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Best of BangShift 2012: The1967 Shelby GT500 Barn Find – Found in Death Valley California

Best of BangShift 2012: The1967 Shelby GT500 Barn Find – Found in Death Valley California

When we got the call from our pal Jon at Tube Chassis Designz that we needed to get down to his shop to see something cool, we jumped in the car and went. We were greeted with one of the coolest single cars we have ever seen. This is a factory stock 1967 Shelby GT500 that sat outside in Death Valley, California for more than 25 years before being found and rescued by a Massachusetts buyer. It is a legit car with the proper Shelby ID tag on the fender, wooden steering wheel, fiberglass hood and deck lid with spoiler, center grouped driving lights, four speed manual transmission, dual quad topped 428 and Shelby badging. This 1967 Shelby GT500 is a true time capsule and the owner knows it. He is having the 428 pulled out to get cleaned up internally and once it is ready to run, it is going back in the car and he is leaving the exterior untouched, which we think is boss!

The guy who bought the car is a dedicated Ford collector and he has a great collection of rare blue oval pieces. He heard about this car and snapped it up as soon as possible. We’re not sure why it was left to sit for 25 years outside in the desert, but on some level we love that it was. Being that the hood and trunk lid are ‘glass, you can see that the paint was literally sand blasted off of ¬†them over the time it was left in the elements. Reportedly the doors were filled halfway up with silt-like sand when the car first made it home. It is wearing old school Firestone Wide Oval tires which we think date from the 1970s. The car actually had a trailer hitch on it when it came back to Massachusetts! Imagine towing your boat to the lake in a GT500!

Some work has already been performed as you’ll see the bright red shock absorbers in the engine bay. Other than touching up the brakes and making sure the electrical is functional, this thing is going to be driven as is. In fact, we’re going to beg and plead with the owner to actually roll around in this car a little when it is done. It will be great to do a full feature on the car when it is back on the road.

Hit the link below to see more than 50 photos of this totally kick ass 1967 Shelby GT500 and stay tuned for a full feature coming up on BangShift!

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34 thoughts on “Best of BangShift 2012: The1967 Shelby GT500 Barn Find – Found in Death Valley California

  1. CdmBill

    Amazing that these kinds of finds still surface form time to time.

    I’m not sure I like the “keep it as it was neglected” look. The new Car Craft has a Krass and Berbie about the extremes that parts of the hobby go towards, and ‘suvivor’ cars is one of them. The shocks are evidence that someone os thinking about drving it which is good. But where to stop?

    Given the non-original shifter, yellow wires, missing carb parts and disintigrating fiberglass. There are lots of choices to be made. I’m not an adovacate of six figure restorations but it needs some work IMHO.

    I hope we’ll see out on the road somewhere.

    1. andy30thz

      I think the answer is here….

      “The guy who bought the car is a dedicated Ford collector and he has a great collection of rare blue oval pieces.”

      When you are a mega collector with huge bucks and a large collection of restored cars, having a neglected, but drivable collector car would be a new and interesting thing.

      Just like the King with his harem of beautiful women, who wants at least one rough around the edges gal that goes fast and makes all the right noises!

  2. Whelk

    I never quite *got* the heavy patina/faux-tina look. I much prefer a well cared for example than leaving it as a beater.

    1. RegularJoe

      I’m with you. It’s like being married to a beautiful woman, but not wanting her to brush her teeth or wash her hair. Sure, take lots of pictures of it as is; document as much of the history as you possibly can. Then make it look like the beauty it is.

  3. Greg

    I like this plan. I get tired of looking at rows of perfectly restored cars. Cars like this have a story…I just wish we knew what it was.
    BTW Brian, which photos did Tom take?

    1. SteelRaptor

      This car is being brought into even more severe elements. Unless he is going to keep this garaged all the time, he needs to fix it up. This car is too much of a rare classic to not restore it to its original show room look, IMO

  4. 75Duster

    I agree with Greg, get the car running and leave “as is” the owner already has a car collection, leave this one with a history alone.

  5. Jay Hill

    ….another damn barn find.

    I’m going to California one day and I’m opening every barn door I can find.

  6. Scott Liggett

    I’ve owned and driven patinaed cars for fifteen years. It gets old.

