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Tow It Home: 1968 Shelby GT500 Convertible


The GT500 was the big-block brother of the GT350. This one is fitted with the Cobra Jet 428, and when you pair that much power with a four-speed manual and a convertible top, you have one fun pony car! Production of the Shelby cars had already moved into Ford’s facilities by the time this one was built so it may not be as desirable as the early cars, but it can still command six figures at the auctions. This one is far from that point, but it does appear to be the real deal and it can be found here on eBay with a starting bid of $50k.


We weren’t joking when we said that this Mustang is far from being a six-figure car. The floors are gone and just about everything else needs attention too. We know it is not beyond saving, but it’s getting close. It truly is a shame that someone would let such a special car degrade to this point. The restoration will be expensive and we just hope that the reserve is set realistically here because it doesn’t need to go much higher for this project financially unfeasible.


1968 was the first year for the Cobra Jet 428. It had larger heads and an intake manifold that were kipped from Ford’s race 427. Ford rated this one at 360, but reports claim that it was closer to 400. This is real American muscle here folks. It may not turn very well, but there is plenty of grunt to obliterate most anything at the stoplight.


That all-important number plate is in place along with most of the Shelby specific parts so we know someone will swoop in and save this GT500. It is too bad that Shelby didn’t have more of a hand in this one because after Ford got a hold of the concept they went more luxury than racer. Still, this dark pony is fitted with the manual transmission and a drop-top so it will provide plenty of thrills after a painful restoration. Luckily, towing it home should be a piece of cake!


  1. ConservativesDefeated

    well…you cant beat a Ford Shelby with a tow bar bolted to the bumper and no floors.

    Like 2
  2. Jeff

    At the price listed a die-hard Ford man that owns his own successful bodyshop should be interested, hopefully his brother is a good mechanic with his own shop. Together they could spend a few months putting this sweet car back on the road and to the auctioneers to possibly double their intial investment not counting the labor hours and expensive parts needed. This car needs a love-at-first sight deep-pockets car nut. Please post pics when your done.

    Like 1
  3. Mark E

    Terribly sad! A local hobby shop had an employee that would drive an unrestored Shelby to work during the summers. Just a light amount of rust, completely faded paint & ratty interior, it was clear that the car was well loved!

    Like 0
  4. paul

    Holy crap who does this? Well at least you can buy everything for these. I am sure that who ever ends up with this at 50k will put another 50k into it.

    Like 0
    • Gary

      At LEAST $50k if not $100k on top of the purchase price!

      Like 0
  5. rolymo

    Back in early 70’s I got a red conv’t here in UK, it was fitted from factory with ” Polyglass” reinforced rayon tires which caused the car to dive into the nearest pond or river every time it rained, I am not surprized the floors have disintegrated,Horrible handling (by europeon std’s) shakes like a wet dog, But from a fun factor I would have another Shelby after tripling my life insurance policy. This price is not for real ?

    Like 0
    • paul

      Yes all American cars of that era except the IRS Corvair handled poorly, it seems the US market & manufacturers were only interested in straight line acceleration, no brakes, no curves, as for the rust everything on both sides of the pond did that, until Ralph Nader came up with “product liability”.

      Like 0
  6. rancho bella

    Even when this is done/restored it will still handle like pushing a brick around a corner ….
    with a string.

    Like 0
  7. Jim

    There’s only one thing worse than “No Aunt Jemima’s at all”…and that’s an unloved Shelby.

    Like 0
  8. Bryan Cohn

    Serious tin worm attack, apparently there were no survivors.

    Like 0
  9. Gary

    Barn find ? More like that poor thing sat in a wet backyard or swamp after some redneck molested, “customized” and race/pounded the living sh^t out of the old pony. I am surprised it did not suffer other 70’s gimmicks like widened rear quarter lips or zoomies. I bet someone hung onto it because they were going to “fix it up someday” or because ” Those are worth $500,000. at Barrett Jackson !” then ended up selling to somebody for about $5000. when they were so old, drunk and dirty that the only thing they had left worth ten cents was what was left of that Shelby. If they had only wised up about 15 years earlier they could have made the real money themselves. Idiots.

    Like 0
  10. rapple

    Sure, it’s 1 of x and 1 of y , but $50k for a VIN plate and some possibly reuseable plastic pieces? And when you’re done you have a car with the driving characteristics so accurately described by previous commenters. Not an attractive proposition.

    Like 0
    • Gary

      Much of the plastic does not look reusable either, and if so it would not be up to the intense scrutiny necessary to be worth the big money. I was fortunate enough to ride in and briefly drive an original 68 428 Cobra Jet convertible several years back before it was sold for stupid huge money, it did not handle as bad as I expected but it was certainly over powered for its ability to hold the road. I could see that one with any neglect or serious wear would be fairly dangerous to maneuver.

