Here are some common questions I am asked about this car.
Is this a real Shelby Mustang and what makes it real?
Documentation proves my Shelby is a real Shelby car. SAAC has records of this car back to its first stop, a car dealership in Canada. My car has a Shelby American serial number and ID tags. It is in the SAAC registry.
Is that the original paint?
It is the original color but I have had the car repainted after I replaced the rusted front fenders and rear quarter panels. Candy Apple Red is the stock color.
Is your car for sale?
No, my car is not for sale. I almost have it to the point I’ve always wanted this car to be at. I intend to enjoy driving it. I am often asked what is worth. Buyer and seller come up with that.
Is Ford VS Ferrari a true story?
Mostly.I think it’s great that someone did a movie about this story even if Matt Damon plays Carroll Shelby. I’ve had read many accounts of the Shelby and Ford GT 40 years and I’d say except for a few things that it pretty much the story. I would have liked to see the movie mention when Shelby started building the 1965 Shelby GT350. That wasn’t discussed at all. There was also minimal info on the 1965 Shelby racing efforts. I’d like to see a movie about the Shelby American Daytona Coupe. The Cobra Coupe was the first American and Shelby car to beat Ferrari.
What is it like to drive your Classic Shelby Mustang?
It is a pretty great car especially after I redid the suspension and brakes. I’ve said this before, it’s funny how you get used to a poor handling car. I’d say it handles better than it did when it was new with these upgrades. With that said, it is NOT a current generation Mustang. It is a 1968 Mustang. It has no AC, or heated seats, heck the radio doesn’t even work. Not that you can hear the radio over the loud exhaust. The power steering is not rack and pinion. I can see why some owners would take out the power steering. I haven’t. It’s a true Muscle Car from the 60’s. My wife says it is loud and obnoxious. And it’s louder now with the engine rebuild. Ok, yes, it is loud and obnoxious. She wouldn’t take a ride in it with me after I got it back from the engine shop. You have to want to own a car like this. I have dedicated a good portion of my life to keep this thing running.
What has changed with your car since with the engine rebuild?
I replaced the old parts with better parts. I bumped up the horse power by 35%+. It has more than 310 HP now. You wouldn’t think adding 30% more HP would make that much difference but it has. My car came with a 3.89 rear end which is a pretty low gear. The extra horsepower driving that low gear has made this a different car than what I was used to. It will pull strong up to the 5500 rpm cam limit. It is a lot louder than before which is surprising considering I did not make any changes in the exhaust. I love it.
In May 2017 I put my car on a dyno at Samaritan Tire’s car show. The best HP was 195. This is a rear wheel rating. Add about 20% lose and you get about 230HP at the flywheel, Torque was 224 lbs ft. Add 20% and you get about 260. Shelby rated this 302 at 250 horse from the factory.
The dyno run on rebuilt engine came in at 310 HP at the flywheel. So give or take a bit, I added about 80+ HP
Before the Samaritan Tires spring car show in 2020, I am taking my car to a specialist to tune it. Already made an appointment. With all these go faster parts and a carb tune, I should be able to get an even higher figure.
What do you do with your car?
Mostly I go to my garage and look at it, especially in the winter. I do drive it as often as I can in the summer. I take it to car shows. I am often one of few, if not the only Shelby Mustang, to show up. These cars are disappearing into collections never to be seen again. I enjoy talking with people at the car shows about my car. When I first got it few people knew what a Shelby Mustang was, Of course, today most people are aware of these cars. My car is a good example of a 1968 Shelby Cobra and it’s Red so it draws people. I need to continue breaking in this new McLeod clutch with stop and go driving so I intend to put some miles on it this coming summer.
I mentioned this elsewhere on this web page, but last summer I had a meeting with a young lady. It was a nice day and I had driven my Shelby as I had just gotten it back and wanted to put some miles on that clutch. When we walked out of the restaurant my Shelby was setting right out the front door. I asked her if she had ever seen a Mustang like this, which, of course, she hadn’t. I invited her to check out my Mustang. She said she liked the red color. I asked if she would be interested in a ride around the block. She jumped into my car. We had some fun buckling her into the shoulder harness. Most people do not quickly see how that harness works. I started the car up and let it idle while I buckled up. She looked over and asked “why does this car have three pedals?” At first I didn’t realize what she was asking. Three pedals? No one has ever asked me that. I quickly realized she had never seen a clutch pedal in a car before. I explained the best I could and said let me show you. So we took off, I’m changing gears with the Hurst T-shifter. She looked over to me and asked, “how long did it take you to learn to drive this car?” I grew up on a farm driving tractors and such as a kid. We had a car with three on the tree transmssion. By the time I got my first manual transmission car, a clutch was definitely not any kind of an issue.
A car from days long gone. Probably some truth to what a friend of mine said about my 2017 Mustang. He said my six speed Mustang will likely never be stolen. Few people can drive a manual transmission today. Some people have never seen a clutch.
Why did you do this web page?
True story, I was talking to my sister, Tena, about my engine rebuild and considered sending her pictures. While pondering doing that, it occurred to me that I would like to document my car. Made sense to do it on a web page. I had info I’d written years ago for Nicky Wright about the 68 Shelby Mustangs and had experience at building web pages. TheCarSource.com is my original Shelby Cars web page. Which, by the way, was the FIRST Shelby Cars web page on the internet. I wanted to be able to document what I’ve done to this car and to be able to share that info. Lastly I wanted to learn how to use WordPress for a web page. So here we are.
