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Back when they were just cars

Discussion in '1965-1970 Shelby Mustang GT350 & GT500' started by 6S1431, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. 6S1431

    6S1431 Well-Known Member

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    Back in the early 70's Shelbys were just another used car, granted they were a great used car, but rather than a show car a lot of us used to drive them as a daily driver. In fact we used mine as a mini truck. I remember putting two small Christmas trees in the reat seat. I also remember drving from Annapolis to Ocean City, Maryland ( A right of passage for all kids growing up in the area) with 7 people in the car, 3 guys and 4 girls. I think more young girls had their first "taste of performance" when I would let them drive this car. A great quote from one was 'It's almost better then sex" I was looking through some old pictures and found this one from the winter on 1973, It's my car with my hang glider on the roof. My brother and I used to drive it all over the mid-atlantic coast looking for good hang glider spots. A couple of sleeping bags, a tent and a Coleman stove and we were ready for a weekend. This picture was taken somewhere in Virginia near Skyline drive. The restoration has taken longer than I expected, but the end results will be worth it to me. After 39 years of ownership and off the road for about the last 14 (Severe rust caused by 3 trips to the Bonneville Salt Flats and just general abuse of the car) I'm hoping to have it back on the road this summer. I am looking for some of the pictures of the trips out west, pictures of driving across Wyoming at 115 MPH, sleeping under the stars on the side of the road in Colorado, driving along the coast highway in Calif.
    Anyone else got stories like this to share
     

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  2. 56ace

    56ace Well-Known Member

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    Re: Back when thye were just cars

    Great story, and I have to say I love seeing the old pictures of the cars. Seeing them used as real cars like they were back in the day is very enjoyable. Keep posting the pics as you dig them out.:thumbsup:
    Jay
     
  3. Magstar

    Magstar Well-Known Member

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    Re: Back when thye were just cars

    That reminds me of one I saw in the early eighties while taking my 67 F/B out for its maiden voyage after its resto.We spotted a 67 GT350 sitting on a residential street so we stopped to take a look ,the guy was obviously a carpenter the back seat was folded down and was packed full of saws and other tools .I did find the owner a couple years later but he had moved away and sold it. I wish I had taken some pictures.
     
  4. OVERRIDE

    OVERRIDE Well-Known Member

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    Re: Back when thye were just cars

    That was a great story.Any other old pictures of your car.
     
  5. KensKR

    KensKR Well-Known Member

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    Re: Back when thye were just cars

    In the 70's one of the stops during our vacation was Natural Bridge. A white 289 Cobra was setting in the parking lot, with all the other cars. No one paid any attention to it, it was just a car back thin.
    Kenny
     
  6. 6S1431

    6S1431 Well-Known Member

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    Found another picture of the car at the Bonneville Salt Flats. I used to go there in the early 70's every year and then drive on to Calf. One year my brother went with me and while cruising along at about 110-115 MPH driving up a long grade somewhere in Nevada the car started backfiring through the carburetor. I-80 was not finished in spots and this happened to be one of them so it had lots of little side roads that ran off into who knows where. We pulled off on to one of these side roads and pulled under one of the only trees for miles around. Opened the hood and the engine is backfiring and shaking. We shut it off and waited what seemed like hours to cool down. I had extra parts and tools in the trunk and began by removing the spark plugs one at a time looking for any evidence of a broken piston or other internal damage and we were going to then pull the valve covers and look for a push rod being broken. The last plug on the left rear by the master cylinder had a little piece of carbon closing the gap. Cleaned it off and reinstalled it and it ran perfect. Put the car in gear moved about three feet and the car broke through the crust on top of a small alkali pit the car then got stuck in this fine white dust almost like baking powder. Using a little Army surplus shovel we dug a trench in from and back of the wheels and rocked and pushed the car out of the alkali. This crap was everywhere in and on the car, washed the car next to creek somewhere on the Nevada/California border and drove on to Disneyland where the only thing that was ever stolen off the car happened. Somebody stole the hood pins!!!My brother bought a set of plastic vampire teeth and would wait until we pulled next to people on the highway and then smile at them with these teeth in his mouth, today somebody would probably shot us, but back then people seemed to take things easier. On the way back we crossed back into Nevada and 398 miles and 4 ½ hours later we crossed into Utah and this was before all of I-80 was completed and the best parts was there were no speed limits. When crossing into Nebraska from Wyoming we can upon a storm that was the scarcest thing we had ever seen. The sky to the east that we were driving into had the blackest clouds boiling and surging up to top of the sky and behind us was clear blue sky, we stopped in a rest area and thought we would sleep under one of the covered picnic shelters as they had walls on two side. The rain started and was being driven by 50-60 MPH winds horizontally; we ran back to the car and could not even roll the windows down or even crack them open because the wind and rain were so fierce. We head later that tornados had been spotted in the area and we may have been in or even near one but you could not see further then the length of the hood of the car. Half hour later blue skies, birds singing, sun shining. I’ll try and find some of the other pictures and the log book I kept on these trips, one year the exhaust pipe rotted off right behind the header and I wired it up with a coat hanger, ½ mile later I took the wire off the emergency brake cable and reattached it to one of the plug holes in the frame rail. The stink of the brakes stayed with car for days after that little problem. One year on Labor Day weekend about 7:00pm on a Saturday in beautiful battle Mountain Nevada, the alternator decided to quit working. Taking it apart in the parking lot we found that one of the diodes had come loose, we snipped it out and put it back together and had an alternator that had about a 15 amp output rather the 42 amps it should have put out. We could drive the car as long as we didn’t turn on too many things, lights were OK, but no radio if the lights were on, if the wipers were on then you couldn’t run the lights, no defrost or heater function as they drew too many amps. We we got back I replaced the diode plate the original alternator is still with the car today. Many more stores about the car as I drove it to 216,000 miles before taking it off the road. Will look for the albums of pictures over the holiday.