      Like 0
  11. KE100

    Looks like it might be an ex drag strip car.

    Like 0
  12. Koolpenguin

    “and not have to layout an arm and leg to get it”
    $50K and reserve not met—that’s not an arm and a leg??

    Like 0
  13. Joe Howell

    That poor pony needs a vet, or else be merciful and just shoot it. Criminal neglect while waiting for big bucks.

    Like 0
  14. Sim

    Lol, just bought a new hi-res monitor for my PC. Had a look at the car on E-bay. Wow, this Shelby is f#*#ed up BAD.

    Like 1
  15. ccg

    what a mess. use for ‘yard art planter’ only.

    Like 0
  16. Robert J

    Crush it. It’s Done.

    Like 0
  17. Mike B.

    A little vague on if this is actually a 428CJ car (GT500KR), or a 428PI car (GT500). I’d want to see the Marti, just to be sure.

    But either way, I’d say slap in a new floor pan and seats, get it running, fold what’s left of the top down and just enjoy it as a summer driver. Take it to shows and thumb your nose at the trailer queens.

    Crush it? Heck, they reproduce everything you would need to get it back on the road. Skip the high end restoration, enjoy it for a few years, then sell it ~ most likely for more than you have into it (if the reserve is reasonable).

    Like 0
    • Mike B.

      Looks like the seller updated the ad: GT500 / 428PI car.

      Like 0
  18. shuperman

    I clearly need to get a new barn.

    Like 0
  19. geomechs geomechs Member

    Back in the good ol’ days we took advantage of cars with the floorboards rusted out; we dropped our spent cigarettes (I think a few ‘dead soldiers’ exited the same way) on the ground saving the effort to roll the windows down. Young and stupid then.

    Like 0
  20. Spoiler #21

    In good, original shape, the big block Shelby was and always will be fun to drive. The front end geometry of all Mustangs of gen. 1 & 2 is subject to distortion and misalignment. But with proper maintenance it was fine, including the 428 Shelby I had for a good number of years. The 428 engine block is one of the lightest in its cubic inch category and with aluminum intake manifolds and other such goodies, it was not that heavy.

    Like 0
  21. micha

    For $50K I sure hope the wheel chock is included.

    Like 0
  22. Dolphin Member

    “1of 197 limegold paint”
    Limegold? Forget the body. Everything on this car is black—door jambs, dash, engine bay, what’s left of the real old paint in the trunk, etc, etc. If it was ever limegold, then this is the must extreme chrome-delete ever. Call it everything-delete. And given the rust everywhere around those bits of black paint, it was probably done around 1970.

    And I would like the Shelby experts to comment on that Shelby VIN tag: an original-in-place tag, or something other than that?

    If I’d need to go into this giving myself $0.00/hour for the 100s of hours of my work, $0.00 for shop time, and $0.00 for the parts needed to get this to an auction venue, lets just say that I’m wanted back on planet Earth, so….have….to….go….now.

    Like 0
  23. jim s

    and it has a bid on it. i wonder where the reserve is set, it will be fun to watch this one play out.

    Like 0
  24. Charles

    For 50K and a 100K rebuild, one could buy a running driving original #2, and have a lot less work.

    Like 0
    • Mike B.

      Good point! …unless you don’t have $150k to skip to the end of the story. Us “poor folks” have to take it one step at a time. Step 1: get classic car into your garage by any means possible :-)

      Like 0
  25. Ramon's de V8

    Seeing this is difficult. These things were ( and are ) kinda special to me and many other car nuts. How could this thing go through the years, likely getting more abused or neglected, and end up like this? I know that a fat wallet could save it, but wow, what a job now! Sad.

    Like 0
  26. Charles

    The thought of a Shelby GT looking like this is sad.

    I collected Shelby GT’s back in the 70’s. I owned three nice cars and one parts car. One car was a driver and when I sold it with 200K miles on it, it still looked and drove great. It lives in a private collection today. Even back then everyone knew that the GT’s were special. I can’t imagine how someone allowing one to end up like this.

    Like 0
    • Danny Rodriguez

      We just finished this car looks really good

      Like 0
  27. Sirpike

    I was so close to buying this car then I noticed that the front tyres ain’t a match and that blew the deal for me …..

    Like 0

    😲 first yr 1968 428 cj wrong i
    have a 1967 q code 428 cj thunderbird. vin plate & marti
    report concour, all original
    suicide one owner i bought it
    from 1 owner. and 6 pack dealer
    imstalled in 1969 oem manifold & carb in trunk. interior xlnt, c piller rust😎

    Like 0

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