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The 1969 Shelby Mustang GT500 Convertible

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On: Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 2:13PM | By: Peter C Sessler

The 1969 Shelby Mustang GT500 Convertible

The 1969 Shelby Mustang GT500s are delicious! All you have is to look at them—they are prettiest of all Shelby Mustangs. You say you like scoops and grilles? No problem—the Shelby has nine of them. Do they work? Well, it is doubtful if they do. How about stripes? The Shelby has flashy wide side stripes—but what is really pretty is the convertible’s roll bar. Not that the hardtop doesn’t have a roll bar—it does—but you can really see the convertible’s roll bar—and it has a vinyl cover as well. The 1969 Shelby is looking for action and is ready to go.

By 1969, the Shelby Mustang operation was completely owned by Ford Motor Co.—and not by Carroll Shelby. It enabled the Ford stylist to try other Mustang-based ideas, and the 1969 Shelby looked completely different from the regular Mustangs. However, underneath the skin, the Shelby was 100% Mustang, and was powered by the 1969 428 c.i. Cobra Jet engine.

So, basically, the Shelby had all the factory luxury options as standard equipment while, in the engine compartment, it had all the Mach 1 engine and transmissions equipment. The 1969 Shelby was, therefore, as fast at the 428CJ Mach 1, but, on the other hand, while you could outfit a Mach 1, or even a plain Mustang, with a bare-bones interior and no A/C, you had to accept the GT500 with all the goodies.

Which wasn’t bad, actually. Here was a car that screamed “look at me!” wherever it went, and with the roof down, even more so!

The 1969 Shelby GT500 was equipped with the 335hp 428 Cobra Jet and was available with a four-speed manual or a three-speed automatic. The GT350 was the same car; however, it was powered with the 351W V-8 and was rated at 290hp. The interior was deluxe Mustang and was fitted with plenty of Shelby emblems to remind you of what you are driving.

The competition suspension and rear axle options paralleled those found on the Mach 1; wheels, though, were unique to the Shelby.

In all, there were only 335 GT500s built, and that includes the 1970 versions—and every one, is a highly desirable collectible.

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