'68 Shelby GT350 4spd Convertible, 1 of 3 Candy Apple over Saddle, only 7 made no matter the transmission according to the Marti Report and the SAAC Registry. In addition to a 4 speed manual transmission, she came factory equipped with 3.89:1 rear gear. She also boasts a white convertible power top with glass backlite, power steering, power brakes with front disks, tilt-away steering, and much more. She also retains her original engine, transmission, and rear end. She wears Shelby 10-spoke wheels shod in Goodyear Speedway 350, including a full-sized spare.
02781 was built on schedule on June 3, 1968 and invoiced to Gotham Ford of New York and sent to Shelby American Livonia, MI for completion. By the early 1970's, the car made its way to South Williamsport, PA were it fell into disuse, sitting garages for nearly 15 years. By 1987, noted Cobra restorer Rocky Meisel purchased the car and performed a complete rotisserie restoration and drove it extensively for a short time. It was then sold into a private collection in Iowa, purportedly the only non-Mopar in an extensive collection where it remained until 2002. The car, under new ownership, underwent a cosmetic and mechanical refurbishment, dusting the underbody flat black to recommission the car for regular road use and bring the car up to current show standards.
The current owner has owned and enjoyed the car since 2004, driving the car seasonally and storing in a climate controlled environment. From 2009-2010, the drivetrain, engine bay and undercarriage had been restored. The engine was rebuilt, balanced and blueprinted in 2010. Factory horsepower was rated at 290. The car currently make approximately 400hp and runs on regular pump gas.
Shortly following this most recent restoration, this Candy Apple Shelby Convertible was invited to the Barrington, IL Concours d 'Elegance and then by Shelby American to be on display at the Shelby American Heritage Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. There it is well maintained, started and driven periodically to ensure continued mechanical fitness.
The car is documented by the original window sticker, Marti Report, and Shelby American Automobile Club registry entry.
The exterior is finished in her factory original Candy Apple Red. She retains all of her original factory fiberglass, (hood, head light buckets, rear deck lid and rear quarter panel extensions), except one headlight bucket. The owner has an original, also finished in Candy Apple Red and can be included in the sale. Overall, the paint is consistent with what one would find in a high quality driven show car. Last repainted prior to the current owner's tenure, the bodywork has stood the test of time.
Body panel fit is very good, on par or better than factory. The most significant flaw on the exterior is the passenger side rocker molding is retained on the front by a body screw where the retainer clips commonly fail. Bright work, glass and badging are in very good to excellent condition. The convertible top is in excellent condition and fully operational.
The interior is a very good to excellent condition. The Chocolate Dash and Sun Visors, and Cinnamon Carpets are NOS and are not reproduced. Dash is supple, free of any blemishes or cracks. The carpet is in likewise excellent condition. There are no significant, notable flaws in any of the interior door or quarter panels, nor in the front or rear seats. The saddle tan seat covers are reproduced should they ever need to be replaced. The seatbelts are all date code correct and original. The gauges and console, appear to be original, unrestored pieces. The patina of normal wear is evident on the console armrest as well as the console auxiliary gauges and yet are in very good condition. The main dash gauge cluster, bezels, and the surrounding woodgrain inlay are in excellent condition and appear to be fully restored. All the gauges, lighting accessories, climate control, and radio accessories work.
The engine bay appears OE correct, right down to the factory Thermactor ECS (only 4-speed GT350's required Thermactor, vehicles equipped with Automatic Transmissions did not). The tilt steering vacuum canister is currently uninstalled and can be reinstalled as a condition of sale. The engine was rebuilt, balanced and blueprinted in 2010. The engine bay was also restored to current show judging standards. The engine was balanced and blue printed, retaining all the factory correct accessories, including the Holley 735 carb, intake, heads, exhaust manifolds, even an original Thermactor Emission Control System. The internal bottom rotating assembly have been upgraded with a 347 stroker kit, including forged pistons, balanced I-beam rods, 9000 series cast crank, and ARP bolts. Factory horsepower was rated at 290. The car currently make approximately 400hp and runs on regular pump