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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. BillH

    BillH Well-Known Member

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    There is a really good article about this in the latest on-line installment of the Shelby American in the members only section.
     
  2. Real 65

    Real 65 Well-Known Member

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    I understand a rebodied car to mean 50% or more replaced body metal.
     
  3. thefordshow

    thefordshow Well-Known Member

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    I understand a rebody to be the transfer of vin numbers on to a car that started out life as another vin'ed car.
     
  4. tommyleea

    tommyleea Well-Known Member

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    What if; your car after 40 years of use, through normal wear and tear and fender benders, had quarters replaced due to rust, fenders due to winter fender benders, bumpers due to pushing out of snow banks and yes the old style bumper jack abuse, grille and hood because of deer, one door because of ditch and telephone pole; blah blah blah...this is just normal maintenance over the course of time to keep your ride on the road. And now, 40 years later you want to restore the car (same car but not yours now), and are worried about the original sheet metal, which is long gone anyway. Just reality, and doesn't have to be a Shelby. Remember, teenagers were driving these cars at one time, and whatever it took to keep it on the road was the direction taken. Unless of course you bought your Shelby at 17 and let it set as a collectable. My opinion and not endorsed by anyone...

    TommyJ
     
  5. wcampbell

    wcampbell Active Member

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    My experience with buying and selling alot of cars over the years is that people generally understand metal and parts get replaced over time and 99% of cars more than likely do not retain all their sheetmetal. A fender here, bumper there....it's "normal" for near 40+ of use. Even transferring parts of sheetmetal from one car to a shelby is somewhat acceptable. It seems to be that whenever the original VIN is moved from the Shelby to a car that was never sent to Shelby American in the day then red flags go up. Sorry for the guys who may have found a Shelby in a swamp with everything gone, but the VINS. It may sound crazy but spending the money on building up the chassis of that project and retaining the VINS bodes much better with the public then moving vins. Here's why - there will never be "stories" as the next owner can't forget the re-body because the VINs have always stayed with the chassis. With a rebody, by the second to third flip - the mention of it is gone and a buyer gets "hurt" in the transaction. Not to mention this practice is FELONY...but that's another story.
     
  6. mtrain

    mtrain Member

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    I guess to sum it all up then from the replies of this thread is that as long as some part of the car which the vin is attached, remains, then the restored vehicle can legally be called a Shelby.
    Might be good to make this a sticky as Im sure as these cars will go up in value in the future then the question will come up again.......thanks, Mike.
     
  7. thefordshow

    thefordshow Well-Known Member

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    The question still stands as to how much of the original body and vin numbers would make it a non rebody? This topic is a very gray area with no real answers. The best some one can do is be as honest and forthcoming as possible to give the new owner the whole picture of the cars past. A side from a straight transfer of vin numbers, I'm not sure the law[and i'm sure is different from state to state, country to country, etc...] has an absolute definition that also isn't gray? lets say you bought a car that was weld in half from two cars. Did the car get a front half or get a rear half? were the numbers transfered or did it just get a rear clip?
     
  8. pat2345

    pat2345 Member

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    I saw this post and had to share a quick story. About 12 or 13 years ago I had a guy approach me and asked if I would be interested in buying a set of 67 Shelby tags that he was hoping to get $2500 for. I told him that I wasn't interested in them because I didn't agree with faking a Shelby or trying to convince someone it was a real car. About 6 months after that the guy showed up again and asked if I would be willing to sell him one of the 67 fastbacks I had because he was looking for a car to restore for himself. Again I said no because I knew damn well what he planned to do with it. A year or so after that I saw him at Carlisle trying to sell a very nicely done Shelby with "100% original numbers matching" written on the sheet in the window. Strangely the tags on the car were the same as the ones he had oringinally approached me with. Once he saw me standing there he was too busy to talk and disappeared into a crowd. So if you bought a blue GT500 in Carlisle check the vin numbers really close because people really don't have the morals you might hope they would.
     
