The Restoration of # 3453

This article was written by the car's owner, Mr Arild Thu.
It turns out to be an unsolicited testimonial, but I didn't want to edit his great story.

This is the story of our car, GT 500 KR convertible # 3453.

It was new years eve 2001 and my wife and I were watching the TV waiting to bring in the new year. My 15 year old son, Thomas, was on the computer, as always, going through who knows what. When all of a sudden he comes running out to the living room and tells my wife, Shirl and I to come and look what he has found! We reluctantly went with him and he proceeded to show us a burnt '68 Shelby GT500 KR convertible on E-Bay.

Thomas knew that this was the car of my dreams as I had always talked about, if there ever was a car it would be, a red GT 500 KR conv, black interior, black top and an Auto. ( I'm getting lazy in my old age). I told Thomas even in this state it would probably go for a lot of money. Both Thomas and Shirl encouraged me to e-mail the seller and find out more. I got in touch with the seller the next day and he told me the history of the car as he knew of it. He had lots of interest in the car. He had purchased it 2 weeks earlier in an auction from the Insurance company. That the car was previously owned by Walter Chorske of Minneapolis MN.

I then contacted Vinnie at SAAC {Shelby American Automobile Club} and had everything verified.

The car had an electrical fire in 1996 and was bought out by the Insurance company. I'm not sure about this, but was told of an article in a magazine that said the owners son was driving the car to a car show when an electrical fire started in the engine compartment. Anyways after several days of negotiating I flew to Florida, (where the car was now) and we struck a deal.

After I got the car home, the long process of restoring it started to take place. I boxed all the parts and catalogued everything, I sent the doors and misc metal in and had them acid dipped. I had the engine and transmission all rebuilt and then I detailed them. I had the the rearend checked and then detailed.

Then I started to scour the internet looking for parts (original snorkel, starter delay, heat shield, smog and all the stuff that is usually missing). This is where I met Peter Disher. We started to comunicate frequently through e-mails and Pete helped me with anything and everything that I asked of him, I was e-mailing him in Iraq. Pete would then send detailed photo's back to me (such as the one on Pete's website showing the undercarriage of where to have primer and overspray).

I labored away for the next 18 month's in my garage (with Pete's help an e-mail away) and did the complete restoration at our house (excluding the wheel alignment, new top and upholstery) including painting the car in there.

The crowning glory was in July 2004 when I took the car to the Northwest Mustang and Shelby round up in Seattle and recieved gold in the judged concourse driven class. I would never been able to bring our car back to this detail without all the help from Pete, thanks again.

This awesome photo of Arild's car was taken by Eric English. Eric is one of the best free lance photographers in the automotive industry. You have probably seen Eric's work in national magazines. A special thanks to Eric for sharing this photograph for the story.