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Old 09/13/2006, 11:41 AM   #1
PNewitt
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Why is there still confusion about the GT/CS?

I wanted to open up discussion about the actual "image" of the GT/CS. There are many owners that feel that their CS has received both instant attention, and yet, a "stigma" for not "being a real Shelby". Despite my efforts with the books in 1989 and 1996, and how each individual owner has "speaed the word" at car shows, or in public (like while getting gas, going to the store, etc.)--there seems to still be this question mark in the general public's mind. Even within the Mustang hobby, many folks don't know about this unique Mustang--and I think some even give it a stigma, because they are more into Mustangs than Shelbys (i.e."well, who do think they are with that Mustang with Shelby parts on it?").

I can tell you (IMO) that, in a historical context, the '68 GT/CS "is more Shelby" than the continuation cars being made today (those cars wouldn't have the following that they have if one hadn't been in a movie). It's about media. If a GT/CS was featured in a movie, or major media event, the perception, interest and values would change overnight.

What I'm getting at, is I'd like to hear what you think about all of this. It's been over about 30 years since the Mustang hobby really took off in the late 70's, and there is still this confusion. Is it jealousy from the basic Mustangers? Does it take attention away from "pure" Mustang, or what? The Shelby folks like them. (IMO) SAAC supports the GT/CS more than MCA does (am I wrong?). I have documentation that lists the "Calif. Mustang" project right next to the development and production specs of the '68 Shelby--on the same page in A.O. Smith and Shelby Automotive paperwork.

I'd like to shake this out, and get to exactly why this is. We have a member who is an original owner of a 428CJ GT/CS, that had to contend with years of people asking him "why did you get a GT/CS"?

If Ford felt that the GT/CS was a viable marque to get back into production, then why can't more people understand just how special our cars are?

Thanks for your input,

Paul N.
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Old 09/13/2006, 12:40 PM   #2
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Paul- I think you hit the nail on the head when you said "Even within the Mustang hobby, many folks don't know about this unique Mustang--and I think some even give it a stigma, because they are more into Mustangs than Shelbys (i.e."well, who do think they are with that Mustang with Shelby parts on it?").
I think many people just don't know enough about the GT/CS and they just pass it off as a regular Mustang that someone put Shelby parts on. At least I think that's what they do over here on the east coast. I would hope it's a little different on the west coast cause there are so many more out there. But I still think that people just don't know the rarity of our "special" mustangs.
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Old 09/13/2006, 12:50 PM   #3
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I would have to agree with luvmycs. Here in the midwest, folks do not have a clue as to what the car is. However, since there were little more than 100 sent to the midwest when new, I have always passed it off as "not knowing about the car".

I have not felt that anyone has ever looked down their nose at me or my car. They first approach and say either "I have never seen one of those before" or they say "I have only heard about this car but have never seen one up close". A few more folks say "what did you do to that 68 mustang by adding all the Shelby or Cougar stuff". Most of these folks you have to pass off as not true mustang lovers but someone who is uninformed.

I would have thought that the situation would have been different in California. That more folks would have known more about the car and have followed the car throughout the years.

It is great to tell the story. Once folks get the story, all of them say "well, cool" and "I really like the looks of this car".

I don't know if that answers any of your questions Paul. Just trying to tell you from a midwest prospective.

Paul

GT/CS sold to "PonyGal" for trip back home to California
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Old 09/13/2006, 01:23 PM   #4
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Perhaps some stigma may be derived from the fact that our beloved GT/CS did not automatically come with any performance upgrades like a Shelby or a GT (although one could've ordered GT option on the CS).
I guess to the muscle car enthusiasts, the more "fuel-economical" CS optioned Mustangs were not highly desirable, so maybe that's where some of the criticism comes into the picture ... but I don't agree with any mustangers that look down their noses at the CS simply because they're not familiar with them, and because they may even have an attitude about their knowledge ... but sometimes the car-hobby seems to attract those kinds of people ... you just can't let them get to you, just smile at them and try to help them out ...

"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astonish the rest." - Mark Twain
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Old 09/13/2006, 03:39 PM   #5
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I appreciate Paul's answer. Every part of the country will have a different personal experience. I asked, in what might seem like a harsh, or confrontive manner; not to come across that way, but to shake out some different answers.

I want to write my foreward to the book in a realistic way, and not falsely "talk it up". Sure, we don't have a Shelby--as such, but we have a very unique Mustang....and the Mustang, all these years is special all in it's own, from '65 6cyl, to a Boss 429.

I can appreciate the 6 cyl. CS with wire wheel covers and whitewalls, as well as the one with a blower, ten-spokes, and four speed. EACH of these cars is so unique in their own way. They also reflect YOUR personal style, too. When you see the data we got from Marti, you'll see just how unique each and every CS really is. It's almost down to "one of" a particular color, engine, options--per DSO. You'd be hard-pressed to find five exactly similar cars.

thanks for your responses...