  9. BillH

    BillH Well-Known Member

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    Looking over a table of rear view mirrors at the Portland Swap meet, I was standing next to two guys who were discussing a car one of them was trying to buy. One guy said “I think before you buy that car, you should find someone who knows something about Shelby Mustangs to look it over.” The other guy said “Yea, but where am I going to find someone like that in the next ten minutes?” I was there with two SAAC reps and the most knowledgeable guys in the Northwest when it came to Shelbys so I offered to help him out. He said he was looking at a 66 GT-350H car and wanted to be sure it was an original Shelby. Approaching the car, I could tell there were serious issues from quite a ways away. It was painted black with the correct gold stripes, but the body also had 2+2 emblems on the side along with all of the other deluxe body trim including a rally pack and a pony interior. This is all stuff that could have been added by a former owner back when originality wasn’t as important as it is today. Things started really looking bad when I discovered that the export brace didn’t have the reinforcement plate welded to the cowl. The horns from the shock towers were still in place, just covered up by the export brace. I crawled under the car and saw that the factory bolts that are supposed to be in the rear frame rails for the dual exhaust hangers were missing and the pinion snubber was bolted to the body. This re-body was not done on a HiPo tub. The presence of power steering didn’t help any either.

    Standing back up, before I could talk to the guy trying to buy the car, we were joined by the owner. I said “This is an original 66 GT-350 Hertz car?” He said “Yes” I said “I don’t think it is, there is a lot wrong with it” He said “Like what?” I listed off some of the obvious but I didn’t tell him everything. He said “The original car was too badly rusted to save. I took all of the parts off and put them on this car.” I turned to the perspective buyer and said “It’s a re-body, but was not done on an original HiPo car. It will never be worth what a real Shelby is worth.” The seller didn’t take this well at all. I found out later that the guy looking at the car eventually bought it for quite a bit less than the asking price.
     
  10. 2+2GT

    2+2GT Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm… 65-67 Shelbys had a Ford VIN under the SA plate, so what's the difference, legally speaking?

    What's the difference between using a 67 6-cylinder fastback to "rebody" a trashed 67 Shelby, or a new Dynacorn body? Legally speaking, that is.

    Either way it makes the car a lot less authentic, but I don't see how it violates federal law. In most states, I doubt it even violates local law.
     
  11. zrayr

    zrayr Well-Known Member

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    that's where you are wrong.

    Shelby American could do it because they had a State of California & Federally granted manufacturers licenses. Do you have one ?

    Z. Ray
     
  12. 2+2GT

    2+2GT Well-Known Member

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    In which case the officer in question was committing a crime, falsification of title. Shelby vehicles were duly certified by the Shelby VIN, including federal standards. The Ford VIN was irrelevant, since Shelby was simply using uncompleted, untitled Mustang chassis to build their cars. The "Mustangs" he was titling had never existed, officially.
     
  13. Bob Gaines

    Bob Gaines Well-Known Member

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    Many parts of MO have had a policy of not recognizing Shelby as the MFG of record on GT350's and GT500's. I sure wish you were their to give him a tongue lashing . I don't think it would have made a difference but it would have been fun to watch:D. I had a friend title his Series I a couple years ago and the same officer was fit to be tied because he couldn't use the Ford /Shelby excuse.He begrudgedly OK'ed the paperwork. Bob
     
  14. 2+2GT

    2+2GT Well-Known Member

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    Just proves you can find a jackass in any profession. Too bad he never pulled this with someone who had Esq. after their name. Years ago, it was impossible to get side exhaust through inspection in NJ. A lawyer with a 69 Corvette with them had his one-year-old car failed for them. Rather than butcher his new car, his new hobby became sticking it to NJ. Sucessfully argued that since NJ allowed such cars to be legally sold, they had to allow them through inspection. The inspection code was amended to exhaust must exit to the rear of the driver and openable side windows, and any factory side exhaust will do that. I'll bet the change really irritated the NJ State Highway Patrol, who actually don't patrol anything. Funny, they were real picky, demanded perfection. On the other hand, whenever the legislature was considering changing to inspecting at gas stations, you could've got Fred Flintstones car through. I took my car down once, end of the month, and I knew it would fail, the brake shoes were shot, I just needed a fail sticker to buy a couple weeks to fix them. They passed it. Bad brakes and they passed it! One of the few things they should never have compromised on.

