One Owner For 28 Years: 1968 Shelby GT500

I remember the first time that I spied a ’68 Shelby Mustang. It was a new convertible and it was cooling its heels next to a garage in the back alley of an upscale residential neighborhood. I knew it was basically a Mustang, but a lot more too. The real clincher for me was the built-in rollbar, a rollbar? Who includes one of those in a new car? Well, now I knew. And of the original run of Shelby Mustangs, ’65 to ’70, the ’68 is still my favorite. Found in Gypsum, Colorado, is this excellent example of a ’68 GT 500 fastback. It is available, here on eBay, for a current bid of $75,101, reserve not yet met.

The ’68 Shelby Mustangs were a bit different from their predecessors in that the modifications were performed by A.O. Smith in Ionia, Michigan, as opposed to Carroll Shelby’s Shelby American operation in Los Angeles. This was also the only year that the Mustangs undergoing the Shelby conversion came from Ford’s Metuchen, New Jersey assembly plant. Another note of interest is that this example is an early ’68 GT500 with a “Police Interceptor” engine as opposed to possessing the later offered “Cobra-Jet” powerplant. The VIN provides specific verification in this matter. Out of 317K Ford Mustangs produced in 1968, 4,451 were “Shelbyized” (1.4%).

The seller of this ’68 fastback states that he has owned it for twenty-eight years and at some point in its life, it was exported to and returned from, Spain. It has undergone a complete rotisserie restoration, utilizing OEM parts, and has been refinished in its original Candy Apply color. And that’s about it for seller comments, a bit thin for a car that trades in the six-figure range. Not only does the exterior condition speak for itself, the entire car, down to every apparent nut and bolt, appears as new. I’m no restoration expert, especially when it comes to Shelby/non-Shelby Mustangs but it would seem that nothing was missed in the restoration, almost restored better than new perhaps.

As stated earlier, this is an early ’68 GT500 so it is powered by a 360 HP, “Police Interceptor” 428 CI, V8 engine. At mid-year, Ford swapped the motor for the more commonly found 335 HP, “Cobra-Jet” 428 version which operated under the nom de guerre of “King of the Road” or “KR”. This later version of the GT500 wore a fender badge denoting the “KR” designation. The seller makes no reference to this Shelby Mustang’s operating prowess or mentions anything that may have been done to the engine during the car’s restoration. The mileage is listed as 38K miles, minimal use on a Ford FE engine, but this mileage figure is not claimed as actual. Gear changes are handled by a four-speed manual transmission.

There’s not much that can be said about the interior, it is a standard Ford black vinyl environment and is in like-new condition. Again, no word form the seller as to what may have been improved during the restoration phase of this Shelby. That standard installed rollbar that caught my imagination so many years ago, is in place, where it belongs, not that it was expected to be missing. And as is commonly found, the dash has been autographed by the man himself, Carroll Shelby.

The seller states that this fine example of the great GT500 is in the Shelby registry as entry number 1853. It looks as good as any example that I have seen trade at a high-dollar, Arizona auction. And knowing that, I would imagine the reserve is well north of $100K. There is one day to go in the bidding and I would stake a position that this car fails to make the minimum. Why? The listing seems weak for a car of this stature and the medium may not be the best place to attempt to move such a highly sought-after collectible. What do you think, what’s it going to take for this 1968 Shelby GT500 Mustang to find a new home?


  1. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    That view of the front; is the fit at the front of the hood supposed to be wavy like that? Or was that “rotisserie” setting on bake?

    Like 10
    • JackW

      My OCD is screaming that the Shelby letters are actually off kilter. Looked at it forever.

      Like 5
    • sirlurxalot

      The back looks messed up too. I don’t think the decklid spoiler lines up right with the fender tips.

      Like 1
    • Chuck C.

      I think it is the poor fit of a 60’s fiberglass hood !

      Like 1
  2. angliagt angliagt

    I remember having a ’68 sales brochure for these.
    Wish I still had it.And I still have the box to the AMT model kit,
    although I used the top while painting parts from a different model.

    Like 2
  3. Classic Steel

    I love it.

    Its an interceptor engine and desirable four speed. I see restored rotisserie but does not stating orig engine. Implied but i would get an inspection by a shelby pro that has experience etc.
    If numbers match were in the 145-170 plus crazy zone of wealthy buyers.

