-- Message Boards -- 1968 California Special Limited Edition Ford Mustang GT/CS
D I S C U S S I O N . F O R U M
1968 GT/CS & HCS
2007+ GT/CS
1966-1967 HCS


Old 06/12/2004, 12:05 PM   #1

Posts: n/a

GT/CS Future for Owners

Since the advent of my two books on the GT/CS, I feel that this marque of Mustang has certainly come of age. However, I feel that the collective thinking within the Mustang enthusuast world is that it's a "lost cousin" somewhere between '68 Shelby and '68 Mustang. As a coupe, it has some sort of mark against it from the thinking that a fastback or convertible is the preferred model type(s).

The roots of this car is the Shelby prototype "Little Red". The GT/CS is the child of a Shelby. It ALMOST became a nationwide promotion as the GT/SC (Sport coupe). "Little Red" was a real knockout, formal coupe. Ferrari red with a black vinyl top and ten-spokes, and a 427, 428CJ experimental with fuel injection. It broke driveshafts and rear axle splines, it was so powerful. So...the GT/CS ('68 HCS) heritage is secure. Few limited edition Mustangs of any year can say that today.

GT/CS production was 4117 (4118?), and '68 Shelby total production was 4451. Close production numbers, although a bit less than the Shelby.

The CS has the Shelby Automotive heritage, and simular production numbers. The CS may lack some Shelby features, and it was sold as a Ford, but the rarity, and more importantly, the owner affection for this model of Mustang DOES have an effect on value, condition and restoration.

So, how should this affect what you do with your CS? Some purists may say that ALL of them should be restored and only taken out for car shows. Others would say to drive them forever, and some may say to modify them to a resto-mod, or farther than that.

I personally cringe at the latter. Car collecting is a subjective, and personal choice. Look at the Boss 429 guys. They will buy a whole car in order to get the right tires or special battery. I've seen Shelbys with chrome and polished engines, etc..etc..

I think the way to approach how to think of your GT/CS, and what that means, is to go back to it's heritage. It's all about Southern California, Shelbys, Cobras, the beach, drag strips, and "The Doors" music. If you wish to recapture that feeling, then restore it. If you're out driving it around, I'd suggest making it as close to original as possible--since when people see it, they will see "rolling history". When you see a '57 T-Bird on the road, you expect to see it "nice", and original. If it's all jacked up with huge tires & 20" wheels, and flamed out, what's your reaction?

Since it's been so long since '68, you might want to proudly present what you have as original to impress--as if to say:
"look at me--I'm a survivor!!, and I look as good as new!!" when you pull up to that 2005 Mustang at the light. ..
  Reply With Quote
Old 06/12/2004, 12:08 PM   #2

Posts: n/a

Re:GT/CS Future for Owners

I would suggest the following "agenda" for the GT/CS and '68 HCS owners and enthusuasts:

1. Educate Mustang clubs about the GT/CS, and what it is.

2. Make car show judges, and especially ALL MCA judges become familiar my guidelines and judging rules from my 1996 Registry. It's time that whatever "stigma" exists in the minds of judges about the CS be eliminated (i.e. "oh, it's a modified", etc..).

3. Restore and show as many GT/CS and HCS cars as possible--and have a real influence on the hobby. Create a reputation that if a GT/CS (HCS) attends a show, it will be very competitive, and may win all the awards. This is why I wrote those restoration guidelines in my second book.

4. Somehow raise the bar about what it's like to own a GT/CS. Make it more desireable. This education will bring up values.

5. IF you choose to make it a daily-driver, then preserve as much of the car as possible, so that when you (or the next owner) restore it, it's already in good shape (like no rust, start a cache of NOS/repro parts, etc.)

I would like to see owners of the GT/CS and the HCS cars get more respect. Since my first book in 1988, we've all now become aware of this previously mysterious car, now let's move on to the next phase--restoration and showing these cars to rattle the Mustang world. It's not just about '65 and '66's, nor is it about late models with wings, nor Eleanor clones. This is a proven and legitimate marque of Mustang, and we need to promote it--since I've never seen so much regard and love for a Mustang of any kind as the GT/CS--based on the hundreds of letters I've received.

thanks again-- Paul M. Newitt

  Reply With Quote
Old 06/12/2004, 07:59 PM   #3
My Car Details
68sunlitgold's Avatar
GT/CS nut

Location: Alexandria, VA
Joined: Aug 02
Posts: 1,331

Re:GT/CS Future for Owners

When I read Paul's post the two things that stood out where educate and visibility. The first one will only come in time by doing the second. When we, as GT/CS owners, restore our cars and take them to drive-ins or shows we make the "California Special" visible to those that may have never seen one. Hopefully a judge is not so closed minded that he jumps to conclusions but Paul’s book can certainly set/educate them.

