a genuinely fast car. It could scorch the ¼-mile in 14.8 seconds. Let it off the leash, and it will nudge 124mph. The positive vibes set by the rest of this classic continue with news that it is a numbers-matching survivor. The seller revived it after its hibernation, and it runs and drives extremely well. There are a few points to ponder. The limited usage means the odometer shows 26,344 original miles, and the seller indicates it sits on its original Goodyear Polyglas tires. I’m not sure about that last statement, but I probably wouldn’t trust them at freeway speed if it is true. The seller includes the Marti Report and other documentation tracing this Shelby’s history.

This 1969 Shelby Mustang GT500 is a stunning car, and unearthing it would have been the equivalent of striking automotive gold. It proves that enthusiasts shouldn’t focus exclusively on sheds and barns when searching for a desirable set of wheels because almost any space large enough to house a car could be a potential hiding place. I’m glad this GT500 has been liberated, and I hope the new owner enjoys it as its creators intended. It deserves nothing less.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TNMember

    Looks like a very cool car. I like these later Shelbys as much (or more) than the earlier model years.

    But these sorts of ads frustrate me. I know there are differing opinions, but to me…. Craigslist, for a car like this? It does include some verbiage, but doesn’t tell me much beyond the car’s list of attributes. And, 11 pics? Tell me some detailed history, like how often it was driven etc. And flood me with pics. A picture in its “HVAC basement” would help. All of this info (cough) for $175,000.

    Thank you Adam for your continued good work.

    Like 17
    • TimS

      Now, Bob, our “experts” down here in Commentville will say that serious buyers (read as “better than you”) will not care about a shortage of information in a listing. But I agree with you. Could they make it less appealing if they tried?

      Like 5
  2. mustang melvin

    White interiors are not for everyone, and this filth dosen’t belong in a $175k dollar car.

    Like 6
    • jwaltb

      Then don’t buy it.

      Like 1
      • mustang melvin

        Thank you for your advise, I’m not.

        Like 0
  3. scrapyard john

    Awesome car. I love the color…”Grabber Green”. I didn’t read the Craigslist ad, but if I was in the market for one of these at $175k, I’d definitely be asking a lot of questions and viewing it in person anyway. It would be interesting to know the history of the car even though I’m not a potential buyer (how did it wind up in a basement, who found it, etc.).

    Is the carpet red or are those just mats?

    Like 2
    • mustang melvin

      All 1969 Mach 1 and Shelby’s had red sewn in “floor mats” in the carpeting.

      Like 4
  4. Big Red

    I’ve yet to drive my son’s 13′ Shelby GT 500 conv.He picked it up last Dec.with 7k miles.

    Like 2
    • Fox owner

      Hey Father’s day is coming up.

      Like 2
  5. JoeNYWF64

    I would imagine there were no ’69-’70 shelby fastbacks factory built with a vinyl roof, but i did find a ’69 mustang fastback with one! …

    Like 0
  6. JimmyJam

    I work in Buford Georgia and am here now! I can’t afford it but would love to see this car in person!

    Like 2
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNWMember

      My brother-in-law lives in Buford and I told him to keep an eye out for this car with the round-on-the-ends-and-hi-in-the-middle plates.

      Like 1
  7. Howie

    Has not been on the road since 79, is nothing to brag about.

    Like 3
  8. Rickirick

    That kind of asking price wouldn’t be paid at Mecum or Jackson Barrett cleaned up. Idc how rare it is. I love my Stangs & certainly 69/70 Shelbys but c’mon…….

    Like 5
  9. Bruce Armstrong

    I see they have added the Shelby Badge under the Snake Badge on side pillars . Not original . I would say it has had some restoration ! I own a GT500 I bought in LA for $1000 in 1974 Never been repainted or restored . Iam in Australia it is RHD . It is 50 years I have owned it :)

    Like 4
    • joe bru

      no way original tires, those Mustangs wore the front tires out on the edges in 10 to 15k miles. The invoice looks like a reproduction, too nice for 55 years old.

      Like 1
  10. Teresa

    This was featured in a smaller auction site and it did not meet reserve. It was about half way. A convertible 4sp white interior/silver jade survivor just sold for $134k. Although there are outliers, the price range is much lower than $175k.

    Like 2
  11. Steve RM

    You’re right. Those pinstripes have to go.

    Like 3
  12. Greg G

    Like I’ve said, the 69-70 fastback Mustang is the best designed Mustangs for Ford and the 69-70 Shelby’s prove that. This car will only go up value. Wish it was a conv.

    Like 0

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