Paul N.
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Old 09/13/2006, 03:55 PM   #6
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Mostly I think it has to do with the fact that not everyone is as educated as some of us hard core car guys and girls. I mean educated car wise.
My mom would fit into this category, she sees cars as just being red or blue or silver.

I have been a Cougar guy for over 12 years. I have a 1969 XR7 with a ram air 428 engine. It is a four speed with the W code 4.30:1 ratio rear end or drag pack option making it a Super Cobra Jet. Mustang and Fords mentioned a few years ago that since they never saw one they probably didn't exist. Mustang guys have looked at my car at Fab Fords Forever and said that only the Mustang got the SCJ engines.
Why did I put an oil cooler on my car and call it a Super CJ?

Eliminators, XR7-G, and GT-E owners all feel the same stigma as Ca Specials too.

There are lots of special edition car models that most people on the streets have never heard about. Just a few off the top of my head to illustrate my point. Grand Nationals and the bad boy GN-X from Buick, Cyclone and Typhoon from GMC, Maverick Stallion in 1976, Gran Sport option on Rivieras in the 60's (could have been ordered with factory dual quads). What about the ASC Maclaren Mustangs and Capris in the 1980's? Anyone remember those?
Saleen is kind of well known now, but what about in 10 -15 years?

Had a friend that had a Shelby Dakota convertible truck. He finally just caved in and just agreed with anyone that asked if he 'customized' it himself.

Heck, on my 1969 Cougar most people guess that it is either a Mustang or Buick.

Scott Behncke
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Old 09/13/2006, 04:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CougarCJ
Mostly I think it has to do with the fact that not everyone is as educated as some of us hard core car guys and girls. I mean educated car wise.
My mom would fit into this category, she sees cars as just being red or blue or silver.

I have been a Cougar guy for over 12 years. I have a 1969 XR7 with a ram air 428 engine. It is a four speed with the W code 4.30:1 ratio rear end or drag pack option making it a Super Cobra Jet. Mustang and Fords mentioned a few years ago that since they never saw one they probably didn't exist. Mustang guys have looked at my car at Fab Fords Forever and said that only the Mustang got the SCJ engines.
Why did I put an oil cooler on my car and call it a Super CJ?

Eliminators, XR7-G, and GT-E owners all feel the same stigma as Ca Specials too.

There are lots of special edition car models that most people on the streets have never heard about. Just a few off the top of my head to illustrate my point. Grand Nationals and the bad boy GN-X from Buick, Cyclone and Typhoon from GMC, Maverick Stallion in 1976, Gran Sport option on Rivieras in the 60's (could have been ordered with factory dual quads). What about the ASC Maclaren Mustangs and Capris in the 1980's? Anyone remember those?
Saleen is kind of well known now, but what about in 10 -15 years?

Had a friend that had a Shelby Dakota convertible truck. He finally just caved in and just agreed with anyone that asked if he 'customized' it himself.

Heck, on my 1969 Cougar most people guess that it is either a Mustang or Buick.
... it's just like I said earlier: ... you just can't let them get to you, just smile at them and try to help them out ...

"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astonish the rest." - Mark Twain
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Old 09/13/2006, 06:42 PM   #8
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In the south SF Bay area I'd estimate that about 50%+ of the people I meet that care anything about classic cars (meaning anyone who actually asks me about the car) have heard of the Cal Special. No one has ever made any disparaging remarks. In fact, in this "land-of-the-Beemer" I get more double takes and thumbs up than folks even driving Ferraris (Instance where I was at a stoplight next to a Testarossa with an open lane in between. Fellow pulls up between us, rolls down his window and starts talking to me about the Cal Special). People seem relatively clued in. But maybe all this isn't so surprising as I live only ~12miles from the GT/CS birthplace in Milpitas.

The world stands aside to let anyone pass who knows where he is going.
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Old 09/13/2006, 11:41 PM   #9
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Even here in SoCal I have heard remarks like..."Why would anyone do that to a Mustang?" Said by a man who was standing right next to me as I was seated near the rear of my car ...(I never said anything as how could I, a female, be the owner?) But his wife cooly said....It came off the factory line like that! I just smiled at her.

Others have told me I have a nice Thunderbird or Cougar. Duh.

My GT/CS was my first car, still have it 43 years later. Paid $800. Featured in the May 1998 issue of Mustang Illustrated.
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Old 09/13/2006, 11:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p51
In the south SF Bay area I'd estimate that about 50%+ of the people I meet that care anything about classic cars (meaning anyone who actually asks me about the car) have heard of the Cal Special. No one has ever made any disparaging remarks. In fact, in this "land-of-the-Beemer" I get more double takes and thumbs up than folks even driving Ferraris (Instance where I was at a stoplight next to a Testarossa with an open lane in between. Fellow pulls up between us, rolls down his window and starts talking to me about the Cal Special). People seem relatively clued in. But maybe all this isn't so surprising as I live only ~12miles from the GT/CS birthplace in Milpitas.

