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and that’s what I used to construct my


SAAC: Every time a project like this

came along we were looking at it as a

way to expand the club, and it never

really seemed to work out. Ford, for

some reason, was extremely reluctant

to share any of that information with

us, but they weren’t doing anything

with it on their own. They just didn’t

want anyone else to have it. Maybe

buying one would have been a foot in

the door, but even at the initial price

back then, it wasn’t anything you took

very lightly.

BURGY: Ford had a Build Book that

went with each car that had pages in

it – all the alignment specs, the torque

spec for every nut and bolt in the car

and the workers on the line would sign

off and initial it and make notes. It

was a one-inch thick three-ring binder

with a white cover with the VIN of the

car on the outside and all this infor-

mation inside. There were, maybe, a

dozen guys who got those books once

the Ford GT Forum went active. A cou-

ple of guys got theirs by accident and

a few guys got in pretty good with

Saleen after production ended and be-

fore Ford confiscated all of that stuff.

The word was that it all went to

Wixom and was stockpiled out there

somewhere in a locked room. Of

course, everybody who has a Ford GT

would like to have the build book that

went with their car, but Ford wouldn’t

release them or sell them. Now that

the cars are ten years old they have

probably been destroyed.

SAAC: You were fortunate to get that

database containing all of the Ford GT

VINs. It was an excellent starting

point and coming from the factory was


BURGY: Of all those VIN numbers I

got, there were about 80 numbers that

were assigned to cars that were never

built. This would be information that

would be dangerous for someone who

was dishonest to get a hold of. They

could get one of those bodies from

Scott Minch and a wrecked transaxle

from X2 Builders in Barrettsville, Illi-

nois who parts out GTs and put a VIN

tag on it. In fact, there is a guy from

SVT who has a car I am very suspi-

cious of. He had a silver GT at one of

the car shows at Ford World Head-

quarters that I was checking out. His

transaxle didn’t have a number on it,

so it was a replacement transaxle. And

he had a baseball cap sitting over the

top of his VIN number. I introduced

myself and talked to him, and asked

him if he would move the cap so I

could write down the VIN for my data-

base. He said no, he wouldn’t do it. So

I don’t know if the car is stolen or if he

is overly cautious or what. The second

Ford GT Rally [

similar to a SAAC con-

vention - ed.

] they had in California,

they had a big Ford GT contingent at

the Cars & Coffee at the Ford Pre-

mium Automotive Group (PAG) in

Irvine, California, and there was a guy

there who put blue painter’s tape over

the top of his VIN, but I had taken

enough pictures of his car at other

venues that weekend and I had one

with his rear license plate so I figured

out which car it was.

SAAC: Having a VIN on a tag that

you could read through the windshield

is certainly a big help for a registrar.

It’s too bad we didn’t have that on the

early Shelbys.

BURGY: Yes, that’s true. That re-

minds me of a story... I had to replace

the headers on my ‘66 Shelby. I did it

in my garage at home, and the new ex-

haust system wouldn’t match up to

the new headers. I put the exhaust

system in the trunk and at six o’clock

in the morning I figured I’d putt-putt

out of the neighborhood and five miles

down the road to the gas station. Of


Over the years, Burgy carried on a one-man crusade to discover what became of the

two Cobra concept cars created by Ford Styling, the Cougar II and the Bordinat Cobra

(named after Ford styling head Gene Bordinat). The cars were thought to have been

scrapped long ago, as is common with concept cars. Not even the serial numbers were

known. But Burgy examined every scrap of evidence and followed up every rumor until

he finally tracked the cars down, to the Detroit Historical Society. They had been do-

nated to the museum by Ford and put in storage in a damp warehouse, where they

were essentially forgotten. They were still in original condition. Ford’s order had been

to disassemble them, but that was later changed to “decommission” them and donate

them to the Historical Society. Over the almost forty years they were there, some small

parts had been pilfered as souvenirs. Burgy was able to determine their serial num-

bers: CSX2008 for the Candy Apple Red Cougar II and CSX3001 for the silver Bordinat

Cobra. All of this took place prior to SAAC-29 and Burgy was able to find replacement

parts and clean the cars up and convince the Detroit Historical Society to put the cars

on display at the club’s national convention. They were exhibited in a foyer of the Yp-

silanti Marriott Hotel for the entire convention.

Fall 2016 60