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When does a Shelby cease to be a Shelby?

Discussion in '1965-1970 Shelby Mustang GT350 & GT500' started by mtrain, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. mtrain

    mtrain Member

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    What I mean is that at what point in the deterioration of a vehicle does it cease to be what it was.

    The old saying about building a car around a door handle could be changed to literally building a Shelby around a vin number.

    At what point do you call it a rebody?

    Not wanting to start a flame war, but Ive always been curious from seeing all of the twisted, rusted cars Ive seen on Ebay over the years.........
     
  2. zrayr

    zrayr Well-Known Member

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    I am not bothered by re-bodies, etc., as long the seller discloses the repair history. But how often does that happen? These type of shenanigans are often hidden and kept secret until found out by a diligent buyer. You can call it whatever you want to, but I like the tern "air car". The more original sheet metal & drivetrain a car has, the more valued it is to me.

    I may be in the minority, but I would rather have a car that is more original & shows it's age, than one that is pretty, & has been restored with all new everything.


    Z. Ray
     
  3. BillH

    BillH Well-Known Member

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    As long as full disclosure is made, re-bodies acceptable. Value is determined by what a buyer is willing to pay. They will, of course never be worth what an original non-rebodied car is worth simply because the re-body car did not make the tour through the Shelby American shop, either the Venice or West Imperial Highway location.
     
  4. shelby35069

    shelby35069 Active Member

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    What if someone used the new 69 Dynacorn body as the new platform for the Shelby? I thought it is considered as a Ford replacement part,how would that work?
     
  5. zrayr

    zrayr Well-Known Member

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    legally, the Dynacorn's bodies come with their own serial number. Putting a Shelby VIN plate on a Dynacorn body is against federal law,

    If you have a manufacturers license, then you can sell the completed car with your own VIN. And that's what Shelby did with the Shelby Mustangs in 1965.


    Z. Ray
     
  6. shelby35069

    shelby35069 Active Member

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    I remember back in 1980,I looked at a 68 Gt350 conv. that had been rebodied from a total.At that time they wanted $11,000.00 for it.I was more for a 69 Shelby.Years later,saw the car at St.Ignace car show,showing signs of wear.Talked to the owner but I don't think he knew much history about it.I didn't say anything about it being a rebodied.
     
  7. zrayr

    zrayr Well-Known Member

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    why not speak up. I'd want to know any history of a car I own, The good, the bad, & the ugly.

    Z.
     
  8. BillH

    BillH Well-Known Member

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    You can open a whole can of worms on yourself by delivering an honest opinion after being asked, much less volunteering unsolicited information.

    I have been involved in a couple of these, one with a re-bodied 66 Hertz car, the other one was concerning a 1972 Mustang that had Boss 351 decals on the side. Both cases involved car owners who were not happy with me. Sometimes, the truth hurts!
     
    McCollum Ford Ranch and dj3190 like this.
  9. shelby35069

    shelby35069 Active Member

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    Thanks Bill,could not have said it any better.
     
  10. zrayr

    zrayr Well-Known Member

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    the truth may hurt, but in my experience, lies by omission & deception have always hurt much more.



    Z. Ray
     
  11. bitzman

    bitzman Well-Known Member

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    What is "flame war?" Sounds nasty.
    Anyhow I often wondered about this myself. In the Ferrari field a professor who collects Ferraris told me "If the car is valuable enough, all you have to have is the serial number plate and you can build a car to slide under it."

    Where I have wondered about this speficially is in '65-'66 Shelby Mustangs they are unitized body so if you really fold one into a ball, you can't unbend it but you can find another chassis and switch numbers but then you have committed a crime the FBI will be interested in. Ironically though if it were a separate frame car like a Lotus Elan you could order a new frame and substitute and use the same chassis number. So in the case of the unitized body car you are penalized by the law but in the case of the separate body car you aren't.

    Where the messy bits come up is when , say you junk the pranged chassis and someone buys it and rebuilds the car formerly thought unrebuildable and there you are with your rebuild with the old chassis number and thus we have two cars with the same number. Theoretically the pranged car is the "real one" since its metal comes from the original era. The only way to prevent this is to slice and dice the old chassis so thoroughly that it can never be rebuilt and not to sell it with any title or paperwork.
     
  12. BillH

    BillH Well-Known Member

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    No, you can transfer the parts to another car, just do not change the Mustang VIN number. Shelby's are registered and titled by the Shelby SFM number. The fact that the guys at Shelby kept records of which Ford VIN number was assigned with a Shelby number validates an original car.

