The First 1968 Shelbys

The 1968 model year started in August of 1967. This was to allow enough time for the cars to be built for a fall unveiling. In September of 1967, Meutchen assembly plant in New Jersey supplied AO Smith with a handful of "new" 1968 Mustangs. These Mustangs would become the first 1968 Shelbys produced. All of these cars were Sunlit Gold in color.

The United Auto Workers went on strike in September of 1967. Unfinished Mustangs sat idle for weeks in all three Mustang assembly plants. Full scale Shelby production would not start for another two full months (November 1967).

While it's true we don't know exactly which one of these cars was "first", we do know all have an interesting history. It appears they were all used as engineering test vehicles. Upon completion of the testing, they were returned to stock specifications and sold as used cars. Factory paperwork sometimes refers to these cars as "pre-production" or "pilot cars". I am aware of a sixth car, but there is not enough information to post at this time.

I have been able to track down the histories of four of these cars. As more information becomes available about pilot cars, it will be added to this page.

A pilot GT350 Convertible: 8T03J110577-00301

A pilot GT350 Fastback: 8T02J110578-00339

A pilot GT500 Fastback: 8T02S110575-00041

A pilot GT500 Convertible: 8T03S110576-00056

A pilot GT500 Fastback: 8T02S113607-00101