Visibility does not have to mean making your car concourse correct and trailering it everywhere. I remember an article in MM a couple years ago that talked about trailering versus driving a Mustang to shows. It talked about how many people ever say "I want a Model T Ford"? Most don't because the only place to see one is in a museum so they are thought of as "museum pieces” and not as something most people want to own. By driving these cars around town or to shows, they get visibility to the general public and people say “What is that” or “I want one of them”. These people are the ones not going to the shows and are the ones that need education too.

Through visibility comes education, the more we show theses cars the more questions are answered. As most of you know I can talk about these cars for hours…and I have with some of you I have had the honor to meet.

This forum is the second step in education, I consider Paul’s books step number one. Take them with you when you go to shows, let people see what the history of these cars are about. As with Shelby’s, there will always be someone out there trying to make a fake, especially once the price because a key reason. But with Kevin Marti’s reports, it has become easier to verify a car.

I would agree with Paul, restore your car, and take it out on Sundays to Church. Go to as many car shows as you can. Through visibility comes education and ultimately the respect it deserves!

68sunlitgold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/12/2004, 10:05 PM   #4
rjw's Avatar

Joined: Aug 02
Posts: 257

Re:GT/CS Future for Owners

All I can say is Amen to all of the above. I just came back from Biloxi, MS, for the MCA National. Being the owner of a California Special, it is one of the first things I look for when going to a National show. My buddy from Michigan was there with his fine specimen (he and his wife drove it down) and it was a pleasure seeing them and their car. And he and I discussed Paul's 1996 registry; he always carries it with him to shows just in case a judge has a question---which was not the case today. He is absolutely doing the five points that Paul referred to in his second post. Although I attend local shows in my area, a favorite is Sunday afternoon drives. My daughter's friends think the car is so cool and they will stop and watch us go by. Like Doug said, "Through visibility comes education..." We all can increase other's awareness by just driving (and discussing) our cars.
Happy Motoring!
rjw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/12/2004, 10:34 PM   #5
My Car Details
68gt390's Avatar
The car that became a diecast

Location: Columbus, Ohio
Joined: Feb 04
Posts: 2,021

Re:GT/CS Future for Owners

As in a previous post to Paul awhile back, I took my GT/CS to a local show here in Ohio and one individual who claimed to know Mustang in and out asked me how I came up with the idea to customize a mustang like the one he saw. I politely explained I did not customize the car, it was built by Ford. He promptly disputed that fact and I just pointed him towards the Marti Report and Pauls first book I had on display with the car. After reading the report he just shook his head and walked away. It just goes to show you can always learn something new and teaching an old dog new tricks isn't that hard. I bought my car to drive and show it and that's what I plan on doing. It will never be a "Trailor Queen".

A point of fact, I went to a Graduation Party tonight and took my GT 390 Coupe. You would not beleive the number of people who just ooood and awwwd at the car. Asking all kinds of questions. I can just imagine had it been my GT/CS. Unfortunately the GT/CS is in the engine shop at the moment.

Since pruchasing my GT/CS and becoming a member of this site, I have had the pleasure of meeting several of our members both at Nashville and again at the All Ford Nationals in Carlisle earlier this month. Several of us plan on meeting again in July 04 here in Ohio for a local 2 day show at which the Mustang will be the Marquee car.

Our local Mustang Club President has made it a point to get the word out that there will be several GT/CS's on display at that show. I have had several club members contact me just to get info on the cars stating they have never seen a GT/CS except for the pictures of my car which are posted on our club web site. That alone shows people are definitely interested in seeing these cars. I have been working very closely with several local shops to get the car completed by the July show. One local Mustang Restoration shop has even given me an original AM radio to replace the missing unit in my car. For me to say the least, July can't get here fast enough.

Don ;D ;D ;D
68gt390 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/13/2004, 09:01 AM   #6

Posts: n/a

Re:GT/CS Future for Owners

There is something quite wonderful about Mustang owners and enthusiasts. Everyone works together, and total strangers can become friends through the ownership of a GT/CS (HCS). I've been in other "hobby" groups, and the Mustangers are definately the best people. They're the type that if you're from out of town, and your car needs something, someone will go and find it.
What is nice, too, is how the SAAC (Shelby) menbers and Shelby owners are just as great to GT/CS owners. We have the best of both worlds!

On another note, I would like folks out there to "quiz" car show judges about what they know about the GT/CS. Pull them aside and pick their brain. I don't mean to sound defiant, but we need to bring out more awareness. Obviously, the public LOVES these cars, so we need to establish a separate class for them at shows outside of California, and get everyone on the same page about what this is all about.

  Reply With Quote
Old 06/13/2004, 04:11 PM   #7

Joined: Feb 03
Posts: 58

Re:GT/CS Future for Owners

I bought my GT/CS (390 'X' code) last August, drove it home from MD to NJ, then hardly drove it the rest of the year, mainly due to the rainy weather.

