The "Lost" History Of # 301

Below is the story of my car, I've owned it since 1972,it was my brother's car before he lost his life. I had no idea the car had such history to it. Mr Peter Disher did the research on my car and located me in NC. He has my story on his website I have had offers from many people wanting to purchase this car, but as long as I'm alive the car will be mine and I will keep driving it as long as I am able to drive it. I hope you enjot the story and thanks for reading it.

Randy Cantrell's

'68 Shelby GT350 Convertible

The "Lost" History of # 0301

Every car has a history. Some are good and some are not so good. Some turn out to be quite surprising . . . and every once in a while, the pieces of the big Shelby production puzzle start to fit together.

The Shelby America Automobile Club (SAAC) has been working on the puzzle for a long time. So, as you can imagine, most of the pieces have been layed down.

Sometime ago, I recieved a copy of several handwritten memos in a batch of papers. These papers are part of the Shelby American Automobile Club's collection.

I found one memo quite interesting. The memo was dated November of 1967. It was four pages of notes about the GT350 Convertible "show car" being sent to the Hertz Corporation. The 1968, Hertz cars are documented in the 1997 Shelby American World Registry. The vast majority of the cars were GT350 fastbacks with automatic transmissions and air conditioning. So, I was quite surprised to see a memo about a 4spd convertible. Unfortunately, the serial number was not identified.

I pulled out my registry to look for the possible serial number. Hmmm, that's odd, I thought. No GT350 convertibles listed for Hertz. I knew, I was on to something very special. That was if I could figure out which car it was. Unfortunately, I was running out of clues fast.

I emailed the Shelby Club's 1968 Registar, Vinny Liska. I asked him if he knew anything about the convertible Hertz show car? He stated he did not. [Note: This in itself is very unusual. Vinny is one of the chief puzzle solvers]. I combed the Registry looking for GT350s sent to New York. Production of 1968 Shelbys began in December, 1967. I knew there were only a few cars before that time. I was fairly sure the car in question was # 0301. That car was sent to New York, home of the Hertz corporation. However, there were a few problems. The current owner was "unknown" and I had no way to prove I had found the missing car. Another concern, why did such an early car have a serial number like # 0301 ?

I remember reading several of Kevin Marti's great articles about strange cars. If you don't know Kevin, look at the "documentation" page on this website. I didn't have much to go on, but I thought Kevin may be able to help. Sure enough, the FORD records indicated Shelby American only had four cars at the time the memo was written. Even more interesting, there was only one GT350 convertible. That car would later be numbered # 301. I had found it!

The other three cars were a GT350 fastback, a GT500 fastback and a GT500 convertible. So, in other words, Shelby had one of each model and one of each bodystyle. These four cars were the first 1968 Shelbys built and all were gold in color! The only GT350 convertible would be shipped to Hertz.

AO Smith was a little less than pleased with the quality of the car, so the memo was written. A little more digging actually turned up the owner. The owner, Randy, was quite surprised to hear from me. He was even more surprised to learn the history of his gold convertible.

It would be very neat to see this car on the streets...the first GT350 convertible built and a Hertz show car.

Here is some information on the first four Shelbys courtesy of Kevin Marti. I highly encourage you to use his services.

The first GT350 Convertible built: 8T02J110577-00301, a gold and black, 4spd.
The first GT350 Fastback built: 8T02J110578-00339, a gold and black, automatic.

The first GT500 Fastback built: 8T03J110577-00041, a gold and black, automatic.
The first GT500 Convertible built: 8T03S110576-00056, a gold and black, automatic.

The morals of the story are: It's never to late to track down your history, now is better than later. Cars were not always built in a strict numerical order. Just because you have number one, doesn't mean you are number one.


