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Four-Speed Survivor: 1969 Shelby Mustang GT500 With 23k Miles Last Ran in 1979

The Ford-Shelby saga began with the Cobra V8 in 1962. It ended seven years later when the 1969 Ford Mustang Shelby GTs were done. Due to a number of factors, a small number of those last-call snakes were leftovers, known today as the 1970 GT350 and GT500. When an original survivor comes knocking, it’s time to light up the fireworks.
1969 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 Survivor 6 photos
Photo: beckerautogroup.com
1969 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 Survivor1969 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 Survivor1969 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 Survivor1969 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 Survivor1969 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 Survivor
The last versions of the Shelby-branded Mustangs from the original series came in two models: the GT350 and GT500, both either sportsroofs (that’s Fordese for fastback) or ragtops. The cars were all built for 1969, but sales didn’t go hand in hand with production plans, and some examples were still without their first owner when the 1970 model year debuted.

As such, Ford put on a new twist on the ‘old’ car – nothing fancy, nothing expensive, but it looked different from the front. The rest was left untouched, except for the Vehicle Identification Numbers, which were reassigned to fall in line with the 1970 sequence. The feds approved, and Ford sold the remaining fabled Shelbys as new model-year cars.

The novelty was a pair of hood stripes and a chin spoiler borrowed from Ford’s muscle family, the Boss 302/429 street thugs. Just like that, 380 examples of the 1969 Shelby Mustang GT500 fastback became 1970 cars – nothing else differs. They’re pretty rare, but their previous-year siblings are in no shortage of buyers’ interest, especially when everything is just how the factory wrenched it 55 years ago.

There’s one, a proper 1969 example – one of 2,366 Shelby Mustangs accounted for that year’s production run – that lived for ten years and sat in a coma ever since. The original owner bought his four-speed 428 Cobra Jet fastback in 1969 and, in 1979, put it away – with care – in a climate-controlled basement. For reasons undisclosed, the car was never again put back on the road – or even started, and is about as original as you might expect, from paint to tires.

Small wonder since the rubbers only covered 26,344 miles (42,387 kilometers) from the moment they left the factory. The color combination (Grabber Green over White) makes this ’69 Shelby GT500 a super-rare survivor: four other sportsroof big-block Shelbys of that year had the same chromatic pairing. This is one of the three also equipped with the 3.50 Traction-Lok rear.

If we want to be picky, we could note that only two of those had a radio (AM-only), and this is the only one in the pair that was ordered with a Tilt-Away steering wheel. Some purists would call this a one-of-one, but that wouldn’t be precisely accurate. Still, it’s a rare find with all the documents to prove its authenticity.

The original 428-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) V8 is still paired to the matching-numbers close-ratio four-speed manual tranny, and this Mustang also sports power steering and power brakes. The car (located in Buford, Georgia) is for sale – for $175,000, which is a good value compared to what other time capsules like this have changed hands for lately.
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About the author: Razvan Calin
Razvan Calin profile photo

After nearly two decades in news television, Răzvan turned to a different medium. He’s been a field journalist, a TV producer, and a seafarer but found that he feels right at home among petrolheads.
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