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Low Miles Estate Find: 1969 Shelby GT500

1969 Shelby GT500

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!

Mr Browns Shelby

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.

Shelby GT500 428 CobraJet

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.

1969 Shelby GT500 Interior

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.

One Owner Shelby GT500

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!


  1. jim s

    2014 Spring Carlisle is 4/23-27 and this on stie only auction on friday 4/23 is only 74 miles away. i think a lot of people will do both events but i may be wrong.

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  2. jim s

    the GT500 still has an 8 track tape sticking out of the player. the 74 van with only 554 miles interests me, but the way the auction site pictures are loaded on their website prevents me from seeing more then a few for some reason! maybe stick the 883 in the back of the van and just cruise. great find

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  3. Dolphin Member

    This could be a great auction for Ford and Harley Davidson guys, with the two interesting low mileage vintage Mustangs and some good looking vintage Harleys.

    The ’69 Shelby with only 8531 miles should bring well over $100K with the Cobra Jet engine, the ultra-low miles, all of that history and documentation. I wouldn’t be too surprised if a bunch of dedicated Shelby Cobra Jet fans duked it out over that one. If everyone is concentrating on the Shelby, the ’90 Mustang LX 5.0L could end up being a bargain low-mile Fox body car for someone who appreciates them. Then there’s some very worthy Harleys, like the 7000 mile twin and even the ’03 Sportster. If I was close I’d go there just to see the cars and watch the auction…..and maybe pick up that LX 5.0 that I’ve always wanted.

    I hope if anyone is near central PA they go and tell us how the auction went and whether they won anything.

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  4. jim s

    also has anyone looked that the add on the right side for chevy short bed pickup with a V6/ 3 speed manual. that is a very very nice truck. the ebay listing for it is interesting as it includes money for travel/shipping if you hit the BIN, i think. same seller has a Mack Visions truck on ebay.

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    • dj

      I looked at that auction on Ebay. I also worked for GM during that time as a tech. You couldn’t get a floor shift three speed with the 4.3. It had to be on the column. And he says Hurst shifter. That’s a flag because even if it was a special order, it wouldn’t have had that shifter.

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      • jim s

        thanks, i did not know that. when i look at the add./pictures i think the truck has a lot of curb appeal.

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  5. Mark E

    Good GOSH, every vehicle in this auction has low mileage, even the lawn tractor has only 3 hours of use on it! What did this guy drive, or did he just walk everywhere?!??

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  6. Justin Allison

    Cool! I love ’69 & ’70 Shelbys. Black especially. Too bad I don’t have enough. Oh well. I’ll just work on my own project.

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  7. KE100

    That van is awesome!

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  8. paul

    I never did understand why some people buy cars like the Cobra & then just let them sit , me living in So. Fla see this all the time with high end Ferrari’s, Aston’s etc. no end to 3,4,5 + year old super cars with a couple of thousand miles on the clock sitting for sale or just sitting in parking garages collecting dust.

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  9. Phil

    I think the GT500 should be bought and kept in the found and original state and placed in say the Peterson Museum for everyone to see that these cars are still out there waiting to be found. There are plenty of GT500s out there that are over restored to past original state and can thrashed about but this one should be kept as is for historical purposes.
    Just my .02.

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    • Dutch 1960

      It would be criminal to do other than detail and care for this one as-is, assuming no hidden rot or serious damage in the places you cannot see. Like most Mustangs, so many of these were driven hard and put away wet. Survivors in this sort of condition seem to be as rare as hens teeth.

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  10. Alfieri

    “…his car was meticulously carried for”. Cared for. Proof read your material, please, Josh!

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    • Don Andreina

      Relax Alfieri, this is international and we don’t need the Queen’s English to understand car talk. When the guys make a genuine mistake, they’re the first to acknowledge and correct. I can put up with a few typos for the level of excellence this site provides.

