Shane Whiting did a fantastic job restoring Ted Kitten's '67 GT500. Despite the various show awards and accolades, one might say Shane restored this Shelby to "fair" condition.
In April 1967, Shelby American shipped four new '67 Shelbys, two GT350s, and two GT500s to Seville, Spain, for the Feria De Sevilla, a "festival of tents" exposition. One of the big-blocks was Kitten's GT500, No. 1191. We got the chance to talk to Kitten at the Mid-America Ford and Shelby Meet in Oklahoma.
Ted was there with Shane, who restored the car at his Whiting Restoration shop in Oconta, Wisconsin. Shane told us about the tar buildup from the Spanish roads, which coated the undercarriage and saved the factory suspension markings. Coupled with Spain's mild weather, the Shelby was preserved rust-free.
Ted had been looking for a restorable '67 Shelby. He found his "Fair Shelby" through a likely source-Bill Collins of Bill Collins Collector Fords in Pennsylvania. Bill has been buying and selling Shelbys, Cobras, and Mustangs since the 1970s, but he is also a collector and an enthusiast. Bill said, "I have friends who spot cars for me in Europe."
One of those friends, John Burgess, called Bill from England with news that he'd found a restored Lime Green '67 GT500. At first, he didn't mention that the owner also had an unrestored Nightmist Blue '67 GT500. Bill told us, "John offhandedly commented that the guy wanted to sell either the Lime one or the Blue one, but not both. I said, 'What blue one?'" Bill preferred the unrestored Shelby with its four-speed and lower price.
Both GT500s had been show cars at the Seville fair in the spring of 1967. The blue car was also displayed at the Barcelona fair later that summer. At the end of its show duty, the car was sent to the Barcelona Ford dealer, Auto Layetana, S.A, where it was sold to Jorge Sanjuan Pid~nol of Madrid. Two or three years later, he sold the Shelby to Fernando Jarado.
During Fernando's ownership in the early 1980s, the 428 spun a bearing. Bill explained that the dual-quad carburetion tends to pump unburned fuel past the pistons and into the oil to wash out the crankshaft bearings. "I've had many '67 500s with low oil pressure. Usually, the bearings are wiped out."
Bill figures Fernando encountered this same problem at 54,947 miles. As a result, the engine wound up disassembled and the parts scattered into the trunk and interior. The car sat in a barn for most of the next 20 years until Eduardo Torre fulfilled a dream by purchasing this treasure find in 1999.