As the Mustang line grew in size and comfort features, so too did the Shelby branded vehicles on which they are based. Never one to settle for standard, Carroll Shelby decided to take the already aggressive and bold styling of the 1969 Mustang even further. New front fenders, which included functioning brake ducts, were added which terminated in a big, full-width grill and bright chrome bumper set forward of this. Some other interesting design elements were included as well such as NACA ducts on the hood, rather than the traditional raised hood scoops. While the 1969 Shelby cars focused much more on appearance than previous years, Shelby American still managed to create a better looking as well as a better performing platform, that lived up to the reputation their previous cars had garnered. Unfortunately, however, Carroll Shelby terminated his agreement with Ford in the summer of 1969, meaning no cars were built for the 1970 model year. Rather, leftover 1969 models were given new VIN numbers and sold as 1970 models with minor cosmetic changes done to them. In total, only 1282 Shelby GT350s were produced for 1969, with 1086 being fastbacks and 196 being convertibles.
The example on offer here, chassis number 9F02M481907, is a 1969 Shelby GT350. This car was part of the popular Hertz Rent-A-Racer program of the 1960s. It is finished in the rare and highly desirable color combination of Gulfstream Aqua exterior with White Clarion Knit/Corinthian Vinyl Hi-Back Bucket Seats. It is one of only 19 total examples finished in this color scheme and one of just 5 fitted with the Traction-Lok Differential and delivered as a Hertz Rent-A-Racer. Currently, the odometer reads 77,364 miles from new, which is believed to be correct. According to the included and framed Elite Marti Report this car was ordered with the following options:
FMX Cruise-O-Matic Transmission
Goodyear Brand Name Tires
Sport Deck Rear Seat
Power Front Dic Brakes
Tilt-Away Steering Wheel
Air Conditioner – Selectaire
Deluxe Belts/Warning Light
Tachometer and Trip Odometer
The car was scheduled for production at the Dearborn plant on 4/11/1969 but was actually built 4/14/1969, 3 days behind schedule, and was released the next day. It was invoiced on 4/21/1969 at $5231.27 MSRP or $4308.50 dealer cost and was shipped to Gotham Ford in New York, New York on 5/8/1969. The car was then purchased by the Hertz Company who used it as part of their Rent-A-Racer program. Unfortunately, not much else is known on the history of the car other the chain of ownership which was acquired through the Shelby registry and shows the car in private hands starting in 1982 (although the Hertz Company surely sold the car off long before this). The car changed hands a number of times until the current owner who resides in Michigan purchased the car in October of 2005 with 77,246 miles on the odometer. It appears that the exterior of the car was restored at some point most likely in the late 1990s or early 2000s. The restoration was done well with good paint laid down over clean, well-fitting metal. It appears that a good portion of the interior was left original with the exception of the front seats which appear to have been redone. Overall, it is a good quality car which is finished in excellent colors and remains very correct in all of its attributes. This GT350 would be just at home being shown at local car shows and Shelby meets as it would in an American car collection.
Included with the sale of this car are the framed Elite Marti Report, spare wheel, and jack.
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Body And Paint
The Gulfstream Aqua paint is an extremely striking color and looks fantastic on this car. The paint itself has excellent color and consistency throughout the car. There is a bit of waviness down the driver's side door, as well as some drips on the rocker behind the passenger front wheel. The contrasting yellow striping kit is in good order with just a small spot of peeling on the edge of a stripe on the driver's side door. There is what appears to be a replacement stripe kit included with the car, but we are unsure of the age and viability of these decals. The body is straight and solid with no real dents or dings of note. Panel fitment and body lines are decent, with some minor deviations in the consistency of some of the gaps, especially on the hood which appears could use a bit of realignment, however, this could simply be due to the fiberglass construction, and is still better than most that we have seen. The springs have been removed from the underside to help prevent this as this is a common issue with these cars.
Glass And Trim
Starting in the front, the headlights are clear, although upon close inspection, do show some minor pitting. The painted trim rings around them have some peeling of the paint. Painted parts of the grill also show some minor flecking of the paint due to normal road usage. The Lucas fog lights, as well as the parking lights, could use a bit of realignment but show clean glass, with minor signs of age. The chrome trim on the nose piece has great shine and decent fitment. The windshield and the rest of the glass of the cabin are in good condition, although there is some very light scratching in high wear areas and what appears to be just a bit of overspray on the bottom edge of the passenger window. Most of the glass, including the side windows and rear windscreen, are marked “Carlite”. The chrome trim around the windows has a nice shine but does show some scratching in high use areas where hands contact the doors etc. In the rear, all the lights have clean lenses, free of cracking or fogging. The chrome bumper has excellent shine and good fitment. The exhaust outlet shows a bit of grim collected from normal usage that could likely be polished out with a bit of time and elbow grease.
