SAAC: There was one convertible made in 1967, a prototype [67413C9A00139]. Do you remember anything about that?
Jim Frank: Sure. We built the damned thing and it got stolen almost immediately! This was actually the first 1968 model made - it was a prototype made from a 1967 Mustang chassis but was built to '68 specs - more or less - and had '68 fiberglass which we made in some temporary molds that were thrown together out there. It was the only one like it in the world.
It was, of course, an engineering car and we ran on the system that anyone could drive an engineering car who got to it first. We had a visiting engineer who was from Argentina, I think, and he was out there doing some consulting with us, on remittance from Ford. He took it home one night and parked it under the carport at his apartment and it got stolen.
We got it back about a week later; it was found in the Palos Verdes hills and everything had been stripped out of it: the carburetor and intake manifold were gone, the wheels and tires - anything shiny had been taken off of it.
and Fred Goodell was interviewed about it and said:
I got an engineer from Dearborn and brought him out to do some special work for us. He stayed at the Polynesian Village and he took that convertible home one night. The next morning, at about 6 o'clock, he knocked on my door and said, 'Somebody stole the car.' We went down to the space in the parking garage where he had left it and it sure was gone. Clean. I called the Los Angeles Police right away and the auto recovery squad guy came out to investigate. He said a car like that was probably across the border by now. Low and behold, about three or four days later they found it – up at the top of Palos Verdes - stripped. And whoever did it was an expert. They took the engine and they took everything else off of the car but they didn't leave a mark on that automobile. When they stole the radio they disconnected all of the wires – they didn't cut them. Everything was taken off very carefully. When they took the wheels and tires they put the lug nuts back on the studs. We never found out if it was a gang or just a couple of individuals.
Is it odd that soon after this, Ford fired Shelby American? Then handed the production of GT 500s to AO Smith http://justacarguy.blogspot.com/2016/02/a-gallery-of-factory-that-built-68.html and at the same time the lease ran out on the warehouse Shelby was using at LAX