In the fall of 1969, high school senior Ed Shaw noticed a Grabber Blue ’69 Shelby G.T. 500 cruising the local streets of his suburban New Jersey town. In a case of instant attraction, Ed remembers jumping in his own ride and trying to chase down the Shelby. He didn’t catch it. From that point on, Ed realized he wasn’t going to be happy until he scored a G.T. 500 of his own. And being raised in a Ford family, the idea of bringing home his own Blue Oval was just fine with his parents. You see, Ed’s dad worked at the Ford assembly plant in nearby Metuchen, helping put together Mustangs that would fulfill the dreams of car aficionados for years to come.
In August 1972, a friend told Ed about a Grabber Green G.T. 500 on a Ford dealer’s used car lot a few miles away in Morristown. Ed hit the road that evening to take a look at the Shelby. Two days later, his dream car was sitting in the driveway.
The Shelby was in relatively good shape for a three year-old car. Ed quickly freshened up the 428 Cobra Jet engine using the knowledge he had received from his dad and through his own trials and tribulations of building street engines. A new set of tires and wheels found their way onto the Shelby as well—typical add-ons for any young car guy.
For the next three years, Ed used the G.T. 500 as his daily driver, racking up some fun miles and a little wear along the way. At the same time, Ed was looking toward the future by putting together a 427 side-oiler. In 1975, out came the 428 and in went a healthy dose of 427 cubic-inches of Ford power.
Another major change occurred two years later when Ed realized that he would be much happier if the car was wearing the color he lusted after as a teenager—Grabber Blue. So the Grabber Green was stripped off, dings and dents repaired, and small holes in the doors patched by friend and body shop owner George Burgess. After all, the car spent its first eight years in one of the country’s most unfriendly automobile environments. The body was then smoothed to perfection and Ed’s favorite high-impact color was laid on the refurbished skin. Ed finished the G.T. 500 in time to drive it to SAAC-2, the Shelby American Automobile Club’s second national convention, in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where it won a First place in the car show.
Today, Ed continues to run the same ’68 side-oiler 427 he installed in the 1970s. An intriguing part of the engine build is the fuel delivery—a Jim Inglese Weber creation with four 48 IDA two-barrel carbs sitting atop a Ford Power Parts manifold. B&B Machine in Rahway, New Jersey, helped with the engine under the guidance of Bob Oster and Dave Jack.
Power reaches the rear wheels through a wide-ratio Top Loader four-speed, as built by Roy Simkins, followed by a 9-inch rearend with a 3.50:1 Detroit Locker differential. Rolling stock consists of Magnum 500 wheels—15x7 up front and 15x8 at the rear—wrapped in P235/60R15 and P265/60R15 BFGoodrich Radial T/As.
Stopping is capably handled by ’99 Mustang GT discs up front and 2½-inch Motorsport rear drums. Ed also added underride traction bars, modified leaf springs, a rear sway bar, and Koni shocks.
After 40 years of ownership, Ed still gets a thrill when he opens up the Webers on the back roads in Jersey. Here’s to another 40 years of tearing up pavement!