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  11. Steve

    I don’t think this car would yield around 100 K. Around midway 1968, Carrol Shelby closed his custom Mustang factory, and gave the Ford Motor Company all rights to keep producing the Shelby GT 350 and GT 500. So about midway through 1968 up until 1970, Shelby’s yet rare, were modified Mustangs made by Ford and not manufactured by the “King” himself..
    I had a ’68..

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    • Jim-Bob

      I tend to think you’re wrong. Given the level of stupid that exists in the collector car market today, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it fetch $150k. Is it worth as much as a nice house (where I live) to me? Not at all. However, I realize that the market today is being run by speculators chasing a bubble, not actual enthusiasts. Heck, there is even a speculative fund that has just been set up to buy collector cars and trade them for the benefit of the investors. When that kind of thing starts going on, you can throw any sense of sanity out the window.

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  12. Jackiemoose Moose

    I have two 69 GT500’S. One fastback and one convertible. They were factory underated @335 hp when they were actually closer to 425 hp. The reason was to keep insurance rates low for drivers under 25 years of age.

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  13. Jackiemoose Moose

    These cars bring easily 150,000 in no 1 condition. Convertibles have fetched as much as 350-400,000 in the same condition.I know as I have owned several in my lifetime. All 1969’s.This car looks to me to be in average condition. Looks like 108,000 miles instead of the lower estimate.A similar car a 1968 GT500KR brought 250,000 here in Indianapolis a year ago in a similar estate auction. It too was in poor condition and a one owner car. The auction here also stated 8500 miles when I knew in fact the car had over 108,000 as I knew the original owner before he died.

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  14. alan

    Amazingly enough you can see the Mustang in the Google earth picture street view because his garage door was open that day.

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  15. Livermoron

    Is it just me or does that Shelby seem pretty dirty (not the dust, but the engine grime) and disheveled (the wiring in the trunk)? I have had many average cars with 50-60-70K miles on them that don’t look that dirty, etc. without anything beyond the occasional exterior washing.

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  16. geomechs geomechs Member

    As much as I’d like to see the Shelby sitting in my garage, I look at that 1960 HD Sportster and say that a bike like that belongs at my place. Of course, with a gimped knee, I wouldn’t be a good candidate for kick-starting it. In fact, those early XLCHs were rather challenging to start at the best of times.

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  17. Charles

    Awesome find! The Shelby should end up in a Museum. That is probably the lowest mileage 69 GT 500 in existence. As the former owner of both a 69 and a 70 Shelby, if driven regularly you’ll spend more time working on them than driving them.

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  18. A.J

    Not sure about those miles. The smog system is gone and I agree with the comment on the grime on the engine. However, if it is all legit it will bring over 100k with no trouble.
    Btw, “Balck Jade” is not black but a dark dark green.

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  19. Alan

    Thumbs up, A.J.
    That car is not black. It is a dark green. Easy to see in the open trunk.

    And I als wondered about the grime on the engine. Even if a valve cover were leaking a bit, I’d not expect the front of the cylinder heads to be so black with gunk. Could it be that the deceased was one to disconnect an odometer, and drive the car without a speedo?

    No one has mentioned yet about the wheels on the 500. They are pretty unusual form the poor views in shich they can be observed. Was that a factory wheel?

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    • Rob H

      The wheels are correct. Isn’t this a 70 though?

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  20. Graham

    Compared to some of the other vehicles in his “collection”, he was actually racking up the miles on that Cobra at a fast clip.

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  21. AJ

    Wheels are correct. It is also missing the snorkel and heat shield along with the smog which are all expensive and a pain to put back in. The engine compartment has definitely been messed with. Unless the hood has been repainted it is a 69.

    But, I will stick with my earlier comment that if it is legit it will bring big money. I like the black jade as a color but not sure where it is on the desirability chart. Acapulco blue is my favorite for this year.

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  22. Henry

    The engine looks a little too “grungy” for a supossed low mile vehicle.. Even with non use seepage, it shouldn’t bee tghat bad looking unless there was some type of mechanical abuse.. Or maybe the car had the snots pounded out of it.. And if that was mine, I would have protected it more by not packing it in with a bunch of debris the was it is!! Something’s not right there!! My two cents!!

