Rare Grabber Green: 1969 Shelby GT500

By 1969, sales for the Shelby GT500 had fallen to the point where not all of the ’69 production run could be sold before year’s end. Of the 3,150 cars that actually found homes in 1969, only 416 were finished in Grabber Green. This is one of those cars, and its presentation is extremely impressive. If it is a car that grabs you, then you will find it located in Lynnwood, Washington, and listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding is now sitting at $47,300, but the reserve hasn’t been met. The owner also does provide a BIN option, which he has set at $79,950.

The GT500 is said to have spent the majority of its life in California, and this life has paid dividends with the car’s rust-free status. The floors and frame look close to perfect, while there are no signs of any rust in the panels. The Grabber Green paint has a nice shine and consistency across the car, while panels gaps appear to be tight and consistent (in a 1969 context). The external trim and chrome are all in good condition, while the tinted glass looks to be perfect. Interestingly, one thing the owner doesn’t specify is the originality of the panels and paint. In reality, it is certainly possible that it is all original, but it is equally possible that it has had at least a partial cosmetic restoration.

The Shelby is a numbers-matching car, with a 428ci Cobra Jet engine pumping out 335hp resting under the hood. Shifting duties fall to a 3-speed C6 transmission, while a Traction-Lok rear end, power steering, and power brakes are also part of the deal. Even though the GT500 had stacked on some weight since the first cars saw the light of day, the performance was still pretty impressive. A 0-60 time of 6 seconds and ¼ mile ET of 14 seconds still demanded a certain amount of respect. The entire drive-train of the GT500 has been the recipient of a rebuild, while an OEM power steering pump has also been fitted. The presentation of the engine bay is very tidy, and if this is any indication, then the car should run and drive well.

The wording in the listing is a bit odd, but I interpret it as saying that the majority of the interior trim in the GT500 is original. I believe that the carpet might have been replaced, but the rest of it is as it left the factory. If you look closely, it does appear as though the white upholstery is showing some spots of “yellowing,” which is not uncommon. Otherwise, it doesn’t appear as though there are any rips, tears, or stains to be seen anywhere. Optional equipment fitted to the GT500 includes tinted glass, an AM radio, Sport Deck rear seat, and a tachometer and trip odometer. One other interesting little statistic that surrounds this car is that while it is 1-of-416 cars finished in Grabber Green, it is also 1-of-104 finished in the paint and interior trim combination that we see here.

Some people believe that with the end of actual vehicle production in 1969, the Shelby GT500 didn’t go out with a bang, but with a whimper. There is no arguing that by 1969 the GT500 was more of a Grand Tourer than its hard-core predecessors. However, when you consider where muscle car performance was destined to head in a few short years from there, the ’69 GT500 really represents the last hurrah of the Ford performance car for more than a decade. This one is a nice example, and if it looks as good upon personal inspection as it seems to look in the listing, then someone has the potential to land for themselves a very nice classic.

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Comments

  1. Ryan Hilkemann

    Love the color and wheels!

    Like 10
  2. R Soul

    Sweet!!!

    Like 3
  3. 71Boss351

    Missing smog equipment under the hood. This stuff is expensive to replace. Vacuum advance switch is not hooked up? I do like the color. Not many seen in Grabber Green.

    Like 7
  4. JoeNYWF64

    1 wheel center cap missing.
    I guess these fiberglass hoods had issues of fit back then?
    Not sure if there is a rubber gasket to seal the air cleaner to the hood.
    Oddy, only GM cars back then got fresh air vents for the face, on non a/c cars with no vent winodws.

    Like 1
  5. Barry

    Yep those fiberglass hoods were warped from the get-go. There was a power vent option for non-AC cars that got you the face level AC vents.

    Like 2
  6. A.J.

    Considering this one sold for around 100k and was perfect, the 80k is probably high.

    http://www.tomlaferriere.com/listings/1969-shelby-gt500-fastback

    Like 4
  7. JOHN Member

    There are minor issues, but it *seems* to me that the BIN is fair. I love the color because there are so few of them. I don’t even have an issue with it being an automatic! Too bad it doesn’t have A/C. I realize these are way more Ford than Shelby, but I absolutely love the looks of the 69/70’s Love the center exhaust, I wouldn’t have an issue with a GT 350 either, I would imagine a better handling car. And to top this all off, I’m not really a Ford guy, but would love to have this in my collection.

