TITLE: Car Consumer Reports and Consumer Guide at Auto Lemon - Used Car History Check

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1968 SHELBY GT-350, GT-500, and GT-500KR

 CARS > MUSCLE CARS > 1968 SHELBY GT-350, GT-500, and GT-500KR

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1968 Shelby GT-350, GT-500, and GT-500KR

The Royal Treatment, and a King of the Road

The 1968 Shelby Cobra took styling to an even wilder realm than its facelifted counterpart of the previous year. From the more massive grille opening with its inset rectangular foglights to the broad, chrome-trimmed taillights, from the luxurious console-equipped interior to the highly visible convertible rollbar, the 1968 GT-350s and GT-500s radiated aggressiveness with a touch of elegance. Whereas the 1967 and 1968 Mustangs were nearly identical, the Shelbys of those years were wholly dissimilar.

At the onset of 1968 production, the two most outstanding changes were the introduction of the convertible model and the shift of production from California to lonia, Michigan. The convertible actually had been discussed for the 1967 line, and VIN prefixes with a C in the sixth position (instead of the F for Fastback) had been outlined in FoMoCo correspondence. But it was not until the 1968 model year that a customer could obtain an open-air Shelby.

In comparing Shelby sales figures for 1967 and 1968, the increase of 1,225 vehicles coincides remarkably with the total of 1,124 convertibles produced in 1968. The distinctive design of their roll-bars certainly added to the convertibles' appeal, and Ford's promotional efforts obviously paid off.

A number of factors led to the shift of final assembly from Shelby American's huge shop near the Los Angeles International Airport to the A. 0. Smith Company in lonia, but the main factor seems to have been Ford's desire to have it that way. Quality control problems with fiberglass body pieces were solved by shifting to a Ford-found source nearer Detroit; Shelby American's plant lease would soon expire in Los Angeles; production numbers (over 3,200 in 1967 and what would become 4,450 in 1968) required a sizable capacity and a proximity to parts; and Ford's Metuchen, New Jersey plant had become, more than San Jose and Dearborn, the assembly line most easily sourced for the Shelbys-to-be.

This evolution of Shelby manufacturing required a change in the company structure as well. Shelby American, Inc., remained a corporate entity, but its operations were split into three companies. Shelby Automotive, Inc., in Livonia, Michigan, coordinated the manufacture and sale of production cars; the Shelby Parts Company, in Torrance, California (which eventually moved to the Detroit area and became Shelby Autosports) handled the manufacture, purchase, and sale of Shelby aftermarket parts and accessories; and the Shelby Racing Company, in Torrance, continued and expanded racing activities.

 


 
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1968 SHELBY GT-350, GT-500, and GT-500KR

 CARS > MUSCLE CARS > 1968 SHELBY GT-350, GT-500, and GT-500KR


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TITLE: Car Consumer Reports and Consumer Guide at Auto Lemon - Used Car History Check

Cars Directory : Auto, Automobile, Automotive, Car, Cars, Vehicle, Vehicles, Used Cars, New Cars, Used Car, New Car Price

Site Description: Car Consumer Reports and Consumer Guide on automobile, brake, buying car, car care, car cost, car safety, cooling system, drivetrain, electrical, exhaust, emission, fluid check, fuel system, ignition system, lubrication system, suspension and steering. Offers Free VIN Check VIN check

Cars Topics: car consumer reports on automobile, brake, buying car, car care, car cost, car safety, cooling system, drivetrain, electrical, exhaust, emission, fluid check, fuel system, ignition system, lubrication system, suspension and steering.