PROBABLY THE LOWEST MILEAGE SHELBY GT500 IN EXISTENCE!!!
LAST REGISTERED IN 1979
FEATURED IN "MUSCLE CARS OF THE 60'S/70'S LEGEND SERIES" SEPT/OCT 1990!
This is a well-known and thoroughly documented Shelby GT 500 that raced in period in the Super-Stock F-Automatic (SS/FA) class. First purchased by Tom Mattingly; it was to be used solely for racing. The Shelby was bought from Jerry Alderman Ford in Indianapolis, Indiana. The car saw limited street use for a few months before it was converted for exclusive dragstrip use.
Mattingly did the driving while his mechanic, Jeff Yeager, handled fine-tuning the car to extract its maximum performance. The Shelby GT 500 performed respectably, turning times in the 12-second range consistently. King Cobra’s best quarter-mile time is recorded as 11.68 seconds. The duo did a fine job in developing the 428-cid V-8 powered car by refining new limits each time out through experimentation with tires, wheels, suspension tuning and carburetor settings.
The cars dragstrip career lasted numerous action-packed seasons with Y & M Automotive (Yeager and Mattingly), Alderman’s Ford (the original selling dealer), Gunderson’s Speed Shop and Garv’s Head Service as sponsors. Mattingly named his car “King Cobra” and primarily competed at Indianapolis Raceway Park in nearby Clermont, Indiana.
The car was sold in 1973 to Stan Sherman of Canoga Park, California. He exhibited and showed the car as “Poon Tang 1” for several years, using his business, Sherman’s Speed Shop, as a natural tie-in. He last registered the car in 1979, and then offered the Shelby for sale in 1986 after returning the car to street trim. It was acquired two years later by Larry Gonzales of Redlands, California when he traded a 1974 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow for the car.
Mr. Gonzales kept the car in storage for about seven months, when it was “rediscovered” by Mike Scott, owner of Corvette Corrections in Anaheim, California. Mr. Scott then restored the Shelby back to its glory day’s presentation as the “King Cobra” circa 1970, having made small allowances to improve its streetability. Amazingly, Tom Mattingly had moved to Southern California and now lived only a short distance from “his” car.
When totally and professionally restored, the Shelby was made street legal, but it is still nearly as strong as when it was a full-fledged drag car. Since it spent many active years on the dragstrip, the Shelby has accumulated few miles. The mileage on the odometer is 1,420 (A quarter mile at a time!) and is thoroughly documented through the life of this amazing car to be original!!!
Many hours of research and effort went into putting the car back to the “King Cobra.” Vintage photographs, many personal recollections and assistance from some who worked with Mr. Mattingly all contributed to this fine effort. The car was featured in “Cars and Parts Magazine” Legend Series in the September/October issue of 1990.
The car is powered by its 428-cid, 360-hp 4V CJ engine with Ram Air and mated to a C-6 automatic transmission. The Shelby is also equipped with a Traction-Lok differential. Other options ordered on this car, according to its Deluxe Marti Report, are Sport Deck rear seat, Visibility Group, AM radio, Deluxe Belts, Tachometer, power steering and power brakes with front discs.
Competition-type modifications were limited and include an extra oil cooler, electric fuel pump and the relocation of the heavy-duty battery to the car’s trunk. After many years of search, even the mag-style wheels were found that matched those used originally on the “King Cobra.”
This is a rare opportunity to acquire a thoroughly documented piece of musclecar performance history that truly represents the era and all of the fine memories that come with it. This very important Shelby would be welcome at vintage drag racing events as well as shows and exhibitions of all types. We're quite certain you'll never find another Shelby of this provenance, history, and caliber. It will be an important addition to any collection.
PLEASE CALL US AT 954-958-0000 WITH ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS CAR OR OUR TRADE-IN POLICY