'Barn find' Shelby GT500 going to auction | Top Gear
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'Barn find' Shelby GT500 going to auction

To restore or not to restore? That is the question…

Published: 02 Apr 2019

Don’t tell us you haven’t had that dream. You’re travelling along the backroads of America, winding your way through country roads, and poking out the front of a disused barn is an icon of motoring – a true, unused and untouched classic just waiting for you to save it.

Well, for a lucky few that dream becomes a reality. Take the car you see above. The iconic shape and cobra badging will tell you that it’s a Shelby GT500 Fastback, but it looks a little rough around the edges to say the least doesn’t it?

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That’s because this car’s previous owner parked it up in a Texas barn at some point during the 1970s and then, for reasons only they will know, left the little ‘Stang to dwell. 

Thankfully, it was finally rescued by a man named Amos Minter in the mid-2000s and has since had all of its oily bits brought back to life. However, to protect its unique story, the battered and weathered exterior has been left on full display – those are even the original tyres from back when it was first sold in 1968. What a look.

Now, we’re not saying every classic should live its life without being restored, but there’s something pretty magical about one of the best-looking muscle cars ever made proudly showing off how it triumphed over the adversity of abandonment.

The Shelby GT500 is a legend. It was born in 1967, when Ford enlarged the Mustang’s engine bay in order to fit their Big Block V8. However, this gave Shelby the space to squeeze in the even bigger Police Interceptor V8 – making a hefty-for-the-time 360bhp. They also added new rear lights, that small ducktail spoiler, some heavy-duty suspension and a twin-scooped hood to differentiate their muscle car from the riff-raff in standard Mustangs. 

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Production was limited to just 1,020 GT500 Fastbacks in 1968 though, so this truly was an iconic barn find. Now though, the car is up for sale in the exact condition you see above. Lot number R225 will go under the hammer (with no guide price) at the Mecum Indy 2019 auction in May. 

So, if you were the lucky buyer would you go for a full restoration or just put a bit more air in those tyres and be done with it? Let the arguments begin…

Images: Mecum Auctions

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