Would I recommend someone buy a Classic Shelby Mustang?
Of course, if you are really into these cars by all means. But as we all know the value of these cars have driven up the prices taking most people out of that market. Secondly, as rare as these cars are, it would be easy to decide not to drive it much if at all. Thirdly, I love this old Mustang. I grew up with these cars. But if I had $80,000 burning a hole in my pocket and I wanted to spend it on “fun” car I’d probably buy a newer Mustang or Shelby Mustang. Why? Old cars have old car problems. I have a carb issue right now with my new Holley and it’s beyond my expertise. Do you know someone that can tune a Holley carb? Most of the local engine builders turned me away when I told them it did not have fuel injection on it. These cars have old technology. A younger buyer would get behind the wheel of a car like this and be surprised that it DOES not drive or handle like the newer cars. You have to want to own a car like this. Why do that when you can spend far less and get a newer car with newer technology and AC and find someone that can fix it for you? I’d love to have a new Shelby GT 350. Red one, of course.
What do you think about restomoding a classic Mustang?
Restomoding is taking an old car and upgrading it to newer standards. I am all for that. Some people want to keep their cars original. Makes them worth more money or so they say. I see having an old classic with modern drive train and suspension as the best of all worlds. You have the classic lines, in this case, a late 60’s Mustang with upgraded brakes, suspension, etc. If you are going to be driving the car, improve it’s drivability. Make it stop and handle better. Give it more horsepower. Although really if you think about the cost of doing this, unless you already own an old Mustang, it’s probably cheaper to get a newer Mustang. If I totalled up what I have spent on my Shelby to get it where it is today, I could have paid cash for a new Mustang GT. And I don’t have AC or cruise or a radio. If I wanted to drive to California, I’d have to think real seriously about the adventure it would be to take my Shelby. And wouldn’t drive it. That is why I have a 2017 Mustang GT.
Is your car all stock?
All stock usually means as it came from the factory. No, my Shelby is not all stock. This is a 50+ year old car. If it were all pure stock it may not be running at this point. And when I fixed and replaced the old parts, I upgraded them where I could. Did that hurt the value? Well, it is my car. But to answer that question, depends on who is looking at it. Some people value a pure stock car more than one that is not stock. To me I want a car that is safe and fun to drive. Technologies have advanced especially with cars. Is it wrong to eliminate the old stock points and go to electronic ignition? Is it wrong to put better brakes on it. Stopping is pretty important. Is it wrong to make the suspension better? So no, my car is mostly stock. Key areas have been upgraded and improved. I am sure someone out there would appreciate what I have done to this car. Someone like me. (I did keep the old parts.) I like to refer to my Mustang as enhanced.
Did you have to get those special performance parts for this engine rebuild?
My engine had two bad head gaskets. The heads had to come off at the minimum. When we checked the engine in 1982 we replaced only what had to be replaced. Plus I had a special cam and valve train I wanted to add then. We did not replace the crankshaft bearings or even turn the crank. As long as it ran, I had other issues to spend money on. in 2019 it was a different situation. One is I had some extra cash and the engine builder had a reputation of building performance engines. And this engine had somewhere around 1oo,ooo plus miles on it. When an engine of that era gets to that kind of mileage, you’re lucky if all you need are some head gaskets. Same old story if I am having to fix this I might as well fix that. And when he told me he would be blue printing and balancing the engine off we went. Turned out my cam was in semi-poor shape, the timing chain was loose, the Holley carb wouldn’t perform for the dyno, and my headers gaskets leaked. After he got the engine apart, he told me the pistons should be replaced. The good news was the stock block and the crank were fine. Generally speaking it doesn’t cost much more to step up to performance parts over stock replacement parts. The labor was going to be paid regardless of the parts used,
One of my club friend’s has a 1966 GT 350, He told me he was aware that he had some head gasket leaks but did not park or fix it. Driving it the last time when it stopped running, pieces of the pistons went through and out of the bottom of the block. I didn’t do that. I parked it and fixed it. Coolant is not a good lubricant for the pistons, A bad head gasket means you probably have coolant leaking to places that it normally isn’t allowed to go, like the cylinders The mechanic that pulled my engine out to ship to the builder told me when he drained the oil pan, coolant came out first. Not a good sign. I was lucky.
I splurged somewhat going with aluminum heads. But my builder said the existing heads needed a valve job and cleaned up especially if I wanted more horsepower. It was less than $300 more to replace those old heads with aluminum heads. Same goes for the clutch and pressure plate. The McLeod 75213 was $290. A stock clutch & pressure p[ate was about $120. I wanted a performance cam and lifters. Might say I splurged a bit on those parts but a stock one, which I wouldn’t have gone to, wasn’t that much cheaper. A stock cam kit would run about $150. The Comp cam kit was $370. I also expect this engine to last another 50 years. Most of the cost was the labor and not the parts.
I might mention here my wife, once I explained what the issue was with my engine, suggested maybe it was time to sell it as is. Well, I hear you, dear, but this is fixable. And I knew I could make it bigger and better.