    Like 6
  8. Troy s

    I don’t think these went out with a whimper so much, being a GT500, but there were more high powered Mustang offerings than ever by ’69. That was never the case until that cobra jet found its way into some ’68’s. I like the idea of multiple choice,, Shelbys, Boss, Mach1, all unique.
    This is a steller ride here, very sharp machine indeed.

    Like 7
  9. Paul

    Well it’s no 76 pinto….but I think people would notice it at a car show!

    Like 3
    • Dana

      Hey, I had a ’76 Pinto. Then again, I also had a DeLorean. No accounting for taste I guess.

      Like 1
  10. Dana

    I know of Grabber Orange and Grabber Blue, but never heard of Grabber Green. How many other “Grabbers” were there?

    • Terry R Melvin

      For what it’s worth, the Ford Maverick Grabber used the same green.

      Like 1
    • Northstarlc3

      I had a 1970 Competition Green (Grabber Green) Cougar Eliminator 351C 4V, prior to that a 1969 Competition Orange (Grabber Orange) Eliminator 428SCJ. Oh well had to buy that new E250, duh.

      Like 1
  11. TimM

    What a beautiful car but if I were to drop that kind of coin on a car it has to have a manual transmission!!

  12. Mike Williamson

    The trunk leaves a lot to be desired, as does the engine compartment.
    I thought this car should have a group 27 battery instead of the group 24 in place. There are too many details items missing in the engine compartment.
    examples: ignition wire looms, wrong color shocks, wiring needs to be wrapped with black electrical tape, ignition wires are not Ford repro and look to be tied with a bread tie.

  13. Terry R Melvin

    14 seconds in the quarter mile? That’s pretty mediocre even for a 1969 performance car..but I suppose if you want one of 416 green Shelby 500s…

  14. w9bag

    It clearly has an AM/FM Stereo radio. Love the color. I think it would really set it off if it had sequential turn signals.

    Like 2
    • JoeNYWF64

      I believe ’67-’70 Shelby stangs DO have sequential tailites, as do ’67-’73 cougars & not sure what year range of thunderbirds.
      California special mustangs in the 60’s do not have em.

      Like 1
      • A.J.

        This is correct.

        Like 1
  15. Mark A.

    Curious, what was the pinnacle year for American Muscle Cars circa 1969?

    • Mike Williamson

      Most think of 1970 as the pinnacle year, considering Chevy’s Malibu SS 454 as the strongest muscle car. Buick GS was no slouch either.

    • JOHN Member

      1970 was the last year of the factory high compression engines.

      Like 1
      • JoeNYWF64

        For GM & possibly AMC, but not Ford & Chrysler.

        Like 1
  16. Tom

    They usually go for about 150,000.00 in Number one Condition. I am not sure this is a real one. Did not see the vin. Knockoffs can go for 80K. There are a number of Fakes out there as well with Rebodied Vins. going for as much as 90k. Beware.

  17. AJ

    You are very high with your 150k. Nobody buys a Shelby without the Marti so there is little risk of a replica.

    I posted a link to the white GT500 which was a 1. It sold around 100.

  18. CATHOUSE

    The right fender has the cutouts for the rubber hood bumpers, which are missing and the left fender does not even have the cutouts. There are also a lot of shims under the middle fender bolt on the right fender.

    Like 1
    • Mike Williamson

      What you’ve pointed out further alludes to the fact this is a hastily “restored” vehicle.

      • Mike Williamson

        The bolt in the middle position (right side) must be fairly long to be able to pass through what looks to be a fair number of shims. The opposing bolt appears to be passing through a stack of shims as well.
        The cut-outs for the rubber bumpers are obvious, but I didn’t notice those nor the missing cutouts on the left fender.
        I wonder where these fenders came from, or if there was damage to the unibody. IE–could it have been bent?

        Good catch Cathouse.

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