The aluminum and chrome five-spoke wheels are correct and the finish on them is tidy. The aluminum centers show nicely with no pitting or oxidation and the steel rim exterior sections have a good consistent shine to them. The correct black and gold wheel center caps are in place with excellent color and sharp graphics.
There is a small spot on the driver's door where the yellow striping is peeling. Some of the body gaps are not the best such as on the hood, which appears it could use a bit of realignment, however, this could simply be due to the fiberglass construction and is still better than most that we have seen. The springs have been removed from the underside to help prevent this as this is a common issue with these cars.
Seats And Surfaces
It appears that much of the interior has been left original with the exception of the front seats which look to have been recovered. They remain in good condition with clean seating surfaces and solid filling however the passenger seat has some wear in the form of flaking on the back and the fitment around some of the edges is a bit baggy. The door cards appear as original and show some scratching in the leather in high traffic areas. The carpeting throughout shows some minor fading but appears to be original. The weave and fitment are still good, although there is some wear in high traffic areas. The seat belts have 1969 date coded tags still located on them. The dash is straight and free from cracking and the simulated wood fascia on the front is clean and tidy. Gauges are easily legible as well as being clean with good color. The headliner is clean and well-fitting. The rest of the plastics and interior trimmings are in overall good condition, showing some flaws as you would expect from original interior components.
Functionality And Accessories
The windows roll up and down with ease and the doors open and close as they should. It appears that all the gauges with the exception of the gas gauge function as they should. The shifter moves through its range of motion as it should. The air conditioning is currently not functioning. The interior lights illuminate when the doors are opened.
ENGINE BAY AND TRUNK
The engine bay appears well kept and for the most part correct. Painted surfaces are finished in the correct colors with a smooth and even finish to them. Metal surfaces are clean and free from oxidation. Cables, hoses, and wires appear well kept. There does not appear to be any outward signs of mechanical issues.
The trunk of the car is clean and tidy, trimmed with the correct plaid vinyl material and the fitment of the vinyl is correct. The correct stickers are located on the underside of the trunk lid. The metal around the edges of the trunk lid is clean and tidy and shows no signs of any prior issues. A full-size spare is tucked neatly in place with the correct jack stowed away in the middle. Lifting the vinyl covering reveals clean and tidy metal, with smooth and consistent paint all around. The large fuel tank mounted in the floor appears in good shape, at least from outward perspectives.
The underside of the car is very much in line with the exterior condition of the vehicle. Everything appears as if it was replaced, or reconditioned during the restoration. Factory style paint marks have been added to the underside in certain areas. There are no outward signs of any issues upon inspection. There are some minor paint runs on the underside of the passenger side rocker panel. The only real area of note is some very minor denting on the fuel tank.
The big V-8 fires to life with ease although it is a little cold-blooded and needs to be warmed up by holding down the accelerator pedal (throttle) until the car is up to temperature. It appears to have a minor carburetor issue when it is cold that could be easily corrected. Once up to temperature however the problem is not nearly as bad, and the car runs well but does still occasionally stumble and die at low RPM’s.
During our brief testing, the transmission seemed to engage gears appropriately and seemed to rev freely and shift through gears without issues.
Brakes And Suspension
The brakes work as they should, bringing the car to a controlled stop. We did not notice anything out of the ordinary with the suspension during our brief testing.
The car currently wears raised white letter BFGoodrich Radial T/A tires on all four corners that have plenty of tread life left on them.
Climbing behind the wheel of any product wearing a Shelby badge is always a special experience. From the in your face Cobra branding placed strategically throughout the vehicle to the unique styling elements included only on these cars, its very apparent from both outside and inside that you have something special on your hands. The big V8 means that there's always plenty of power on tap and the FMX Cruise-O-Matic Transmission is still loads of fun even if it is missing the ability to manually select gears. The later Shelby cars offer a lot in the way of refinement, not available on earlier models, leaving the ride comfortable and enjoyable. Between the fantastic color combination and the unique history of being a documented Hertz Rent-A-Racer, this 1969 Shelby GT350 would make the perfect addition to any collection.
- Exterior Colour Gulfstream Aqua With White Clari
- Interior Colour Clarion Knit Carinthian Vinyl
- Drive LHD
- Chassis Number Chassis # 9F02M481907