Friday, November 20, 2009

My uncles 1968 GT500KR...long gone but not forgotten!


The above car is a picture I found on the internet, I never got a picture of the car in my story for some reason.


During the early 1980’s when I was 15 years old my uncle hooked me up with a job at his boat dealership washing and prepping new Sea Rays for delivery.

It was a killer job that paid way above minimum wage and I worked with some college age guys that I was incredibly fond of.

One of the guys had an old Mustang coupe that was nothing special, but he did get drunk one night and drove it through a fence and it ended up in a swimming pool.

Funny thing about that pool was that it belonged for one of the most famous baseball players of all time who is associated with New York but was living in Dallas.

Working at that place I got exposed to a lot of famous people and got to see a lot of high dollar cars come in and out of the place.

At the time I had my 1969 GTO Judge. It was an early Judge with the Ram Air III option, no A/C, and a Muncie 4 speed. A local guy who became a legend latter in the Texas Pontiac scene (he became known for his early 60’s 421 Pontiac that he would drag race all the time) was in on the motor build for that GTO when it needed freshening up and I was running some stout 4:56 gears in the car so needless to say it was a pretty tuff ride.

At my high school there were two guys who were faster than I was and I never bothered to race them (they were older than I was but always cool to me) because I knew it would be pointless and they would only street race and were not interested in going to the track. I pretty much knew if I got busted street racing (even though my Dad had been a street racing hood in the late 50’s early 60’s) that if I got caught that would be the end of my hot rodding.

One had a mean 455 powered 1968 442 and the other guy had a Vega wagon (in a god awful green) that was sporting a 454 big block Chevy. They were fast.

I made a mistake in saying something about these cars to my direct “boss” at the dealership one day and he kept harping on me about being a chicken and so on and so forth. He will play into this story in a minute.

My uncle one day rolled in the dealership with his newest purchase and when I saw it the thing took my breath away.

It was a 1968 GT500KR ragtop in Highland Green with a white top and a black interior. The only thing that did not thrill me about the car was it was an automatic.

That being said I had always had a love for Shelby stuff. I still remember as a little kid meeting Mr. Shelby and falling in love with a black and gold Hertz GT350. As I grew older my first Shelby love shifted to the 1967 GT350’s and 500’s because that was the year I was born in.

I got to sit in that car, but for some reason I never got to drive it. When ever my uncle had any other cool rides I often got the car washing duty (I guess because he knew I would not mess it up) and got to drive his various rides like 280ZX’s and so on…but never that Shelby.

The shop manager I mentioned always moved it around.

This shop manager also had the attitude that because the car was a Shelby is was automatically faster than “my clown car orange Goat.

He always was busting my balls about that car. I finally said “why don’t you drag the ‘vert out and bring it on, and while you are at it put your money where you mouth is.”

So my poor uncle never knew that this guy took me up on this offer. He never knew this guy took his prized Shelby out onto Royal Lane in Dallas, and he never knew how bad the car got spanked.

I freaking destroyed that car. TWICE.

That ol’ Judge would almost lift the front tires off the ground when I got on it hard, that Shelby could not get the edge on me.

Oh, and when we were done guess who would not pay up. Yeah, chump manager man.

That being said, beating that car never diminished my love for it.

I really was taken by that car.

I will never forget it.

I have always wanted a 1967 Shelby. I have also always wanted a Highland Green 1968 Fastback Mustang “Bullitt” clone.

I could sell all my cars and maybe get a Shelby, but I could never live with myself if I did.

That GTO was replace by my 50 Merc and I have had the car so long that even though I am sorta bored with it and threaten to sell it all the time I never will. It is part of the family.

I could never sell the 32’s I have either. Especially my coupe considering its history and how attached I am to it.

I really would like to have a late model Shelby too, but if there is one last car that I could ever have in my lifetime it would be a vintage Shelby Mustang.

I am afraid that is probably the one dream I have that will never happen.

I also will always regret not getting to drive the 68 GT500KR.

Ah well, such is life.

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