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Old 11/25/2005, 11:40 AM   #3
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'66 Convert., '00 GT Convert., '36 Ford, '07 Shelby GT-H Convt.

Location: Crystal Lake, IL
Joined: Oct 04
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Posts: 1,450

Paul's first book, and his research for it, does a great job of explaining the Shelby influence on the California Special.

1. The CS was inspired by the Little Red coupe prototype Fred Goodell of Shelby American had built and displayed.
2. Shelby decided not to build it. Lee Grey from CA dealerers association saw it at Riverside, and took the idea to Iacooca to do a CS for california. Iacocca contacted Carroll and had Little Red shipped to Dearborn. Ford approved the CS to be made.
3. Shelby Automotive was directed to build the CS prototypes (Paul has copies of the blueprints) and later contracted (via A.O. Smith) to make the 'shelby' parts for it.
4. The GT/CS is the only non-Shelby built vehicle in 68 to use Shelby parts.
5. 1968 advertising was "Inspiration by Shelby GT" (dealer brochure), "Inspired by the Shelby GT" (dealer post card), "The GT/CS design was obviously influenced by the 1968 Shelby Cobra" (Motorocade 1968 magazine)

Paul notes in his book that Shelby did not have direct influence on the GT/CS, though his chief engineer, Fred Goodell, and Shelby American/Shelby Automotive did have direct influence. I tried contacting Carroll last summer unsuccessfully to ask him about his rememberances of the GT/CS - I hope to catch him again this summer at a show.

I tend to tell people at shows that Shelby developed the coupe, and Ford built it. But I dont misrepresent the involvement of Carroll himself - it was Shelby Automotive/Shelby American.

As an aside, it has been argued by Shelby purists that any Shelby after 1967 was not a "true" Shelby because Carroll starting distancing himself from FORD when Shelby Automotive was moved from LA to MI. This view may also be held of the GT/CS, but is no less true than the Shelbys that FORD was building from 1968 on.

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