June 3, 1968







The Coralsnake fires up his time machine and takes you back to Monday, June 3, 1968.

So, you are from the future hey? You said you were interested in Shelbys? We get a lot of visitors on the New Jersey assembly line. But we donít get many visitors from 2011. Sorry, I canít ask more questions, because I stay pretty busy here as you can see. Did you know a few years back, they actually made a music video on the Detroit line? I donít think the guys around here would put up with that.

So, this is it . . . all Mustang production. No Cougars here like the other two plants. We just build Mustangs. The best ones Ford has to offer. We are on track to build over 100,000 cars this year and thatís including the strike. Last fall, we were off from work for over two months. There were a lot of hard feelings around here. But, I think we are over that now. I remember coming back to work and the line looked just like the day I left. The same lime green coupe at my station. Well, it did have a quarter inch of dust on it.

So you are probably wondering why this green convertible is missing a lot of parts? Itís one of those Shelby cars. We are on track to build over 4,000 of these things. They come off the line this way and then they are sent back to Detroit where they are finished. The company that finishes them was building Corvettes last year. Can you believe that? See this number right here? Itís number ď486Ē. Thatís a rotation number. It matches this build sheet. The build sheet tells us what parts to put on the car. We donít even look at the Vehicle Identification Numbers. As you can see, they are not in order. Most of the guys donít like these cars. They are loaded up with options and we donít get any extra time to do them. Personally, it doesnít matter to me, I just get to skip over them.

Did I mention I was from New York? The Yankees play the Twins tonight. I know, the Yankees havenít been doing to well the last couple years, but we can beat the Twins. We still have Mickey Mantle you know?

Do you like this little six cylinder coupe? They are pretty popular at the dealerships. Most of the cars that come down the line are six cylinders coupes or 302 / 2 barrel coupes. The other cars get all the attention like that Shelby that just went by.

This color is Acapulco Blue. Rotation number 488 . Boy, this baby is loaded. I like the fastbacks myself. Itís not really a ďYankee BlueĒ, but it sure is a pretty car. This thing is loaded. Take a look, power steering, power brakes, air conditioning and the fold down seat. Itís like having a Shelby, only much cheaper. The motors are the same you know? The same J-code engines are in these Mustangs.

I told the guys, I always get these interviews because I am so good looking. They keep telling me itís because I talk so much. I probably donít have to tell you about the election this fall. It sure looks like we are going to have Kennedyís brother as our next president. Let me tell you, we like that in the plant.

So, are you getting all this down? 490- six cylinder coupe, 491 Ėsix cylinder coupe. Thatís the way it goes all day long. There is always another Mustang on the Meutchen line. We build several hundred cars everyday. In another eight weeks we will be switching the lines over for the new 1969s. At least we wonít have to build the Shelbys anymore. They are going to build those on the Detroit line.

Rotation number 492 youíre upÖ.Letís see a six cylinder coupe! Oh look, box ďD-22Ē is checked off on the build sheet. That means this car is a sprint car. Itís a special promotional model. Yes, look here it has the chrome air cleaner. This color is Meadowlark Yellow. I have never seen a Shelby that color on the line yet. They only come in certain colors.

493 youíre on deck. Two sprint cars in a row! I have always been partial to that Lime green. Itís a very popular color now days. It reminds me of the Jets. So, you like football? I am a big football fan too. You know when your from New York, there is only one question you get asked? Do you like the Jets or Giants? I like the Jets. They are going to really strong this year. The Giants will be lucky to finish at 500. When you have Broadway Joe Namath, you can go to the Super Bowl. Thatís what they call it nowÖ.the Super Bowl.

Number 494, I like this one, no radio, no options. It makes my job much easier. This one is painted color code ďNĒ. You donít see many of these. The color is Diamond Blue. That is when the parts runners keep this bin full. If I run out of bolts, I can use these screws. The foreman said it was okay. You have to keep the line moving.

Rotation 496. Oh baby, look at you. This is the car every kid wants. Itís a red, ďGTĒ Mustang fastback. Personally, I see these red ones everyday. Not my favorite color. The only difference between this car and the Shelby is this one has all its parts when it leaves our lines.

Are you still taking notes? Letís see since you stopped by, that has been eleven cars. The first one was a Shelby and then we had a coupe, a fastback, followed by seven more coupes. Then came this beautiful red machine, pretty good, huh? I can see this line in my sleep.