    I don't know if other states do this, but Washington State demands the title of a totaled car be surrendered and you will play hell getting one back. Uniform laws concerning titles from totaled cars would go a long way here. I didn't think manufacturers (At least US manufacturers) sold frames.

    The bottom line is since 1965 there have been a number of Shelby's destroyed, rusted out and scrapped or simply sold to wrecking yards. Bringing one of these cars back to life is acceptable, as long as everyone concerned understands that the car in question is NOT original and DID NOT GO THROUGH SHELBY AMERICAN and is valued accordingly.
     
  13. mtrain

    mtrain Member

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    Yes, but at what point of sheet metal replacement does one declare it a rebody? See, this is where it almost becomes subjective.

    For example, is said car still a Shelby if it has had both quarters, fenders, floor, hood replaced?
    Or, same car if everything mentioned above including both doors.

    See what I mean it gets kinda confusing. I mean Ive seen some on eBay that looks like it was pulled out of a swamp that to me looks like it would just be a parts car.

    This might just be an unanswerable question, since everyone will have a set point in their minds were the car ceases to be what it was.

    This was a question I was thinking when I was contemplating buying a old Shelby for restoration. I can do anything with sheet metal, but at what point do you just throw in the towel where you have lost the real car in all of the sheetmetal replacement?
    Anyways, thanks for all of the replies, Mike.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2009
  14. 65gtfastback

    65gtfastback Well-Known Member

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    If your project Shelby is rough, and your parts car is nice, and along the way the parts car no longer officially exist then you might have a rebody.

    If your swapping out dozens of thin sheet metal parts and the rough old car rolls out of the shop with new sheet metal and "most" of its original heavy structural members still in tact you might have a legit car.
     
  15. A1965GT350

    A1965GT350 Active Member

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    Mtrain,
    This has always been THE question for me about any of our automotive restoration projects. I take a broader view and ask why is it a legit restoration when only the unibody is original and everything else, engine, trans, suspension, wheels, tires, interior, steering wheel, glass, fenders etc. are all replaced. Even with NOS parts - does this make it a real car? How would you rate a car that was the other way around, everything original except the unibody? Of course this is called a rebody, but if this is so, then we it would seem that we prize the original unibody over anything else. Including 5 NOS Goodyear Blue dots :D
     
  16. zrayr

    zrayr Well-Known Member

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    It seems reasonablel to expect that engines wear out & are replaced. Unibodies don't really wear out, unless you count rust.


    Z.
     
  17. 65gtfastback

    65gtfastback Well-Known Member

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    The unibody is trump card. Would you rather have a 65 shelby shell with correct numbers or a 65 fastback c-code with "all original" (yea right) Shelby parts? You want to set in something where a majority of its bare bones were in a Shelby factory in the 1960s.
     
  18. Bob Gaines

    Bob Gaines Well-Known Member

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    In a lot of states MO among them from time to time they would not recognize Shelby as a Manufacturer of record and insisted on the Ford VIN. It depended on who was at the window and how they interpreted the law. In my state if you bring in a car and title it but don't buy tags like in the case of a race car or project car that is to be restored we have to have the local highway patrol inspect the VIN. The area headquarters that did the inspection had a group that took great delight in down grading a Shelby to Mustang status because they didn't recognize Shelby as a MFG. I heard a jerk Highway patrol inspector once brag "I have a lot of Shelby's enter here but when they leave they are Mustangs". Thank goodness that SAAC and in the case of 67-70 Kevin Marti can verify if a Ford vin is a Shelby and vice versa . Bob
     
  19. Snakepit

    Snakepit Well-Known Member

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    This is a never ending discussion that has gone on for many years and is only settled on a case by case basis in a court.

    Believe the issue can not include the rebody process since it is illegal - making the answer to the question " when does it cease to be a Shelby" the moment the VINs get removed from the original chassis.

    Now the amount of panel replacement is the basis of the rest of the discussion and has yet (to my knowledge) been determined by law or civil action.

    Its pretty common practice today for a buyer to ask about how many panels have been replaced in a finished car. Unfortunately (too many examples to mention) even if the first owner who had the car repaired shared everything - future owners often don't of "forget" :(
     
  20. mtrain

    mtrain Member

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    Thanks for all of the replies, lots of good answers. This have long been a question that I have been pondering over the years.
    Mike.
     

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