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ing new parts there for him. One guy

said, “

That Shelby of yours is pretty

fast. Ken was out there other day and

blew off a Corvette...

” “

What do you

mean he was out there with my car?

Then, one day my cousin called and

said, “

You probably better get back

down here. I’ve heard rumors that this

guy is going to go bankrupt and the

sheriff is probably going to lock the

place up

.” I went down there that

weekend with my cousin, who was a

cop. We went over to the guy’s place

and broke in and backed my car out

and took my boxes of parts and closed

his door and drove it back home. The

guy called up a little later and said,

Hey, do you have your car?

” I said,

“Yeah.” And he said, “

Well, I want to

finish it

.” I said, “

I’m not bringing it

back to you. I’m going to find some

place else. I don’t have much faith that

you’re going to get it done

.” I eventu-

ally had someone else finish the car for

me. Ken Young and I were a couple of

guys – and there weren’t too many

guys in 1972 – who had already re-

stored their cars. A lot of Shelbys you

saw back then were ragged-looking.

We’d already redone our cars; R-Model

aprons, a roll bar, dropped upper con-

trol arms, larger tires, side exhaust

and all that.

SAAC: When you started collecting

serial numbers in the early 1970s, did

you limit yourself to just ‘65 and ‘66


BURGY: I also collected 289 and 427

Cobra numbers from ads.

SAAC: At that time, did you know

that anyone else was collecting num-


BURGY: No. Not when I started. One

time Howard Pardee came to Ohio to

visit me. I had gotten laid-off by Ford

and I had moved in with my girlfriend,

Diane, in Stow, Ohio. He was driving

5S357. We talked for awhile, and I had

a small, two-drawer file – about 6-

inches high and 22-inches deep – filled

with 3x5 index cards. I had the VINs

of the cars and owners’ name and ad-

dress on individual cards, and on the

back I used double-sided tape to stick

a picture of the car or clipped out the

ad from


or wherever it came

from. I agreed to let Howard borrow

them and cull the information from

them. Roger Hodyka was also collect-

ing information but he never told me

he was doing serial number stuff. I

don’t remember loaning him my cards,

but he put together some kind of a reg-

istry. It was about fifteen mimeo-

graphed pages with single-spaced

serial numbers of the cars and owners

he discovered.

SAAC: At that time, nobody knew all

the serial numbers, or even how many

cars had been produced.

BURGY: Hodyka had found a stash of

unstamped serial number tags some-

where at Ford, and when he went

through those he had more made. He

was selling them but was very careful.

He made you send him your old tag

before he would send you a new one.

SAAC: That was smart, at the time.

BURGY: Well, there has always been

a debate about what you do with the

tag when you get the car restored. I’ve

heard too many horror stories about

guys who lost their tag. When I had

1206 done I drilled the tag out and

kept it at home, and put it back on

when the car was finished. I did the

same thing with 285. With 285 I got

Roger to make me a new tag because

the old one was kind of messed up. I

put the new tag on the car and kept

the old one in a box of goodies. At one

of the conventions in Michigan when

we went out to Domino’s Farms, I was

approached by a guy who said, “


I’ve got your old car, 6S285. It looks

like it has a new, reproduction tag on

it. Do you know what happened to the

old one?

” I said, “

I’ve got it. If you can

prove to me that you own the car – a

copy of your title or registration and a

pencil tracing of the Ford VIN, I’ll just

give it to you

.” After the convention he

sent that stuff to me with the fake tag

and I sent him the real one to put back

on the car.

SAAC: When did you get involved in

collecting Ford GT serial numbers?

BURGY: I think it was in 2003, after

Ford announced they would be build-

ing the cars, SAAC contacted me and

asked if I wanted to become the Ford

GT Registrar and keep track of them.

SAAC: When word spread that Ford

would be building a run of new GTs,

we thought that there should be a

place for them in SAAC. At that time

nobody knew how many would even-

tually be made, but they seemed to be

a perfect fit for SAAC. We thought we

would have no trouble getting serial

numbers and production details di-

rectly from Ford. Boy, were we ever


BURGY: Yes, Ford was not helpful.

Jason Demchek and all the guys work-

ing at SVT didn’t do a thing for me. I

talked to a Ford PR guy named Alan

Hall at the SEMA show and I asked

him to get me the serial number of the

GTX-1 (a roadster conversion of the

Ford GT that Mark Gerish had on dis-

play there). I never heard from him. It

turned out there was a guy in Chicago

who gave me a copy of the database of

GT VIN numbers and build informa-

tion which had all of the serial num-

bers, build dates, colors and options


Fall 2016 59

Being called into Edsel Ford’s office didn’t

mean that Burgy was having his head

handed to him. In this photo, Mr. Ford was

thanking Burgy for displaying two of his

cars, a ‘57 T-Bird and a ‘65 Mustang Hi-Po

convertible, at a Juvenile Diabetes benefit

show at Ford WHQ. Edsel’s son, HF III,

grew up with diabetes, leading Edsel to be-

come an active supporter of the Juvenile

Diabetes Research Foundation.