With the Shelby for 1969, Carroll Shelby created a car that blended two entirely different qualities – high performance and luxury. Competition in the realm of motorsports had put fire into the brand with its respected choice of powerplants; while sporty elegance and refinement was captured in the nicely appointed and presented interior. A Shelby GT ad of the period declared that the Shelby was “a car designed for rapid transit in the utmost comfort and luxury.”
- Desirable 428-cid, 360-hp V-8 SCJ engine
- Four-speed manual transmission
- Rare factory Drag Pack car
- Confirmed by Marti Report
- 3.91:1 rear end with Traction-Lok
- Ram Air
- Sports Slats rear window shade
- 1,157 1969 GT 500 Fastbacks built
- Nicely outfitted
- 2014 SAAC Registry has car as "whereabouts unknown" for last 10 years
In mid-1968, Shelby American commissioned a new and improved version of the 428 V-8 utilizing components of the old 427 V-8 creating the legendary Cobra Jet engine. Conservatively rated at 360 horsepower, its actual output was closer to 400. This engine included a pair of 427 low-riser cylinder heads, a 735-cfm Holley carburetor and many subtle improvements. The resulting Cobra Jet was immediately recognized as a strong and reliable performer.
The 428 Super Cobra Jet (also known as the 428 SCJ) used the same top end, pistons and engine block as the 428 Cobra Jet but the crankshaft, connecting rods, and associated balancing were different. A nodular iron crankshaft casting was used as well as heavier 427 "Le Mans" connecting rods with capscrews instead of bolts for greater durability. The heavier connecting rods and the removal of the center counterweight on the stock 428 Cobra Jet crankshaft , required an external weight on the snout of the crankshaft for balancing. An engine oil cooler was standard equipment with the 428 Super Cobra Jet (later referred to as "Drag Pack") and 3.9 or 4.3 rear end gear ratios. In addition, there was a difference between the CJ and SCJ 428 cast aluminum pistons. All of these changes to the engine components were made to provide greater reliability for engines expected to be raced and abused.
Shelby ensured that the GT 500 retained its unique identity, and for 1969, it incorporated a longer fiberglass front end, a unique grille, a revised taillight and exhaust treatment, as well as an aggressive hood with five NACA-style air scoops. Inside, a rollbar, inertia-reel racing harnesses, luxurious features and special trim maintained the performance-oriented, limited-production character of the GT 500.
This GT 500 SCJ is an extremely rare example that has the noted Drag Pack option. Accompanied by a Marti Report and also noted in the Shelby Registry; these sources confirm the car being finished from new in Grabber Orange with Black interior with hi-back bucket seats. The 428 SCJ V-8 engine, four-speed manual transmission and rare Drag Pack with a 3.91:1 rear end ratio with Traction-Lok are also verified from new. Additionally this Shelby GT 500 SCJ is equipped with Sport Deck rear seat, power front disc brakes, tilt-away steering, power steering, power ventilation, intermittent windshield wipers, tinted glass throughout, tach, trip odometer and deluxe belts plus warning light. Sports Slats rear window shade, sport mirrors with driver’s side remote and the wheels appear to be the correct Shelby-unique five-spokes utilized in 1969.
The SAAC Registry reports that this car was originally shipped to Metro Motors, Ltd. in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on June 5, 1969 at a dealer cost of $3,995.33. The bill of lading was dated the same and E&L Transport Co. identified this car as one of six picked up at the A.O. Smith ramp rail in Ionia, Michigan for delivery. The Registry also notes that a bill of lading dated June 9, 1969 from FoMoCo Canada via E&L Transport identifies this car as one of five Shelbys shipped. Subsequent dealer history is unknown, as is the original owner. In fact, other ownership history is sparse and when the Fourth Edition of the Registry was printed in 2014, this cars whereabouts were unknown for a 10-year period.
With a restoration to the original presentation and such features as the legendary SCJ engine, Cobra Jet Ram Air Induction, Drag Pack option and a four-speed manual transmission with a Hurst shifter; this presents a fantastic opportunity to reintroduce such a respected and desirable platform back into the fold from its extended hiatus.