Before reading this article, there’s something you must understand. In 2005, Wilhelm Motor Works was granted a contract to build a prototype G.T.350C for Shelby’s approval. The G.T.350Cs you see here were built while Wilhelm Motor Works held that contract and all three were to be a licensed product of the Shelby automotive family of performance cars. However, during their construction, events took place which has taken the Shelby status away from them. Those events include three lawsuits, one of which Shelby was found to have breached the contract which led to these cars being built and, because of the breach, a $250 Million dollar lawsuit thereafter. Because of this, everyone should agree that these are special cars. After all, how many cars can claim to be the cause of so large a lawsuit? In any event, these Mustang Convertibles are not being called Shelbys by anyone. This article is about when, where and why they were built which is what makes them the special cars that they are today.
We visited an incredible private museum in Glendale, AZ, packed full of Fords and FoMoCo memorabilia (and some wonderful non-car related items too). What started out as a brief “let’s stop and see what kind of Fords David Sanderson has tucked away”, turned into an all-afternoon visit - and boy was it worth the stop! We’ll take you on a brief tour here...actually, we’ll let David’s son Matt do the tour part, we just snapped the pics. Enjoy this trip back in time!
The entrance to the Museum: The main car pictured here is a 1937 Ford Coupe Street Rod with a 302 Ford engine.
The first phase of the Museum was done in 1997 and was originally built to house the few custom vehicles that David and Sue owned. This was to be a place where the cars could be kept in a climate controlled environment and out of the Arizona elements. It was also a place that they could build a tribute to the legacy of Sanderson Ford and its history.
1960 brought the start of a new decade and the after effects of the 1958 recession. American families were recovering, but still wanted something frugal, yet realistic.
Sure the Volkswagen Beetle was small and cheap, but it was underpowered and quite Spartan. Enter the Ford Falcon for 1960! Ford had jumped onto the compact car bandwagon after seeing the likes of the Rambler and Studebaker Lark perform well in the marketplace. Leave it to Ford to outshine the competition and go above and beyond with the Falcon. For the first time, Ford buyers could get a compact car that offered something for everyone. The Falcon had a wealth of cargo capacity, seating for 5 to 6 people, a variety of body styles and options; and the Ford name on its side. In a 1960 Ford publication, the question of "...is the Falcon an economy car?" is asked, to which the answer is "If by economy car you mean one that saves you substantial money - it certainly is!"
Rob McPherson finds his dream ’72 LTD, and makes it better than new.
The stunning ’72 LTD Convertible that’s gracing these pages belongs to Rob McPherson of Great Falls, Virginia. Seems Rob and this car were meant for each other, as you’ll see as you read along…
The big Ford was originally built on November 10, 1971 at the Louisville, KY plant. It was sold by Chuck Anderson Ford, of Excelsior Springs, MO, to a Ford Motor Company employee and then was taken back in on trade two years later. Chuck Anderson Ford owned the car for the next 10 years, using it in parades, and for show purposes. It was finally sold in the mid-1980s.
A world record holder 6 cylinder Mustang takes on all comers!
The Scrapper “program” began in the late ’60s on a farm in central Saskatchewan, Canada. While most racers of the day were building V8s, Norm Hess was busy stuffing a highly modified Ford 300 inline six in an early sixties Falcon. He raced the car at the local NHRA track - SIR (Saskatoon International Raceway). The car was known as “Scrapper” and raced in the H/MP class. The class was an NHRA sanctioned class for six cylinder cars back in the day.
Mark Gazzola of Vancouver, British Columbia, has one unique ’68 Ford XL!
Back in ’75 I was an impressionable youth. I was still in high school and was in the market for a set of wheels. At that time I hadn’t been totally bitten by the Ford bug, although I did tend to lean that way. I was still pretty open minded as to what type of car I might be interested in.
I told my boss I wanted to buy a car, and he told me his brother owned a used car lot on West Broadway and that he would probably give me a discount. He asked what type of car that I was interested in, so I told him maybe a Chevelle, Charger, or an XL. It just so happened that he had all three. The Chevelle was a ’69 light blue 396 SS Convertible with a light blue top. The Charger was a ’69 R/T 440 Magnum. Then of course there was the ’68 XL. They wanted $3600 for the Chevelle, which was way out of my league, and $2000 for the Charger. The only problem with the Mopar was when you opened the doors, you saw the front wheels, and when you opened the trunk, you saw the road. Not a good choice if you wanted a decent car. Then there was the XL. They originally wanted $2800 for it, but since I worked for the owner’s brother, they sold it to me for $1500. He wrote on the bill of sale, “No warranty expressed or implied due to price consideration.” I had to get my Dad to co-sign for me, and since he already owned a ’68 LTD that he had factory ordered, it wasn’t hard to convince him.
There’s a lot more than meets the eye with this ’67 Comet 202!
The Mercury Division of Ford Motor Company long utilized a stylized Mercury (the winged messenger of the gods in Greek mythology) as its symbol, and when the auto maker returned to the production of high performance cars in the early 1960s, they saw to it that their message was delivered, and fast!
Beginning with the 406 cubic-inch, 405 horsepower FE series V8 in 1962 right up to the 375 horsepower 429 Super Cobra Jet 385 series engines of the early 1970s, Mercury went toe to toe with the best Detroit had to offer both on the track and on the street. Often however, giving up a weight advantage to the competition in order to offer a more upscale vehicle to the discerning buyer. Mercury shared its high performance engine line with Ford, and though the production of Mercury muscle cars would never rival that of their Blue Oval cousins, the Division’s racing accomplishments, particularly on the drag strip in the mid 1960s, were unrivaled. Unknown at the time was how the scarcity of Mercury muscle cars would impact the collector car hobby in years to come