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  23. Randy Bitner

    Thought would post this as was in local paper. Rumor has it Jay Leno looked at it.

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  24. Randy Bitner

    If you will note the auction company has updated their pictures. You will see all the smog stuff taken off the car. As well as the shifters. I hope to make the auction as live 15 miles away.

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  25. J. Thorpe

    Just a reminder this is going to happen tommorrow.
    I was going to go to bid on the 1990 LX but I think it will go too high with the deep pockets showing up for the shelby (Only one can win) and will bid up the LX . If anyone goes PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE post some prices for what things went for.

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  26. Don Andreina

    That Ranchero is muy appealing.

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  27. Randy Bitner

    Our local paper will be covering the auction. Chris Rosenblum, the reporter covering this said “We’ll also be streaming the auction live on our website, http://www.centredaily.com. ” for us who are interested but can’t make it. For those who can’t watch it I will post articles from the paper.

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  28. Randy Bitner

    Friday’s Paper. And I can’t watch on line either as this is the time my services are required someplace else. http://www.centredaily.com/2014/04/24/4149637/vintage-shelby-mustang-set-for.html?sp=/99/264/&ihp=1

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  29. Mike

    I live in the town where this car is being sold. Mom mother used to work with Larr’ys wife when I was much younger. Larry knew even then that I was into cars and always told my mother to bring me over so that I could sit in it but sadly we never got around to it. I wanted to go to the auction but couldn’t take off work. My father and uncle are going to be there. The local paper is going to stream it live online at 12:30.


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  30. Mike

    Just sold for $280,000. Auction lasted like 10 minutes.

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  31. J Thorpe

    What about the other cars?
    The Van
    The rancharo
    The 1990 LX

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  32. Rob

    Thanks Mike. The live feed didnt work. Any idea what the van, Ranchero, and LX mustang went for?

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    • Mike

      The live feed didn’t work for me too. I think too many tried to view the video than our little newpapers website could handle.

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  33. Mike

    The only other vehicles I know the price on are the van and the Ranchero. Van went for $22,000 and the Ranchero went for $41,000

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  34. Rob

    Thanks Mike.

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    • Mike

      You’re welcome.

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  35. John

    FYI – Heard the Shelby went today for $280K!

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  36. Randy Bitner

    Article in today’s paper. Front page. the only other one listed in the article was the fleetline pickup for $10,000. Rest have been mentioned above. http://www.centredaily.com/2014/04/25/4150823/clearfield-county-man-wins-rare.html?sp=/99/264/&ihp=1
    This is the link for the Video of the auction for the Mustang. http://www.centredaily.com/2014/04/25/4150908/full-video-of-the-1969-shelby.html

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  37. Alan

    Nothing in my estate will bring anywhere near that much, of that I am certain!

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  38. A.J.

    I see they found all the missing parts I pointed out in my first post. Looks like the miles must be real because that money is crazy.

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  39. Andrew

    This went for more than the Boss 429 from Fast and Loud at a large auction?

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  40. 01j

    Just curious, exactly why are we hopeful this car does not sell for an “absurd level”?

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    • Josh Mortensen Staff

      Hi 01j, our main concern with cars like this selling for so much money is that it tends to have an inflation affect on the market. Seeing later Shelbys like this one going up in value could also lead to the prices of lesser models increasing. For an example, as the early Shelby GT350s went up in value, the Mustang Fastback also went up in value. People who dreamed of owning one realized they could no longer afford one, so they did the next best thing and bought a Fastback and built a clone. This drove prices up, while also destroying a number of original cars. Obviously this is all speculation and could have no impact on the 1969 Mustang, but we hate to see yet another classic car climb past our budget. Now that it has sold for an impressive $280k, we will just have to wait and see if it has any impact on the market.

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  41. Jeff

    Could you ask your Father and Uncle if they know what the 1990 Mustang LX went for?

    Thanks for the update on the other cars

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    • Randy G

      The LX sold for 14,250 according to the auction company website.

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