Stephen Becker has been around Shelby Mustangs since he opened a Shelby parts business in 1978 as an entrepreneurial 11-year-old. Today, as a broker for Shelbys and Cobras, he frequently buys and sells special vehicles. None have raised Stephen's interest as much as this '67 GT500 with only 9,443 miles.
In 2004, Stephen received a call from Edward Milkos in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Edward was going to sell the Shelby Mustang he purchased new in February 1967. That's when Stephen first heard the story about 67400F2A00213.
In 1966, Edward was driving a Tri-Power '65 GTO when he decided to order a '67 Shelby for drag racing. On October 26, he put down a $20 deposit at McCafferty Ford in Trenton to order a red GT500, no doubt impressed by the car's 428 Police Interceptor engine with dual four-barrel carburetion. He was surprised when the car arrived in January 1967. Instead of the red he ordered, the car was Nightmist Blue. The dealer attempted to order another one in red, per Edward's request, but it soon became apparent that a red GT500 wasn't available. So he accepted the dark blue Shelby on February 27, 1967. According to the sales invoice, Edward got the car for $4,891 but shelled out only $2,191 after getting $2,767 for his '65 GTO in trade. At the same time, he purchased a demo '65 Ford Country Squire station wagon to tow the Shelby to and from the race track.
For the next two years, Edward drag raced the car. In preparation, tow bars were welded to the front frame and a number of aftermarket modifications were added, including a Stewart-Warner electric fuel pump, a Moroso "cool can" to prevent fuel vaporlock, Thrush shorty glasspack mufflers, and drag slicks in place of the rear Goodyears. Edward told to Stephen that the dragstrip asked him to remove the shoulder harnesses because they were for "show only." In 1968, Edward and his Shelby competed in the first NHRA national event at Madison Township Raceway Park, known today as Englishtown Raceway Park. He received a plaque for his participation, which he proudly affixed to the instrument panel.
The drag racing activities came to a sudden halt in 1969 when Edward, a carpenter, fell through a plate glass window and severely injured his arm. The Shelby had 9,000 miles on the odometer, most of them obtained a quarter-mile at a time. The car was placed in storage in his basement garage. By the time Edward's arm healed, fuel prices had risen, so he left the car in the basement for the next 30 years.
In 2004, Edward spotted a Jaguar on a local used car lot. Deciding he could make better use of a relatively new Jaguar instead of an old Shelby, he called Stephen at his home near Atlanta.
"It was a Thursday at 10 p.m.," Stephen says. "He told me about the car, and I was on my way to New Jersey with a trailer on Friday morning." Per Edward's request, Stephen purchased the Jaguar from the dealer, then traded Edward title-for-title for the Shelby. The GT500 still had its racing equipment, but to Stephen's amazement, Edward went into his attic and pulled out original parts-an air-cleaner filter element, shoulder harnesses, the exhaust system, and even the barely used original rear tires. Only the original transverse muffler and battery were missing.
Stephen was amazed by the car's originality, including the paint, engine, four-speed transmission, and shocks. The trunk mat was missing; Edward explained the car had been delivered without it. The dealership ordered one, he said, but it never arrived. Stephen took note of the old New Jersey license plates and 1970 inspection sticker in the windshield. Under the fiberglass hood and trunk lid, he discovered the original manufacturing stickers from Plaza Fiberglass in Toronto, something rarely seen on '67 Shelbys today. Mounted between the dual gauges under the radio was another seldom-seen item: an engraved-and misspelled-plaque that reads "Manufactured by Shelby American Inc. especially for Edward Miklos."
When Stephen thought it couldn't get any better, Edward handed him the original paperwork, including the dealership and Shelby American invoices. Interestingly, the salesman never got his last name right, listing it as "Milos" or "Miklos" instead of "Milkos."
Adding to the car's history is the fact that it was the third GT500 produced at Shelby American.
With the car back in Atlanta, Stephen enlisted Winston Cabe at Cabe Motorsports to clean the original paint and undercarriage, which revealed a number of factory paint daubs and colors. Winston also removed the vintage racing components and reinstalled the original parts, with the exception of the battery, which had been previously replaced by Edward; the missing muffler; and one of the tires, which was dry-rotted beyond safe use. As a "survivor," nothing was restored, not even the rear seats with tattered corners caused by mice in Edward's basement.
Even as a broker, Stephen can't bring himself to sell the low-mileage Shelby survivor. "A car can be an unrestored original only once," he says. "I think the survivor cars are going to be the next Hemi Mopars. This one is a keeper."
Stephen plans to loan the car to the Shelby American Collection (www.shelbyamericancollection.org) in Boulder, Colorado, for permanent display so everyone can enjoy this Shelby survivor.