Andrea Bieri likes orange. As a CPA for the firm that once handled the accounting for R&A Motorsports in Lees Summit, Missouri, she was exposed to the company's run of Grabber Orange Twister Special Mustang GTs. Andrea had to have one. She and her husband, Bryan, still own the number 5 '08 Twister.
Later, when looking for a vintage Mustang project, they learned about a '68 fastback that R&A's Jeff and Julie Yergovich had purchased. In a strange "twist" of fate, it too was orange, a special order paint for '68.
"Our UPS guy told us that a couple of storage units down the street were being auctioned due to late payment," Jeff explains. "He said there was at least one Mustang inside so we went down to take a look. We could see a stripped '68 fastback, white with blue stripes like a Shelby, but the auction company wouldn't let us inside to inspect it. We could also see old engines in the second unit, including a 302 four-barrel. I gambled and put down bids for everything in the storage units, $4,000 for one and $1,200 for the other."
Jeff won the auctions. His gamble on landing a Shelby didn't pay off, but the Mustang did turn out to be an original J-code (302 four-barrel) fastback with a four-speed and heavy-duty suspension. Yes, the 302 in the second unit was the original engine for the '68 fastback. As a bonus, the factory four-speed was still attached.
The real pay-off came later when Jeff noticed the blank paint code on the data plate. A Marti Report confirmed the special paint; Ford simply called it "yellow," special paint number WT6135, which appears very similar to the popular Grabber Orange that debuted in 1970.
Because the car was originally delivered to Ford's Denver sales district, Jeff initially thought it might have been part of the Rainbow of Colors promotion for the west coast. However, research revealed that all of those cars were built at the San Jose, California, assembly plant. This one came from Dearborn. Then he looked into the national Color of the Month promotion. However, that program ran from January through April 1968, with a special color for each month. The fastback was built in May.
However, a clue about the Mustang's special color comes from the Marti Report, which reveals that the fastback was originally delivered to William Goodro Inc., a Ford dealership in Denver. According to Kevin Marti, when Bill Goodro passed away in 1965, his wife, Ann, took over the business. Over the next couple of years, the dealership ordered more of the special-paint High Country Specials and Ski Country Specials than any other Colorado dealership. Ann even created a She Country Mustang for 1967, available in four unique colors.
Pete Disher, who owns a special paint '68 Shelby GT500KR and maintains a website with special paint information at www.thecoralsnake.com, notes that the WT6135 paint code can be found in Ford's Special Order Paint Selector book, which included 250 paint samples, primarily for fleet sales. However, it was also used for customers looking for a special color. According to Pete, these colors did not have formal names, only their special paint codes. WT6135 was one of 30 different shades of yellow, many of them closer to orange.
Interestingly, Bryan and Andrea bought the fastback before they knew about the special orange color that matched their Twister Special. "It wasn't until later that Jeff discovered the special paint code," Andrea says. "When we saw that the color was so close to the Grabber Orange on our Twister, we knew we had made the right decision to buy it."
With Bryan and Andrea helping along the way, R&A Motorsports restored the fastback during 2010 and debuted it at ShelbyFest last April. With the Grabber-like orange paint, it certainly grabs attention.
In a strange "twist" of fate, it too was orange, a special order paint for '68.