This year, I've already been to 3 shows (Nashville, plus 2 shows sponsered by the Garden State Region [NJ] Mustang Club). My car, which I'll descibe as a decent driver but no show queen, gets stares, positive comments, and all kinds of questions, due in large part to the fact that since these were never sold on the East Coast, most people just don't know what it is! No one has really dissed me; most people are VERY interested to know the history of the California Specials.

A fellow named Dave Zimmerman is a member of our NJ club, as well as a senior person in AACA. This coming Wednesday, at our monthly club meeting, he has asked my permission to photograph my car, because in Dave's words, "the poor guys who own GT/CS's and HCS's are getting unfairly beat up by AACA judges who don't know better!" Dave plans to take slide photos of my car to his next AACA judges' meeting to further educate them.

I'm both honored to participate in this process, and thrilled to know that Dave plans to change things for the better within AACA! (Are you reading this, Tom Elledge?) Paul, your post is so timely for me to have added this bit of news.
deestix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/13/2004, 06:09 PM   #8

Posts: n/a

Re:GT/CS Future for Owners

You might have Dave get in touch with Vincent Liska of the NJ chapter of SAAC (Shelby Am Auto Club). Vinny is a great contact! He runs the '68 and the '69 Shelby registries--and provided those diagrams of the CS in my 1996 book.

Tell whomever that I greatly appreciate the recognition for the GT/CS AND the HCS at these shows on the East coast. We don't ask for "special" (no pun) attention, just some fairness and aknowledgement as to what these cars are.

I remember back in the 1980's when the BOSS cars were lumped into the '69-73 fastback class.....and a friend of mine at a Reno show got points off for "having a hole in his hood" had a factory shaker on his senior class '70 Mach....

I've always believed that if a car show/club can afford the trophy--and if there are three or more GT/CS and/or '68HCS cars in a show that there should be a separate class for them. The '67-'68 coupe class folks kinda get nervous with a GT/CS right next to them....and it's not fair to everyone.

Thanks for the input--Paul.

So....I also offer anyone who has my books to let any judge see them, and (for this purpose only) go ahead and make copies of the concours judging pages for them. Let's get this straightened out once and for all!

Let's make this year very worthwhile for the GT/CS owners!!

  Reply With Quote
Old 06/13/2004, 06:16 PM   #9

Posts: n/a

Re:GT/CS Future for Owners

p.s. OOPS! one more thing (on my soapbox)...

Could you folks put a bug into the ear of other registrars of the many limited edition Mustang Registries to write and photograph some concours rules/guidelines to be put on file with MCA & other clubs?

Perhaps some have already done this, but this would include ones like: GT390, T-5, Twister, HCS ('66-68), Ski Country, Boss 302, 351, and 429, etc..etc..etc...

Having these on file would help judges, and therefore encourage the owners of these cars to come to shows, because they would appreciate the details and options of these production limited editions...have them concise, and in a binder at the shows for instant reference...

  Reply With Quote
Old 06/13/2004, 07:24 PM   #10

Location: Gettysburg, Pa.
Joined: Aug 02
eBay: hcsstang
Posts: 720

Re:GT/CS Future for Owners

If anybody has an extra book of Pauls I would like to purchase it and donate it to the AACA Library in Hershey. Better l
yet they could make the donation.
hcsstang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/13/2004, 09:16 PM   #11
66 Dearborn HCS

Joined: Nov 03
Posts: 170

Send a message via AIM to 66 Dearborn HCS
Re:GT/CS Future for Owners

[quote author=PNewitt link=board=1;threadid=963;start=0#msg5380 date=1087175801]
HCS ('65-67)[/quote]

Paul, you know the HCS was built starting in '66. ;)
66 Dearborn HCS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/14/2004, 03:32 AM   #12

Joined: May 04
Posts: 5

Re:GT/CS Future for Owners


Those are wise words indeed about the future of the GT/CS.

I have just bought one over here in the UK and amit up next week. It has had a Marti report done and everything checks out.

I have spoken to alot of Mustang owners about it including the Mustang Owners Club of Great Britian and they all have a genuine interest in it. it even seems like mine may be the only example of it's kind in the UK and I have had several requests to bring it to some shows this year.

I for one realise that I have something unique and will make sure that this GT/CS is treated with the respect it deserves.

WelshMustang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/14/2004, 05:16 AM   #13

Location: Gettysburg, Pa.
Joined: Aug 02
eBay: hcsstang
Posts: 720

Re:GT/CS Future for Owners

;D Congratulation on your purchase of a GTCS. By chance could you post some pictures of your car? Fun car to own.
hcsstang is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply Forums > GT/CS and HCS Forums > GT/CS and HCS Discussions

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:46 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions Inc.

This site created, owned and maintained by Jon Hanna - Copyright © 1996-2011
All rights reserved. is not affiliated with Ford Motor Company

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.