1967 # 2463

The Discernment

April 1, 2022
by Peter Disher

I get a good number of emails from Shelby enthusiasts. I enjoy sorting through them. Every once in a while, something very unique will appear. When I first started talking with "Bill", I knew it was going to be interesting. You see everyone that has come across something a little odd, believes they have a "prototype" and I was ready to help educate him.

Bill said, "I always wondered if the car was some hybrid or a pre-production car". I wasn't as confident. I responded by trying to get some basic information from him. "I have some old pictures", he said. That's a great place to start.

In this photograph, the car certainly has the appearance of a 1968 Shelby. The Shelby hood, front fiberglass and fog lights are all 1968 parts.

As Bill told me more about his car, I learned the following; Bill bought the car in the early 1970s, from a former Northwestern Ford salesman named Bob Ricks. He paid just $650 for the car. Surely, the Ford salesman would be able to tell the difference between a 1967 and a 1968 Shelby? According to Bill, the salesman had a few too many drinks one night and had an encounter with a utility pole. The car had damage to the roof, fender and driver's side door.

This is the picture, that turned the conversation in a new direction. You will notice 1967 deluxe door panels and a 1967 steering wheel. The seats are also 1967 style and Bill tells me the car had no marker lights on the body.

So, were sheenanigans afoot or was there more to this story? Maybe the student was ready to educate the teacher? It was at that point when Bill offered up the serial number. The car certainly looked a lot like a 1968 Shelby. Bill found some old paperwork with the serial number 67412F9A02463.

As I searched the Shelby records, I found that serial number was assigned to the Shelby Engineering Department in Los Angeles. I also found the car was shipped to Ionia, Michigan on July 10, 1967. That was well before any 1968 Shelbys were produced. The two 1968 photographic cars are fairly well documented. Both of those vehicles started off as 1967 Shelbys, before being converted into "new" 1968s. Now, it's entirely possible there was another pre-production 1968. A red, GT500 fastback, used for fiberglass fitting and early showings. Factory paperwork does not list specific serial numbers for some cars. It only shows billing amounts and model designations. The evidence points strongly to # 2463 being one of those cars. I believe this 1967 Shelby engineering car was converted into one of the first 1968s by AO Smith.

Bill told me he diassembled the car to do the repairs. Shortly thereafter, he lost his job. He sold all the "1968" fiberglass. He also sold what was left of the car to a man in Texas.
He believes the car may have been in Utah and was later parted out.

I am currently working with Bill to track down more information. We believe we can locate the fiberglass. If we are sucessful, it will be closely scrutinized. Pre-production Shelby fiberglass was hand made and has very distinct characteristics. I am fortunate to have experience on two pre-production cars that had similar parts.

The "gift" of discernment is being able to tell when something is true and right. I am glad Bill shared that gift with me. Now I share it with you. If you have something that will knock my socks off, please feel free to share it. I also like to hear from anyone that has a Shelby, because there is always something that can be learned.