Hello and welcome to my section of this web site. Please allow me to introduce myself and tell you my life story as remembered by someone very close to me.
I am a very "special" derivation of the Ford Mustang, known as a SHELBY. I am 8T3J134576-01042, a 1968 GT-350 Convertible. I haven't always looked this pretty. Click on any picture to take in my full beauty.
I was originally shipped to Jim Aikey Ford in Des Plaines, Illinois. Life was scary there. It was filled with rude salespeople and mean mechanics and at night vandals and thieves came around. They would pry emblems and other equipment from me and my brothers. Then, when one of my brothers got sold ahead of me, those mechanics would remove things from me so they could deliver the other cars!
I ended up in the stall in front of the parts counter, with none of my proud badges left and covered with a heavy coating of dirt! I looked and felt very sad
Then the one nice salesman appeared with this customer. He had his family with him. They wanted a Mustang convertible. That's when they came to see me. It was the end of the model year, all the newer cars were arriving and the dealer was anxious to get rid of me. the boys in the family were very excited at the prospect of having me, a Shelby convertible, in their driveway. This made me feel better about my present condition. The man with the cigar (my future owner) acted as though he could care less...a very good strategy. He made an offer for me that the salesman said was out of the question. Approximately thirty days later the salesman called the man with the cigar, John Alder, to accept his offer.
All my badges were replaced and I was serviced for new car delivery. Now I have a real home!
Because I sat around so long waiting for my new owner, my gas tank got rusty and debris would constantly clog my fuel filter. Then I finally got a new gas tank...aaah! That was the beginning of many years of trouble free operation.
As part of the Alder family, I was driven by Delphine. She used me to run errands, go to the store, drop off and pick up the kids from school, etc. We had a lot of fun together. Delphine liked the way I accelerated and the sound of my exhaust. I was also used on weekends for trips to the country club to be shown off by John. Occasionally I was the proud transportation for entertaining John's special clients.
Some notable events that occurred in my life:
|June 1969||My owner's 14-year-old son had keys copied and began driving me unlicensed whenever possible.||
|July 1970||Thieves stole my air cleaner, valve covers, distributor cap and ignition wires while I was parked in the Woodfield Mall parking lot.|
|September 1970||Thieves stole my hood in front of our home in the middle of the night.|
|Summer 1970||My little brother arrives. He may be younger than me but he's a lot bigger and faster.|
|April 1971||Johnny, the son who had the keys made, is finally caught by Delphine. He was driving me around downtown Arlington Heights with his buddy Brian and with the top down of course!||
|November 1972||I was painted "candy orange" by The New Breed in Bensenville, Illinois|
|August 1974||I won a "tough" street race against a neighborhood "bully type" 1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass 350/4bbl. That doesn't sound significant except I was loaded down with 4 guys and occupying the left side of Kensington Road (a 2 laner). We were racing uphill, middle of the night, top down...just before we crested the hill I got by that Oldsmobile at about 110 mph and everyone was cheering. What a great moment!||
|September 1976||I am put into retirement and replaced by a 1970 Mustang as Delphine's primary vehicle.|
|December 1976 - February 1977||Complete exterior restoration by Johnny Grands and his faithful assistant Pete. Includes a fresh lacquer paint job applied in Lincoln Jade Green Metallic.|
|September 1980||Reunited with owner's son, Johnny, in sunny southern California where I am used to go up to San Francisco during John and Delphine's winter excursions to the west coast. Later I also made a couple of trips to Phoenix, Arizona.||
Okay, this picture's a little old but what the hell!
December 1989 -
|Long arduous task of total restoration begins. I have 95000 miles on the odometer. I get totally stripped, undercoated, painted, new interior, new top...it takes years to complete.|
|Complete front end and brake overhaul including stainless brake lines.|
|My engine and transmission are completely rebuilt, all original. My engine compartment is scrubbed and painted.|
|Almost all of the work is accomplished by Johnny...that guy that used to steal me when he was a young punk kid. A labor of love.||
A more current photo of Johnny!