Did you notice these dates on the warranty plates? They all say ď03FĒ or ď04FĒ. Thatís code for the scheduled build date. June third is ď03FĒ. Sometimes we run ahead and sometimes behind. Itís just a scheduling date. You canít really tell when the car was made by reading it. It all depends on parts availability down the lines.

The next code here is the sales ordering district. Almost all of the cars we build here go to the east coast and the southern states. You may have noticed that Shelby that went through had a longer DSO code? Thatís just a batch number, so we can keep track of them. They all go the same place, so you canít tell where the car will ultimately end up, like a Mustang.

497 has an optional hood. This one gets the turn signal lights. Not all cars have those little babies. Pardon me for a minute. Most of those Shelbys donít even get a hood until they leave the plant. Then they just throw junk or unfinished fiberglass on them. They have all the same wiring you know?

Number 500 for this rotation. Welcome to my station. Nice color. Gulfstream Aqua. I havenít seen any Shelbys this color either, absolutely gorgeous. This little coupe is probably going to be someoneís baby. Thatís new 302 motor is going to run forever. I would add a few options if I could, but I am not allowed to do that. The Shelbys are all built the same. You canít order anything special on those cars.

Here comes a convertible coming down the line. Letís see itís been sixteen cars since that Shelby went through. I did mention most of the cars are coupes didnít I? We have seen quite a few six cylinders and 302s. This one is Meadowlark Yellow. It also has the optional hood and a console. I think it will look pretty good with this new black top.

Rotation 503Ö. here we go. This little coupe is going to be in a rental fleet. The sheet says Atlanta. 504 is a lime green convertible. We are back to where we started. The difference here is this one has all its parts. Itís not like the other one. Do you want me to do the trick again? I can recite every car back to you if you like? Sorry you only got to see one Shelby. Hey, thatís the way it is on the production line. You didnít even see a 390 or a new 428CJ car during your visit.



Summary of build sheets
Rotation Number Ford Serial Number

Warranty Information

Additional Information

486

8T03J205237 76B I 6A 05F 8D2919 8 W Sent to AO Smith for conversion to Shelby specs

487

8T01T20?442 65A ? 2B 04F 25 4 W Six-cylinder Coupe, The build sheet is badly damaged

488

8T02J208772 63A D 2? 03F 38 E W Acapulco Blue 302, Power Steering and Brakes, AC, Tint, FDS

489

8T01C209272 65A ? 2G 04F 17 2 W No Radio, Power Steering

490

8T01T209216 65A I 2A 04F 17 6 1 Lime Green, Six-cylinder Coupe

491

8T01T209181 65A F 2A 04F 17 6 1 Gulfstream Aqua, Six-cylinder Coupe

492

8T01T209076 65A W 2K 04F 16 2 W Meadowlark Yellow, Sprint, Power Steering, Blk Vinyl Roof

493

8T01C209026 65A I 2A 04F 15 2 W Lime Green, Sprint, Power Steering, Blk Vinyl Roof

494

8T01T209400 65A N 2B 04F 24 4 W Diamond Blue, Six-cylinder Coupe, No Radio

495

8T01C209459 65A D 2B 04F 25 2 1 Acapulco Blue, 302 Coupe

496

8T02J209477 63A T 2D 03F 25 7 W Red GT Fastback, Power Steering and Brakes, HD Suspension

497

8T01C208590 65A I 2A 03F 15 2 W Lime green Coupe, Power Steering, Black Vinyl Roof

498

8T02T209484 65A T 2A 04F 25 6 1 Red, Six-cylinder Coupe

499

8T01T209454 65A D 2B 04F 25 6 1 Acapulco Blue, Six-cylinder Coupe

500

8T01T209279 65A F 2A 04F 17 2 1 Gulfstream Aqua, Six-cylinder Coupe

501

8T01T209467 65A M 2B 04F 25 6 1 Diamond Blue, Six-cylinder Coupe

502

8T03C208584 76A W 2A 03F 15 2 W Meadowlark Yellow, 302 Convertible, Power Steering, Black Top

503

8T01C2093?5 65A ? 2K 01F 21 2 W Rental Unit sent to Atlanta, AC, White Vinyl Roof

504

8T03C208178 76B I 2G 28F 11 2 W Lime Green, Green Deluxe Interior Convertible, Power Steering





All of the information in this story comes directly from a group of 19 build sheets found inside of a 1968 Shelby. All the cars represented in the story are real and described as they were built on June 3, 1968. A special thanks to Kevin Marti for identifying the actual build date of these cars. The photograph is from Life magazine.