    In that condition, everyone with a dollar in his pocket and dreams of Barrett-Jackson will be bugging him to sell it.

  7. kingcrunch

    I’d just change all oils, treat the engine with a tune up (and BLACK spark plug wires), rebuild the carbs and install new tires and continue to drive it like that.

    It’s close to perfect that way!

  8. Vall

    I’m not that into patina once it gets to the point of a lot of missing paint. It’s a very complete car, but I couldn’t leave the bare hood and trunk lid.

    1. Masty

      I would say the opposite. Get the rest of the paint off the hood and trunk and leave them bare black. Finish the rest of the exterior in a dark grey. Would be one mean looking ride.


    The think about barn finds is,once you find them, they’re not barn finds anymores.In someways they are better left to enjoy where they are foundt.Once out of. There “barn” they just become another restored car with a history,other vin,most owners will never know about.Now having said that,a light restore would be in order.If one is gonna go through the trouble of “rescuing” the car,then really rescue the car.

  10. Jen Z

    If he leaves the body untouched in Massachusetts, it’s going to be rotted within the year. Mass weather is way too damp for unprotected sheet metal unless it is in a climate controlled environment all the time.

  11. nickt0711

    Man, that is awesome. You gotta paint it though, clean it up. A true muscle car right there.

  12. Doug

    i want to put my 2011 Challenger In a barn to be found in 2037…….Anyone out west have room in their barn

  13. Dave

    I couldn’t leave it looking like that. I wouldn’t turn it into a trailer queen, but for about $20K that Shelby could be made to look very presentable. I wonder where he found it. Around 25 years back I went all around the Death Valley area and never saw a Shelby. I also wonder what he paid for it, but it’s best I not know. It might make me cry.

  14. Eldrik

    So where are all the photos of the car in its actual resting spot.
    The car sat in the same spot for over 25 years, and nobody had a few minutes to snap some photos of the car being “found”?!
    What good is a story, if you don’t have pix/proof to back it up?

  15. Gary

    This is an interesting find. I do find some things and parts that do not appear to be original. I have an original, non restored ’67 GT-500 that I bought in November 1967. I also have a trailer hitch on the car. It was my only car and I had a ski boat that I towed to the lake. This was from ’68 to ’70 when I bought a pick -up to pull the boat. My GT-500 has the original paint, interior and engine parts. I wish the owner good luck with this project as there are many things that need to be done. The steering wheel is one of the more valuable parts of the car and it appears to need much work.

  16. blowen65fastback

    What everyone is forgetting is. IT’S NOT YOURS. If he is a true collector he won’t let it rot to pieces. If one day it NEEDS saving I’m sure he will. Drive it like you stole it! Enjoy!

  17. Obfuscating~1

    I remember Dad telling stories of the “White Ghost of Death Valley”. I thought they were just tall tales until today.
    I immediately ran the plate number and as I suspected this car came back as a “Vehicle of Interest”.
    Although it was never caught, on many occasions this vehicle escaped the long arm of the law. Records show that numerous sightings of this car racing across the desert at speeds of 61 MPH or more were made during the 70’s. Well above the legal limit!
    For the greater good of all mankind, I pointed my infer-red light at the image of the trunk…just as I suspected, blood spatter from quick tire changes after smokey burnouts. Bloody knuckles!
    I regret to inform you that I must confiscate this car for storage in our cold case file warehouse until it is once again forgotten and I can take it home.
    Fiction by Obfuscating~1

  18. stevia diabetes

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  19. Ted

    Didn’t say how much it cost the advid collector. I have one that has been in the barn for almost twenty years or so !! Just don’t have the money to restore it. As you have guessed I am not one of the one percenters. I applaud him for not making a trailer queen out of the car as they were built to be driven. I have been saving for just that purpose to drive the car again but the cost of that is so expensive !!! So the story is true there are still Shelby’s in barns out there

  20. Sharkey0

    As has been said before………….it’s only original once!………….personally I would give it a good coat of top quality clear and drive it til the wheels fell off!

  21. Sticky Pete

    What’s it worth as-is, about a zillion bucks?
    What’s it worth restored… about the same zillion bucks.
    Emotionally, it would be priceless to me either way.
    Why bother?

    Drive that sucker as is!
    Love it, it’s awesome!

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