Pony car historians have record that the last production year for the Shelby GT350, and Shelby GT500 Mustangs was actually 1969, as the 1970 cars were considered "carry over models." Whatever year they be--1969, or 1970--these machines certainly command a lofty selling price on today's collector car market. After all they ARE the last of the Shelbys, and Burley, Idaho Shelby enthusiast Dennis James just had to possess one!

James ultimately-achieved that goal sometime in late 1989. "This car is unique in that it is a Q-Code, 428 CJ Drag Pack option," says Dennis. "The color--Gulf Stream Aqua--and its powertrain make this car an absolute knockout!"

After purchase, James stored his prized possession in the garage for a number of years waiting for that fateful day when everything would come together, and a full restoration became possible. "When I purchased the car, it was 100% complete with everything except the carpet and the headliner. We began the restoration - with help from friends Dan Price, and Arnold D' Agastin--in June, 1995, and completed it in December of the same year. To our knowledge, it is as "technically correct" as possible," and Dennis has the trophies to evidence it!

at right: restoration expert Jeff Taylor was responsible for re-upholstering the factory black Comfort Weave upholstery, and Ford/Shelby interior, featuring rim blow steering wheel, 140mph speedometer, 10-grand tachometer et al.

James and company completely rebuilt the Shelby's entire suspension using Genuine Ford parts--including its 3.90:1 geared Ford 9-inch, Traction Lok rear end and power disc brake front suspension. The only substitution has been the addition of a set of KYB gas-charged shock absorbers to stabilize the ride.

The GT500's Motor Wheel-produced Magnum 500s have also been refurbished, and now ride on a set of 225/70xR15-inch Goodyear Eagle radial rubber.

Cleggs Machine of Provo, Utah was charged with the task of machining and assembling the 335 hp. Ram-Air, Drag Pack 428 Cobra-Jet powerplant. Internally, the 428 utilizes a 10/10 428 SCJ crank, along with a set of .030-inch overbore Federal Mogul Performance pistons--aka. TRW--swinging on a set of Cobra LeMans connecting rods. Also onboard is a full complement of Michigan 77 engine bearings, a Cloyes Tru Roller timing chain, and Melling oil pump. Cleggs Machine also prepared 428 SCJ cylinder heads outfitting them with a combination of Ford and Federal Mogul Performance valvetrain hardware. Also along for the ride is the factory SCJ aluminum medium-rise intake manifold, 715 cfm Holley carburetor, Ram-Air air cleaner, Autolite factory dual-point ignition, and NOS factory Cobra-Jet dual exhaust. Backing it all up is a Cleggs-prepared, Ford toploader four-speed transmission employing a Ford Motorsport clutch, and Ford reverse-lockout shifter and linkage.

When it came to the paint and bodywork, Salt Lake City, Utah's Jeff Taylor got the assignment. Taylor smoothed out all the combination sheetmetal and fiberglass coachwork, prior to re-painting the Shelby in the factory F/3F-code shade, using Sikkens paint.

Taylor was also responsible for re-upholstering the factory black--code 5A--Comfort Weave upholstery, and Ford/Shelby interior, featuring rim blow steering wheel, 140mph speedometer, 10-grand tachometer et al.


Post-rejuvenation carshow trophies have been numerous. James' GT500 has won everything from local shopping mall car shows to events such as the Rocky Mountain Mustang Roundup in Steamboat Springs, Colorado--nailing down "Best of Show," "Best Restored," and "First in Class" honors. It's quite a car!

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