La voiture d'exposition de Paris

juste temps





1/14/2011

A special thanks to my friends in France that assisted with this article.

The 1968 Paris Show Car-
Just in time

For the past the couple of years, I have been pursuing information on the very early 1968 Shelbys. One interesting car has been on my list. It was a vehicle referenced on a piece of factory paperwork as the "Paris Show Car". I now believe there may have been as many as ten cars built before regular production of 1968 Shelbys started in late November of 1967. These cars were used for crash tests, prototyping and various promotional purposes. These pre-production or "pilot" cars also had a series of unique physical features.

In the summer of 1967 the GT40 had scored its second consecutive win at LeMans. Ford of France was eager to display the new 1968 Shelby Mustangs. A series of telegrams detailed the request for a new GT500 to be displayed at the "Salon de L' Automobile". These records also show a GT350 was substituted as a last minute replacement. This car was delivered to Orly International Airport (near Paris, France) on September 30, 1967.

The GT350 arrived just days before the opening of the show. "Juste temps" as they say in France.



The 54th Paris Auto Show was held October 5-15th, 1967.







This article was found on French car forum (www.autodiva.fr). It is dated November 1967, a couple of weeks after the Paris Auto Show. The English translation tells us everything we need to know about a car described as "chassis one":

Arriving specially by plane, carrying the chassis number 1, this 1968 Shelby has a motor of 5 liters ( 302 ) developing 310 Horsepower, weighing 1.325 kg ( 2920 lbs ), maximum speed 220 km/h ( 137 mph ) The general features even more differentiate it from that of a Mustang, in fact, a car with prestige, that can be equipped like this one, has the automatic transmission and air conditioning (additional $ 639 USD) the brakes are reinforced. It sells for $ 46 500 Francs ( $8485.00 US Dollars in 1968) by Inter-Sport, which also announces marketing a convertible Shelby GT500.

The US base retail price for a GT350 fastback was $4117.00

What's interesting is the car is described as "chassis 1". The 1968 Shelby with serial number 00001 has been located and it does not appear to be the same car. According to the information recently uncovered the car serialized as number one was a 4 speed car without air conditioning. That car was built after September of 1967. So which car is this? I suspect I know the answer, but still need one more clue for final confirmation.







This picture reveals some never before seen details of an early car, like lanyards on the hood pin fastners. It was previously thought early cars had rocker stripes similar to the 1967s. However, these are clearly 1968 rocker stripes.



The Shelby American Automobile Club collects information on all Shelbys and is currently in the process of publishing a new World Registry describing the history of these cars. For more information contact the club directly.

Hopefully, the history of the "Paris Show Car" will soon be added to the new Registry. . . juste temps, as they say in France.