1969 Shelby GT 500 – Brian Shear

How often do you get to hear the story of a car, purchased as a kid and still owned, decades later. Well, Brian has just that story.

Purchased from his neighbor as a teenager, it is still his and is going through a restoration.

Make sure to go to the end to see the photos.


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What type of vehicle is this?

1969 Shelby GT 500 vin # 480477 sports roof ( fastback)

Black jade in color w/ white stripe. One of 1553 made.

They weren’t done in any sequenced numbers but you could say it’s the 477th made. 3150 total were made in 1969, of which 1868 were GT 500’s (333 convertables)

Who is the first owner of the project and is it still their project?

I’m the 3rd owner. The 1st was J. R. Slavic whom I’ve talked to on Facebook, and the 2nd was Ronald Comer.

When was it purchased?

I purchased it in 1971 late in the year. Drove it to school just after the Christmas break. It had approx 32,000 miles on it.

How much was it purchased for?

I paid $3,250 for it . that was all the money I had , I think my parents kicked it a few to make the sale.

Was this a father/son, Daughter project?

Not really a father son project but I do have a son who is very involved with cars.

Why this particular vehicle?

The 2nd owner was a neighbor and seeing it drive by the house was all I needed to want it.

Give me some backstory, are you a mechanic, do you like to fabricate, are you really good at body work, etc. Some info about you.

I grew up the son of a gas station owner/mechanic. Loved cars since I started to drive and before. I Would spend weekends at my dad’s shop cleaning car parts for his workers.

Info about the vehicle prior to starting it. (i.e., condition, missing parts, just needed paint, no engine, etc.)

The car has 85,000 Michigan miles on it.

We use salt on our roads so you can guess what condition it is in.

When I was 50 I decided to do a ground up restoration on it. The uni body has taken quite a hit from the salt.

The right side forward inner fender extension is bad along with the core support. Rear quarters have damage and the doors bottom edges, as well.

Typical stuff that happens to car in Michigan.

What have you done to it so far?

Having the car for so long a lot was done to it; being in the auto business I had access to Ford parts supply at a 20% off discount rate( dealer pricing).

Rebuilt the motor years ago and again, just recently.

I added factory air-conditioning, power driver’s seat, intermittent windshield wipers, power antenna, aluminum intake , carburetor upgrade from 735 cc to 780 cc, cruise control , extra lighting ( ashtray) , oil cooler.

The inner fender extension has been removed along with the core support and torque box.

Stripped to bare metal and sand blasted (doors forward), Motor and trans removed and rebuilt .

The trans is a C-6 auto with internal upgrades to it.

Motor has been balanced and blueprinted dyno at 477 hp.

Where is it now, in the rebuild stage?

Car has been sitting for years with above work mentioned to it. Sand blasted with a light coat of rust on the bare metal. Striped from the doors forward.

Any special parts you have used?

I was fortunate to have a friend whose father owned a junk yard, so on the weekends I would go and strip cars for parts to use and save for future use, paying very little if at all for them.


The story; I grew up the son of a gas station owner. I had extensive access to any thing cars. Our neighbor had this car and would drive by with it . I fell in love with it. One day I was driving by their house and he was washing it . I pulled in the drive to talk and he said it was for sale. selling it because his daughter wouldn’t drive it. It scared her to drive it. Would rather drive the corvette, that didn’t scare her to drive. I told him I would buy it on the spot , he replied that someone was coming that day to look at I , but if it fell through I could have it. Needless to say, I bought it the next day. My dad required that his main mechanic look at it. The neighbor drove it to the garage to be checked out but I got to drive it home. When I pulled out into the street and got up to 30 mph he said that he knows that I has itching to floor it. Go ahead he said and I did. At that speed it was in the best  power curve and the trans kicked down into 1st gear. Going sideways to the right and shifting into 2nd going sideways the other way. I screamed holy shit and was shaking the rest of the way home.

There was a time I was leaving collage parking lot , got on it and when it shifted into 2nd gear the studs that are welded on the torque converter sheared off , needed a tow to the shop that day, then the time the rear leaf spring snapped or the time the seat back broke , and the universal joint going . just a few things, I drive hard.

One day my mom drove it and got a speeding ticket, and when my dad went shopping and slid sideways across the street when pulling out. A trip from my house or home from Ann arbor takes 50 min. One night I did it in 25. We were going 120 – 130 mph home.

The car hasn’t run in years I just drag it from home to home as I go. Currently it’s in the 2nd garage I built for it. Hoping to finish the restoration I’ve started. I WILL finish it.

I have every receipt for anything I purchased for it going back to day 1. Having Ford access I have purchased all Shelby related parts to do a factory correct NOS Restoration on it ,stuff purchased more than 30 years ago.



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