So you think you want to buy and restore a vintage Shelby Mustang?

I get a fair number of questions from people wanting to know where they could find a Shelby Mustang that needs restoration. Most are wanting a 1967 GT 500, no doubt due to the movie "Gone in 60 Seconds". Shelby Mustangs have been sought after since the 60's. Many enthusiasts have been trying to find a good deal on a one for years. The days of finding one stuck in a barn are all but over. It is extremely rare to find an all original Shelby Mustang. And if you did, the car would be outrageously expensive. The Shelby American Automobile Club (SAAC), estimates that only 75% of these cars survived. SAAC runs a registry for these cars and most of the 75% are found listed in SAAC's Registry available from So if 75% of the cars are said to have survived that leaves up to 25% out there undiscovered or non-existent. Let's look at those numbers:

Possible undiscovered Shelby Mustangs

If we accept SAAC's figure of 25% as unaccounted, that leaves a maximum of 3,478 Shelby Mustangs that might be found. That is a world figure based on every year and model ever produced and is probably wildly optomistic. If you are looking for a particular year and model like the 1967 GT 500 the numbers will go down significantly. Sure I still hear stories about someone finding a Shelby Mustang behind a garage or in a barn, but even if true it's very rare. it is going to be a matter of luck to find one that's worth restoration for a reasonable price.

While we are talking about a good deal on a Shelby Mustang, what is a good deal? If you happen to be in the right place at the right time and found something restorable and you had the skill to do a lot of the work yourself, even that scenario can be pretty expensive. Usually the floors are gone, the quarters and fenders are rusted in the typical Mustang areas. The interior might be fair at best and the clutch and headers shot. Typically there are a lot of missing parts and once completed will need paint.

I propose that if you really want a good deal on a Shelby Mustang, find one that someone else has already done a lot or work to.  But it's buyer beware, sadly, with the high prices for these cars bring, unethical owners are selling reproductions as the real thing. Be knowledgeable about Shelby Mustangs and where the numbers are and what they should be. Be careful about buying a car on the Internet including E-Bay. SAAC sent a notice out not long ago warning about several scams going on for Shelby Mustangs on E-Bay. Another thing to be cautious of is a Shelby Mustang that looks great but is not what it appears. You can spent a lot of time and money replacing the wrong parts and fixing things that are incorrect. Know the car you want to buy, make a check list of items to review on a car for sale.

I hope you find your Shelby Mustang.

© Carmemories