P51~~ I was only 3 miles from the house on my way to Grass Valley for the GTCS BBQ a few weeks ago and a new Jaguar Convertable rolled up next to me at a stop light and asked me if I wanted to trade straight across. Made my day as I told him NO! With a smile of course.

~~~~Donna

My GT/CS was my first car, still have it 43 years later. Paid $800. Featured in the May 1998 issue of Mustang Illustrated.
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Old 09/14/2006, 01:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel Donna
P51~~ I was only 3 miles from the house on my way to Grass Valley for the GTCS BBQ a few weeks ago and a new Jaguar Convertable rolled up next to me at a stop light and asked me if I wanted to trade straight across. Made my day as I told him NO! With a smile of course.

~~~~Donna
Donna

The interesting thing in my neck of the woods is the wide variance in what people think the car is worth. For a ~$20K car I've heard anything from $10K to $60K guesstimates. The impression I get is that the high end comes from folks that recognize the Shelby-ized features (because they comment on it) or are from the "more dollars than sense" crowd.

James

Opps. Didnt mean to get *too* chatty here. Must watch out for the thread police. Gotta stay technical...

...ummm...WD40, DUCT TAPE, WINGNUTS!...

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Old 09/14/2006, 06:25 AM   #12
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Since obtaining my CS I've had all kinds of reactions. I actually had one gentleman at a local show ask me how I got the idea to customize my mustang that way. When I told him it came off the factory line that way, he boldly stated, I know mustang like the back of my hand and they've never made a mustang like that. I just smiled, handed him a copy of Paul's registry and a copy of my Marti Report. Once he was done reading, he just shook his head handed the material back to me and walked away.

There are a few even hear in the Central U.S. who do know what these cars are. I had a young man at one show as we were parking the car actually state to several other folks with him " that is one rare M_ _ _ _ _ F_ _ _ _ _!"

Others have even stated I've heard of them and seen pictures in a book but, this is the first GT/CS I've ever seen in real life.

It's kinda ironic in the fact that every time I go to JEG's to pick-up parts, someone always ask - aren't you afraid to drive your car on the street for fear someone might hit it or you might wreck it. I simply tell them if I felt that way about the car I wouldn't have it in the first place. That's the fun part of the whole deal is being able to drive it and let others see it. As long as I own it she will be on the street every chance I get.

Don

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Old 09/14/2006, 01:23 PM   #13
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These stories are great to hear! When I lived in San Diego, I had a '66 GT-350 owner call the GT/CS "a good wife car". GRRR!

I can understand how the public today isn't up to speed on all the limited editions. It's like those who don't know what an LP record, or 8-track is, or missed half or more of the jokes and sounds in Austin Powers (like the "In Like Flint" soundtrack phone ring).

Anyway--here are some numbers:

Production (not incl. prototypes) '68 Shelby: 4451 , GT/CS 4118 (92% of '68 Shelby production)

Compliance with Registry: '68 Shelby @ 50% , GT/CS 34%

So, just as a thumbnail estimate, it looks like a 16% difference in compliance for both models. For the GT/CS, that's about 658 cars vs. the Shelby (SAAC).

Now, this doesn't include the great unknown of how many GT/CS cars are out there unregistered (and to weed out the clones).

It's possible that from the 4118 made, minus 1200 = 2918, or about 3000 cars are unaccounted for. That's a lot. If "half" of all GT/CS cars are "gone", then that would be a 58% compliance to the registry.

This will require some more statistical analysis (and educated guessing) to get the a better number, but my point is that if the GT/CS production was 92% of the '68 Shelby, then why do more people know about the '68 Shelby than the CS? Is it because sales of the CS were west of the Mississippi?

Anyone have any theories?

thanks--Paul N.
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Old 09/14/2006, 01:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNewitt
...then why do more people know about the '68 Shelby than the CS? Is it because sales of the CS were west of the Mississippi?

Anyone have any theories?

thanks--Paul N.
That's a good theory. How about since the GT/CS was only made for 1 year (making it rare) vs 6 years of Shelby Mustangs ('65 - '70) that is another reason for greater familiarity (more exposure) ... maybe that's another "common linK' among many theories: exposure ...

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Old 09/14/2006, 02:34 PM   #15
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by p51
Opps. Didnt mean to get *too* chatty here. Must watch out for the thread police. Gotta stay technical...

...ummm...WD40, DUCT TAPE, WINGNUTS!...
Since you forgot to mention "Bailing Wire", and "Anti-stall Dashpot", we're sending Officer "Thayer R. Nun" from the Technical Thread Police over to question you. He may be delayed from a visit over at Rhonda's.

(Rhonda: "what da..???")

LOL, James.

Paul N.
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