My brother got this car in 1970 from a used car dealer in Forest City NC. The price on it was $3995.00, my brother worked out a deal where he traded his 1966 2+2 fastback for $1200.00 difference.
I was 14 yrs old when I took my first ride in the car and I could never forget that. In 1972 my brother lost his life, a few months after his death, his wife asked me if I wanted his car for the car I had., I had just gotten my first car which was a 1965 mustang 2+2 fastback 289-automatic,baby blue with the white/blue pony seats, my Dad found it in Spruce Pine, NC and we gave $ 800.00 for it. I really liked the car but it didn't take me long to decide to trade it to my brother's wife for the Shelby. So, I have had it since 1972, I have just had it painted for the 2nd time since I've had the car.
In 2007 Peter Disher, a well known Shelby person contacted me and asked me if I still had the car. He then began to tell me the History of the car being a very special car, It's the first GT350 convertible car built, it was rushed to meet a deadline for Hertz car rental. After Hertz had finished with the car it was shipped back to Shelby America where they then sent out to a Ford dealer in NY. It wasn't the first convertible sold, but it was the first one made. I have no ideal how the car ended up on a used car lot in Forest City .NC.
I hope to keep it the rest of my life and then who know's where it will be or end up. Thanks for reading the story of my car.

Carolyn & Richie Mashburn's

1969 Mustang Mach 1

Hello my name is Carolyn Mashburn.
This is my 1969 Acapulco Blue Mach 1 Mustang.

This Mach 1 was given to me for a graduation present in 1982. My father John Zimmerman has owned this car since January 1970. Our neighbor down the road owned it first, but he wanted to buy a new '70 car and sold the Mustang to my dad. Well the rest is history. My dad bought the car originally for my mother, Doris Zimmerman. My mother drove it for a while and decided she didn't like it because it drove like an alligator. My mother gave it back to my dad and it was his daily driver for many years. This Mustang Mach 1 has been in the family for 38 years. I still have the original set of keys that came with the car back in 1969. This Mustang Mach 1 is FACTORY ORIGINAL! It doesn't have all the bling, bling the shiny motor with all the chrome sticking out everywhere. It was not made that way. Anyone can put chrome on a motor and mufflers, but how many car owners will take the time to really do research on their car to put it back the original way it came off the assembly line. What you see here is a result of many countless hours of research and uncovering parts that are on the car with original paint marks that came from the factory back in 1969. I have to say a special "Thank You" to my husband Richie Mashburn, he did all the work you see on this car today. Even underneath the car is detailed right down to all the paint marks that came on the car when it rolled down the assembly line. A lot of the paint marks were uncovered when we took all the oil and grease off of the parts after many years. Richie just cleaned ALL of the parts and replaced rubber where needed and repainted the motor and put the same paint marks using the same colors right back where he had uncovered them.

I would have to say about 95% of this car is still original from back in 1969. The motor has never been rebuilt, just painted the original Ford blue. All of the interior of this Mach 1 is original from the seats, carpet, head liner, seat belts, sunvisors, instrument panel, are all original back from 1969. The only thing we had to replace is the dash pad and my husband put in two gauges and a am/fm radio. We still have the original radio.

This is why we love this car so much. We belong to several car clubs, but when we enter MCA (mustangs Club of America) they judge my car by my car. You are not judged against each others cars. We are judged by how many points our car will score out of a possible 700 points. These judges really look at your car. They look at the motor as well as inside and even the trunk and underneath.

We took this car to the Grand Nationals in Augusta, GA in September '07 and showed it in the concours class. Out of a possible 700 points we scored 680. Only 20 points were deducted from our car. We received a GOLD award. I have to say my husband did a great job.

We've been showing this car for about 17 years. This is an old restoration. It is about 20 years old. The paint job is 20 years old, we are in the process to have it repainted and fixing up a few things that need to be fixed.

I would like to say THANK YOU for taking the time to read my story of my '69 Mustang Mach 1. It means a lot to me.

If you have any questions or would like to introduce yourself, my husband and I would love to meet you. Over the years of showing this car, we have met some of the most wonderful people (including President Clinton) and we would love to meet you. I just wished I had started a signing book to see all the people we have met and where they were from. Thanks again for reading this story.

P.S. Some of you may know, I lost my mother back on April 28, 2006. This was her car, thats why this car means so much to me. I LOVE YOU MOM !!! So when you read the 20 year old tag on the front, that's why it says, "PRICELESS".

Carolyn & Richie Mashburn

Here are the latest pictures of Carolyn & Richie's 69

Updated October 19th 2008

Randy 05/25/2010
very cool story, hope you use it alot...great car