    "It's not ordinary rust, it's rust from the Salt Flats"
     

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  7. steele138

    steele138 Well-Known Member

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    Re: Back when thye were just cars

    I love going to Bonneville it really does a number on the bare metal on a vehicle;we spray Pam on our 4 wheelers so it won't stick,and if it gets in your carpet its there forever!!!
    Steele
     
  8. steveshelbymustang

    steveshelbymustang Well-Known Member

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    Just curious ... after the restoration will you reinstall the roof carrier for that hang glider?? Great photo..Thanks for sharing
     
  9. rshelby

    rshelby ShelbyForums Admin Staff Member

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    Great stories! Your Shelby has seen many places...that's great to hear!:thumbsup:
    I look forward to seeing more photos.
    Randall
     
  10. 6S1431

    6S1431 Well-Known Member

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    Actually yes, I still have the hang glider. I never throw anything away. That's why the restoration has been fun; I kept all the old pieces in a large wooden box. I even have the original set of headers, almost nothing is left of them, the collectors are rotted off, and the tubes all are rotten at the flange plate. I would buy things I thought I would need and keep them until I started the restoration. Got a couple of the Holley carbs (one 67 and one repro from the mid 70's) My next project after this is my 1975 Kawasaki 900 I bought brand new drove 28,000 miles in 19 months and then let it sit for the last 31 years, its only got 31,000 miles on it now, Thinking of just cleaning it all up and leaving "as is", The paint is faded and the seat cover is torn. The exhaust has been replaced the horn was replaced with a set of louder horns when it was new (original horn was real weak. Also drove this across country and camped out at Bonneville. In the barn where the GT350 sits, my buddy who owns the barn is building a 427 SOHC. We had one that we drag raced in the early and mid 70's in B-Gas in a 1965 Fastback Mustang body with a square tube frame and set of hilborns. Looking for a set of 1972 Bonneville Nationals window decals to complete the restorations
     
  11. 6S1431

    6S1431 Well-Known Member

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    Found a couple more pictures of the car at Bonneville
     

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  12. Gearhead99

    Gearhead99 Member

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    Good read, nice pictures too.

    I too remember when Shelbys were just "cars". Neat cars to "gearheads" like me, but to the general population....just another Mustang. And a Cobra, just another British sports car. "Is that an MG or a Triumph"??
     
  13. steele138

    steele138 Well-Known Member

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    In 1973 I worked at the local Dodge dealer/all the managers sons "got"summer jobs,a guy traded a 66 350 in on a Challenger.The 350 was beat,paint shot but really,really ran good.The used car sales manager said they put 450.00 in the car.I begged my father to buy it;16 was 3 years away and Dad said I didn't need that much car.They painted it resale red parked on the grass on friday evening with 1599.00 on the window,It was gone on monday.Just tin and tires.
    Got a 68 500 2years later,the wait was worth it.
    Steele
     