    I'd love to see the officer you mention booked for falsifying VIN numbers as result of a lawsuit. Some of the owners of $200,000 Shelbys do have that .Esq.
     
  15. bitzman

    bitzman Well-Known Member

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    You brought up a sore point, which is, some of the inspectors don't have the background to know what they are looking at. I was one time stopped by a woman cop (always the sticklers for detail to show they can compete with the men) and ran me through the hoops because she didn't like the way the Maserati I was driving had its VIN attached. Admittedly it looked like some little tag you could make in 5 min. in a metal shop and rather hand done, but hey, it was made in Italy in the Sixties, not some giant automaker with mass production equipment. The frame had the serial number repeated somewhere but I didn't know where to look, I had bought the car a few hours earlier and...she let me go in the end. Musta been my charm.

    I think if a car fails its inspection as the car it's supposed to be, you will have to go to court (but which court) and verify how the automaker identified the car in those days, such as Shelby attaching their own serial numbers.

    Just to really confuse things, I have a ffiend who bought a racing Camaro, some race team's spare car. I think it was a '80s era body shell and it had some very low number like "008" so it turns out cars intended for racing sometimes had their own serial numbers which supposedly make it impossible to register for the street.
     
  16. 2+2GT

    2+2GT Well-Known Member

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    IIRC, Ford Racing was selling bare Mustang bodies a few years ago, "off road only", with no VIN, for racing vehicles. A good deal for a racer, no sealant, no soundproofing, no undercoating. Looks like they're going to do it again, too:

    [​IMG]
     
  17. 2+2GT

    2+2GT Well-Known Member

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    I guess this would be your example. It's gonna need one of everything.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Bob Gaines

    Bob Gaines Well-Known Member

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    Actually I have seen a lot worse. The roll bar looks real nice . It has a lot more potential then others I have seen. You would be surprised all that has to be replaced even on real nice complete Shelby's. When factoring in all the exterior trim, interior, suspension and exhaust components,engine compartment wiring electrical etc. .And don't forget what actually has to be replaced inside the engine during a normal engine rebuild. That ends up being a huge chunk of the cars DNA having to be replaced during a normal restoration it really adds up. Just more thoughts for further discussion. Bob
     
  19. bitzman

    bitzman Well-Known Member

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    I would not call that a rebody. I like the line "it's gonna need one of everything" but the main "hull" of the chasis is there up to the firewall, if it had two fenders , a hood and the front panels it would look like a whole car from a distance. I didn't read all the background but if number wise it was built as a Shelby, this could be a $100,000 car someday so I'd say it's worth it. In the Ferrari field, if you're talking pre-1964 and one of the rarer models, no matter how far the car is gone, it's worth rebuilding because of the value. One restorer told me "As long as you have the title, and the VIN plate, we can build a car to slide under it."
     
  20. 2+2GT

    2+2GT Well-Known Member

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    True. I have seen this car. Whether the floor just has some pinholes, or is completely rotted away, it still needs to be replaced. The roll bar is nice.

    The car in the photo is a 1968 GT500, verified "real". It needs trunk floors, transition panel, rear rails (complete) taillight panel, quarters, complete floor and trans tunnel, cowl, rust hole in TOP of dash, aprons, and front frame rails. Oh yeah, the firewall isn't so good, either. The list of body parts salvageable is pretty short. Rear seat support. Convertible top well. Dash. Windshield frame.

    The instrument cluster was rusty. The stuff not on the car was laying in an alley in the rain for about 10 years.

    [​IMG]
     

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