    Hey its what the market will bear 🐻.
    I have an original 63 split numbers bought reasonable non cra cra pricing all matching and drive my baby .. not for sale ever in my life whether 100 k or 1 million … 😁

    Like 9
    • Angrymike

      Have a buddy that had an original 63 fuel injection numbers matching beauty, he sold it for a wife that left him for a gambling table. He’s still kicking himself !

      Like 9
  4. jokacz

    Least desirable year for a Shelby. I had a 67 500 and it was nothing to write home about. That 428 was a dog, couldn’t breath through those tiny valve heads, hence the Cobra Jet was born. Compared to a 67, no decent steering wheel, all that horrible excess chrome around the wheel wells and rockers, fake wood decals interior, really nothing “Shelby” about it. Most didn’t have a limited slip, so one wheel spins while the axle bounces up and down. Some idiot will pay a ton for it.

    Like 2
  5. JoeNYWF64

    Headrests must be exceedingly rare on a ’67-8 shelby stang since i never seen one with em. Oddly you could get headrests on ’67 & later even 6 cyl camaros.

    Like 0
  6. Paul A Harvey

    Owned a 68 Shelby mustang GT 350, red w/tan interior. Purchased used from private sale for $4800 in early 69. Sold for &500 in 1976. What a dummy I was! Should have never sold. OH WELL live and lear.

    Like 2
  7. TimM

    Great car but Shelby didn’t really have a ton of input in 68!! He wanted race cars ford wanted creater comforts like A/C and power windows!! Still a great car and I wouldn’t throw it out of my driveway!! Just saying!!

    Like 1
  8. fran

    “One owner for 28 years”????? SO it is a 1992?

    Like 2
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      No, it means a single owner was in possession for 28 years.


      Like 1
      • fran

        Whippie dip. It could have had 25 owner’s previous to 1992.

        Like 0
      • Jim ODonnell Staff

        I couldn’t care less how many have owned it. The point is that one person owned it for 28 years, that’s a long time to stay with a car like this – especially considering the sky-high values that they bring now and have brought for quite a long time and that’s regardless of the number of owners. It’s not a statement of genuineness, or provenance or originality, or any other superlative. Just take it as it is, a factoid that after 28 years this current owner, be the #2, 3, 10, 15th, whatever owner, has decided to sell.

        Like 8
  9. John

    “OK I’ll sign yer damn car, sheesh”
    – Carroll Shelby

    Like 1
  10. Chuck

    I didn’t see the imperfections mentioned, I immediatly went to the memory of a green Shelby convertible that a fellow studen in college had. Convertible with the roll cage, dirty, dented, convertible top raggedy, wheels discolored and just looked like a mess. ‘Why don’t you clean it up?’ He responded…it’s just a material object…a car. means nothing to me. Back in 78

    Like 2
  11. Karl

    The very first thing I saw was the uneven body panels on the front! Somebody also noted the same on the rear, why would someone present a car like this with such obvious over sights? The very first thing I think is how many other things got this SAME treatment?

    Like 0
  12. John Oliveri

    It’s a beautiful thing, but those horrible Ford steering boxes, awkward large steering wheel, and seating positions I never cared for, give me a 69 GTO w buckets and a 4 speed, now we can enjoy the ride

    Like 2
    • walt

      I was digging my 69 Z28 in the early 70’s, but really wanted a 69 Mach 1 or Boss 302/429, those Mustangs were perfection. I finally got 1 10 years ago & not letting go

      Like 1
  13. Pat

    If you look close enough you’ll see that the hood pins are not in the lock position thus the ugly hood gap

    Like 2
    • jokacz

      I think they changed suppliers for the fiberglass bits in 1968. In 1967 they were made in Canada just outside of Toronto and were pretty good. In 68 the quality went downhill, as did the rest of the car. Good 289 became a crappy hydraulic lifter 302 in the 350. Only saving grace was late intro of the Cobra Jet 428.

      Like 0
  14. Michael Acocks

    I beat up a couple of these on Woodward Ave. in Detroit in the late 60’s with my 68 Roadrunner. Loved light to light races then.

    Like 2
    • Fran

      Must have been people who had automatics or couldn’t drive a standard or did not know you were gonna race them at the light and or finally weren’t racing you. Lol.

      Like 2
  15. G

    I grew up in Ionia, MI. They used to test the back tires at the little Ionia airport(they lasted a few hours at best) The farm I worked on had a shed full of the used tires for our hay wagons etc.(their brother worked for Shelby)The building they finished the Mustangs in was a few blocks from The AO Smith factory. It’s now a catering business.

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.