The first Shelby Mustang – the GT350 – arrived in 1965 powered by a modified version of Ford’s 289ci (4.7-litre) small-block V8 producing 306bhp, with options of a 340-360bhp unit in competition trim or 400bhp supercharged. A four-speed Borg-Warner manual gearbox was the stock transmission on early Shelby Mustangs, though a heavy-duty, three-speed automatic soon became available as an option.
When the factory introduced a 390ci ‘big-block’ V8 option on the Mustang for 1967, Shelby went one better, installing Ford’s 428ci (7.0-litre) Cobra Jet V8 to create the GT500, one of the great, iconic muscle cars of the 1960s. Produced initially at Shelby’s Los Angeles facility and from 1968 at the A O Smith Company’s plant in Ionia, Michigan, the Shelby Mustang continued to be based on the stock version, receiving the latter’s styling changes and mechanical improvements while retaining its own distinctive special features, until production ended in 1970.
Regarded by many as the ultimate American muscle car, the GT500 also features in Rock Music mythology thanks to its association with The Doors’ Jim Morrison.
Imported to South Africa in 1970 by Francois Lamprecht, the vehicle was held dearly within the family during its long-term ownership and used both for his wedding and again for his daughters. With only two previous owners from new, this amazingly original and unmolested GT500 is arguably the last example left in the World to tick so many box’s. All the seats, trim, bodywork and wheels are all original with patina, which again confirms that this car was lovingly cared for and fastidiously maintained throughout its life. This time-warp Shelby GT500 is offered in the same specification to what it left the factory as at the height of Carroll Shelby euphoria. Only 67,296 miles recorded.