Al Rogers, writing for HotRod.com, shared a very interesting story worth retelling. It’s about a “snake in the grass” that he was so delighted to find.
Al was in Georgia for an assignment to document a particular Thunderbolt restoration when he was told of a piece of yard art just a distance from the upholstery in which they’re heading. He was forewarned though that what he’s about to see might either surprise or disgust him. “As we got closer, I had to strain for a closer look, then rocked back in my seat as the object threw me for a loop. In my wildest dreams, I could not have prepared myself for the sight before me,” Al said. In front of him was a noticeably lime green 1967 Shelby G.T. 500 overrun by foliage to the extent that it already took the engine bay. It was also missing the hood and the plants were kind enough to cover it as if it was embarrassed by the Shelby’s lack of decency. “One can imagine how the sight had my head spinning with curiosity, and questions about how a 1967 Shelby G.T. 500 could end up parked in a yard rotting away into the earth,” Al said in amazement.
Al soon found out that the ‘snake on the grass” belongs to the brother of the upholstery shop owner to which they are headed to. According to the shop owner, his brother has parked the car on that exact spot for more 20 years. Pointing on mounted picture he said, “Back in 1967 it was the Crazy Horse drag car raced by Wayne Blackwood and owned by Casey Paul Ford in Cumming, Georgia. They owned and sponsored the Shelby as it made the rounds at local drag ways throughout Georgia and the southern region.”
The shop owner also said that prior to the launch of the new 1968 G.T. 500, a certain Casey Paul Ford owner of a local dealership and having connections at Carroll Shellby Motors told him that he can get all the updated ’68 parts so his brother’s 67 Shelby can be transformed to the ‘cosmetically correct’ ’68 model. Casey Paul Ford saw this as an opportunity to be at the head of the pack so to speak by being the first to have one in his showroom.
The shop owner was kind enough to give Al permission to take pictures of the Shelby. The owner said, “Go ahead, go for it. I don’t have a problem with it—my brother has given me permission to allow certain people, to get a closer look.” In return, Al gave the shop owner the assurance that he will not disclose his identity or that of his brother, explaining to him that he was driven to his shop without knowing its exact address or location. “To this day, I do not know the address and going back to the exact location is totally out of the question,” Al said.
After getting his pictures, Al was further indulged by the shop owner on the circumstances on how the car ended up in his front yard. “My brother purchased the Shelby over 30 years ago from a storage yard where it had been taken by the local authorities. The car had been stolen, then recovered and taken to the storage yard while the owner was contacted to pick it up. Time passed, but no one showed up at the holding yard to make a claim and pay the storage bill. Working with the local authorities, my brother purchased and transported the car here in my place,” the shop owner shared.
There were initial plans to restore the GT 500 back to way it originally looked when new, as evidenced by many genuine Ford parts still in their original wrappers sitting placed for safekeeping on the front and rear floorboards. Furthermore, as Al observed, the driver and passenger-side doors appeared to have been repaired earlier while the front and rear seats were also removed similar to the missing hood. “I was further amazed to see a 427 cubic-inch engine block with a crank and camshaft resting on the driver’s side floorpan surrounded by a set of pistons and other engine parts for the Shelby,” Al continued.
Al shared some fascinating turn of events in the story of this “snake in the grass”. You may find the rest of his story by clicking on the link below. Here are more pictures of this great find courtesy of Al.