  14. 6S1431

    6S1431 Well-Known Member

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    Paid a $1,000 for 6S1431 in Dec 70, paid $2500 for 6S1855 in 1979, passed on CSX2017 for $3500 (14,000 mile car, but didn't have a roof), turned down a GT500 KR convertible for $600 in 1972 (his girl friend was pregnant), passed on a 1969 Cougar Eliminator with a 428 Cobra Jet with the Drag Pack option for $450 ( really rough, but ran the quarter mile in low 13’s with stock tires and exhaust, but smoked like a freight train). The last big pass was in 1979, a maroon 1970 GT 500 fastback, auto, excellent condition with a bad carb, belched black smoke real bad, probably the separator plate gasket. Had just gotten married and didn’t have the $2000 they wanted for the car. Worked at a L/M dealer from 1969 to 78 and a Ford dealer from 78-84, the cars we saw on occasion would make grown men cry and women swoon to their knees. Boss 429 Mustangs were not that rare and 428 Cobra Jets, it seemed like every week or so one would be in the shop for some kind of repair. The L/M dealer was in Annapolis and Naval Academy midshipmen had a 289 Cobra with an automatic, (he didn’t know how to drive a stick, so his parents bought him this). We used to go pick up cars from the wholesale auction lot to bring back to the dealer, lots of Cougars, one with a Boss 302, several 1970 Eliminators, lots and lots of Mustangs, most were small blocks, but an occasional 390 would creep into the mix. We once had a 1970 Ranchero with a 429 Super Cobra Jet, Drag Pack and a 4 Speed with wood grain sides.
    The ones that got away, the memories make me want to go back and buy everything, the guy where my car is stored used to work in the Parts Department at the L/M dealer , we used to have in stock 427 blocks, tunnel port heads for 427’s, all kinds of 428 and 429 parts (including head gaskets seets for Boss 429’s all of the little “O” rings in a package.
     
  15. jguyer

    jguyer Member

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    This is the 40th winter with my GT500KR convertible. No longer left outside and no snow tires.

    John
     

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  16. steele138

    steele138 Well-Known Member

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    Invested in chains,smart move......Laid the back seat down opened the trap-door to the trunk and carried 2 9" rearends home,hauled fenders doors heads,cranks until I bought a 66 ranchero.That 68 500 was a great truck!
    Steele
     
  17. sobz

    sobz Member

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    My 68 GT500-KR # 3860 was just my every day car back in 1969 to 1973. The car was never garage kept. Stayed out in the snow all winter in New Jersey. I even had now tires for it. It was just another car back then. Who New!!

    Bob

    http://rides.webshots.com/album/569319722YaJYWt
     
  18. steveshelbymustang

    steveshelbymustang Well-Known Member

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    Bob
    Who's 65 is pictured with you in the Gulf station?
     
  19. BillH

    BillH Well-Known Member

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    Ah, the days when Shelby’s were just cars, long gone. In the early ‘70’s, I had a friend who was the GM of the local Ford store. He owned 5S155 which was his personal favorite car. This guy had his pick of an assortment of Boss 302, 429’s (At one time, there were 6 Boss 429’s on the lot) 428 and 429 Cobra Jets, Boss 351’s, and just about any Ford car in inventory. The Shelby did not receive special treatment, it was just another car. One morning he pulled into the dealership and noticed that 5S155 was not parked where it usually was. A couple of inquiries and a quick phone call to local law enforcement, he discovered that it had been stolen! Apparently, some kids broke in and managed to get it running.

    They were spotted the previous night proceeding at a “high rate of speed.” A city police car gave chase. One cop that we knew told us that the city didn’t have a car that could catch it, and after a while, the kids put it into a ditch and were promptly arrested. The car suffered slight damage to one fender, which was quickly repaired. They did try to take the dash pod out, but apparently didn’t have the tools or expertise to do that. You would think that after that, the Shelby would be parked in the shop, but it wasn’t. He owned the car for another 10 years. It was broken into a couple of more times, but never stolen.
     
  20. sobz

    sobz Member

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    Steve the 65 in the photo is car #S5224 and I believe it is still owned by Kevin Foley.He lived in Cedar Grove, NJ. His dad owned the Gulf station in Montclair, NJ, where I worked as a kid. Keven bought the Shelby for $800.00 when a young lady pulled into the station for gas in 1970. She wanted to trade it in at Imported Motors Car Company next to the Gulf station. They wanted to give her $500.00 on the trade and Kevin offer her $800.00 and she sold it to him. Kevin was only 15 years old at the time. What an investment. I have not been in contact with Kevin in over 30 years.
    Bob
     

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