X-ray vision leads to a Shelby GT500 convertible barn find


Tom Cotter, Hagerty’s resident Barn Find Hunter, advocates investigating ever potential car, regardless of how boring you think it might be. You never know where it could lead, after all. Of course, the latest episode of BFH proves that Tom’s policy (along with a sixth sense, probably) can bear major fruit.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/07/18/barn-find-hunter-episode-36


It WAS a nice car, now it’s a forgotten old musty wreck. Why Oh Why do people keep on doing this to cars that are worth more than their house ?!!


I’m sorry BUT, a REAL car guy would NEVER do this to something so iconic. Shame, shame, shame.


The guy didn’t look like he was in the best shape, I doubt he could keep the car up to snuff. Sometimes people just want to look at them once in a while to remember that feeling in 72 when he first got in the car and it was only worth 3 grand. I hope he gets it cleaned up and driving again.


Shame shame on people being so judgemental.


I loved this story. And while we would all love to see this car cleaned up and on the road, I am very appreciative of the owner’s ensuring that the car is in a garage and out of the elements. My impression is that he still loves the car and will get it on the road again as soon as he has the time, opportunity and resources to do so…


I own a 69 GT500 fastback and recognized those valuations. Unless the market cratered overnight,Tom Cotter misquotes the convertible referencing fastback valuations which are much lower. I hope the man crapped his pants and found religion when he heard those numbers. Take care of that car man!


A minor fact check. While he said that he picked up the car in 1972 “during the first Arab oil embargo”, that embargo (according to Wikipedia and other reliable history sites) didn’t begin until October 1973. That doesn’t have any impact on this interesting story, and no doubt I’ve made much larger date mistakes than that over something that occurred 45 years ago.


O.K. 1. The owner is never going to do anything with that GT500 ever again except look at it once a year and dream he’s young again. 2. There are 5,000 guys with classic Shelbys just like him and they won’t sell until an estate liquidation forces a sale. 3 The cars will degrade further and become more and more economically unfeasible to refurbish. 4 . This keeps availability limited and prices high - do you find that a good or bad thing? Remember the acronym " C.O.O.D." ( pronounce it ‘code’) Condition, Originality, Options, Documentation.


Anyone know if the owner got the Shelby back on the road?


You are absolutely correct, sir. . . That guy - nice guy that he may be - will not do
jack to further protect that 1970 Red Shelby GT 500 Mustang. Unfortunately,
it’s human nature . . . laziness . . . I detest laziness and take care of my belongings
( including my Black Jade 1969 Convertible like the one in the vid, except a GT350.
( see my comment on Hagerty page )


For the fact checker ,this guy is probably 80 freaking Years old ,my grandpa changes stories and date all tje time, just enjoy the story it entertainment not a trial,for the guy who said he is lazy,maybe the car doesn’t mean as much to him as it does to you ,its just a story, it may not even be true ,lets keep this whole story positive


I can’t help but think that buyers for these types of cars are disappearing quickly. Car cruises are mostly baby boomer gatherings and the DJ’s play nothing but oldies. A new generation of buyers is not waiting in the wings. Unless the owners of high end old cars don’t care, they should sell their garage kept keepsakes while they can.


He said he had a car cover for it, so at least cover the car. Nice story and I’m sure it’s a sentimental thing and he said he would never sell it. I thought he looked younger than his age even if he was 16 in 1968, he would be around 66 now. I wish I kept my 71 El Camino that had a 396 and a Hurst 4 speed I bought when I was 18 in May of 1973. I think I paid around $2,800. back then and sold it for $1,600. in 1976. It was on a local Datsun dealers used car lot and my mom co-signed for it.


Wow, I’m 99% sure this is the same car that I’ve known from in/around Gainesville, FL since the early-80’s. I never met the owner, I always saw this car languishing in repair shops. ABC Automotive if I remember right, around 1983, engine work. And then in the early-2000’s, can’t remember the name of this mechanic, but I believe he went out of business (left town), and that’s probably where the “hunt down the engine” story started. In both cases, I’d inquire about the car’s owner and status, and I remember shop owners grousing that they were owed money, and that the owner was “frugal”, and not interested in selling. I know that the paint job on it was applied with a mop and bucket, if that’s any indication… In any case, it is NICE to see that the car is still alive… Would be nicer to see it in the hands of someone with the means/ability to restore it nicely and enjoy it.


I wish I had Xray vision


I have seen this 1965 Mustang for about 5 or 6 years sitting there,finally caught the man pulling out of his driveway one day,First thing he told me is it’s Not for Sale. I didn’t ask that just curious about the story behind it I to like Tom Cotter old Ford guy,worked for Ford Dealership for 40 plus years in parts department,he told me the same story he told Tom.I told the man you should get it out from under that tree. Didn’t seem to care,What a shame…
Had no Idea the Real Deal was a few steps away.


@lightningjohnson - I can’t say I would have asked if there was anything of interest in the garage in that situation!


" Unsold 1969s were sold as 1970 models . There was actually no new production for the 1970 model year, but as there were almost 800 leftover 1969 models, Ford successfully petitioned the federal government to allow the cars to be re-VINed as 1970 models. A chin spoiler distinguishes what became the last of the classic GT500s, which were sold after Ford’s agreement with Shelby had terminated." This is from a different article here on Hagerty’s website.