The History of 1969 # 1382
by Scott A.
I am a former Shelby owner, waaaay back "in the day" so to speak, I purchased a Gulfstream Aqua 1969 GT350 (#9F02M481382) from the second owner, in Chesaning, MI (near Flint)
in the spring of 1981.... For the (then large) sum of $3300.00. The car was a ruff beat out old Michigan car since new, showing almost 114k on the ticker... 4 speed car,
non a/c, white/black interior.
Interesting history to the car, as it was given as a high school graduation present to the original owner in the spring of '69, to a Mr. Richard Rehmann, of St Charles, MI
(still alive, and i have conversed with him a couple times over the years) Rick Rehmann despised the gold accent stripes that were installed on the car when delivered
so he purchased a set of the reflective black stripes from his local Ford Dealer and had the body shop remove the gold and install the black. Now me, I think I would
have liked the gold.... (footnote--- today the car completely restored to original condition, the gold stripes are back on the car as spec'd at Shelby)
He sold the car to a local friend around 1979, but this second owner just drove the car, and a few things were needing attention and he chose to sell rather than restore the car.
I purchased the car in spring '81 and slowly began a methodical resto... Typical Michigan rust issues.... the original owner had the 1/4 panels replaced some years earlier and
it was a horrific job of an installation.... Pop rivets in the door jambs! Anyways, over the next four or five years I did the entire mechanical resto to the car, for
a few years earlier, I had worked in the body shop of a local L-M dealership, and surprisingly enough, back then there were several parts still available thru Ford for
this car... The infamous "S9MS" part number suffix!
I never really got around to straightening out the 1/4 panel issues, I merely finessed the worst issues with body and paint, made the car somewhat presentable cosmetically
but by the end of the 1980s I was tiring of the car, and had began collecting and restoring Lincolns... I had already accrued a low mileage one owner Firemist Red Metallic
1969 Mark III and a uber rare 1960 Hess and Eisenhardt Continental Mark V Limousine... (one of 34 built)... So I decided to sell the beloved Shelby.
I took the car down to Jonesboro, Arkansas for a couple years, around 1985... I was living there part time and needed wheels... I
rented a "u stow n lock" garage building there for like $65 a month if memory serves me correct.... I remember one time while I was in Jonesboro for a few days, staying
at my buddy's house, (a brand new house in a brand new suburb). I parked the Shelby right in the street in front of his house after coming home late from a nite out with friends.
Down there, and back then in the day, nobody locked their cars, and some, like me, occasionally even left their keys in the ignition. There was next to no theft issue in
Jonesboro in those days, or that I knew of.
Well, picture my car sitting out in front of this brand new house (you know where i'm going here, don't you??)..... I never even thought twice about it.... Came inside
that nite, went to bed and woke up in the morning to find the car not gone...... But moved forward about twenty or more feet from where I parked it. Upon further investigation,
I soon discovered very muddy footprints on the drivers side floor mat and dirty handprints all over the car, esp on the deck lid and rear bumper area.
As I put pieces of the puzzle together, I concluded that someone tried to start the car, but probably realized it to be too loud so they decided to push it a few lots down.....
they didn't get that far, only twenty feet or so before giving up. In the process, they must have broken one of the 5 cent cotter pins that hold the clutch linkage rod to the
clutch pedal inside the car, and the clutch pedal was buried right down to the floor. This in retrospect, basically rendered the car undriveable to my would be thieves. if
it weren't for that cotter pin breaking, my car would have been gone.
My buddy came outside that early morning, and we sat there scratching ourselves at both ends trying to put this all together.... After we both pretty much put the whole picture
together, he happened to look over his own shoulder, to his own driveway, to find his nearly NEW Eddie Bauer Bronco II GONE!! .....he left the keys in the ignition,(as we all did)
and apparently these dudes gave up on stealing my Shelby GT350, and stole his Bronco II instead.
The police were called, and they found the Bronco II that afternoon, abandoned at a nearby old gravel pit.... Filthy dirty, empty of gas but otherwise unharmed.... the kids
probably just wanted a joy ride that nite.
I put the Shelby up inside the van trailer of my big truck that fall, and brought the car back home to suburban Detroit....
In the winter of '88, spring '89, the Shelby market hadn't really taken off "great guns" yet, but i still sold the GT350 for $8900.00 I think.... I sold it to a John Larson,
of Whitmore Lake, MI.
In the ensuing year or two, the Shelby market exploded, and I heard Larson sold the car for 2x what he paid me for it.... I saw the car last, around 2000, at a SAAC
national Meet at the Ford HQ building in Dearborn.... The present owner (then) had paid $34k for the car, but the 1/4 panels had been replaced, the car had a superb paint
job, and all the floor pans had been replaced as well. But mechanically, the car had never been touched since I had done it in 1982-85. Still there was the Mallory dual
point dist, and several other touches. I had the famed Mayfair Hi-Po Shop do the motor around 1984... The 351W was punched out 030 over, 10.5 to 1 pistons, ported and
polished heads, intake and exh man, and solid lift cam and lifters and rockers installed. It was dyno'ed out at over 400 hp to the wheels back in the day... a real
screamer for a 351W.
Looking back now in retrospect twenty five years, I do indeed wish I still had that GT350.... It had issues that needed attention when I sold it, but I was way younger then and
wanted to go on to other automotive adventures....
I guess that Shelby, and my 1963 1/2 Ford Galaxie 500 R code (427 8v) fastback in Rose Beige Metallic with poverty caps and body color wheels, were the two that "got away".....
I'm glad you enjoyed my little story on my '69 Shelby.....
Thanks again for taking the time to read this.....