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didn’t know, take my car to a place I

didn’t know, to show to someone I was-

n’t even sure existed. Oh, and keep it

overnight. It turned out she was dat-

ing a guy who wanted to be a me-

chanic and loved Shelbys. His last

name was even the same as mine, but

he really wasn’t a very good mechanic

and he didn’t have a Shelby. And be-

fore long he wouldn’t have the girl.

Was it love at first sight? I don’t know

but today she is my wife and she tells

people I have had the car longer then

I have had her.

By now the Shelby was really

starting to show its age and they were

really starting to become valuable.

During this time we ran into a guy

who also had 1966 Shelby GT350H,

6S1855. He was going to sell it be-

cause it had some issues. He had it

parked in an alley in Northwest DC

and I tried and tried to find someone

who wanted to buy it. No luck; nobody

wanted it. So I went to the bank and

borrowed the $2,500 he was asking

and bought it.

The car was in ok shape; it had

some rust and had been in an accident

that damaged the right front. It had a

shelf instead of a back seat, a top-

loader four-speed, frozen front brakes,

no exhaust and it ran horribly. We

pulled the engine and found it needed

a block. I happened to have the origi-

nal block out of my car (6S1431) so it

went in this car (6S1855).We fixed the

clutch linkage, installed a new ex-

haust system, got a Holley 715 and in

almost no time we had a pair of his

and hers Hertz cars.

My wife and I were in the market

for a house and we had saved some

money. Along with a little loan from

my mother we were able to get our

first house, with a mortgage payment

of $435 a month. How were we going

to be able to afford it? We decided to

sell one of the cars to pay my mother

back. I got in touch with Bill Collins

(Bill Collins Collector Fords, Harris-

burg, Pennsylvania) and sold him the

car for $5,000. Little did I know I had

not seen the last of that car.

I was finally forced to take my

original Shelby off the road. I was

driving one day and heard a noise, like

a metal chain jangling along the

ground. The driver’s seat belt had

fallen through a hole in the floor and

was bouncing along on the road. It was

obviously time to stop driving the car.

I checked underneath and the floors

were rotted, the frame rails were weak

and the brake lines were moist. The

car was a ticking time bomb waiting to

take someone out. So I parked it in the

driveway and it sat there for about

five years.

We moved to a new house and I

still didn’t have a garage, so I moved

the Shelby to my dad’s driveway. He

said people would stop by once or

twice a week and ask about the car. It

was rusty, filthy, covered in tree sap

and bird crap. I knew it had to be

saved and I knew I would have to do it

myself. I had been saving parts since I

first got it, buying them here and

there at the Ford Dealer I worked at:

a padded dash, $12.00; fenders,

$29.00; full quarters, $102.00. The list

grew and grew. My father passed away

in 1996 and finally I moved the car to

my friend Dave’s barn. He had all of

the tools and equipment to do the job;

all I needed was time and money.Well,

with three kids and one family income,

money was something that wasn’t

abundant, but time was.

We started it for the first time in

six years and it belched black smoke.

The exhaust had fallen off, one plug

wire was missing and the tires were

going flat as I drove it slowly into the

barn. It had no brakes so it was a very

slow trip. We began disassembling it,

taking care to preserve as much as

possible and we took hundreds and

hundreds of pictures along the way.

The floors were gone, the rockers had

mice nesting in them, the cowls were

full of squirrel nests and were rotted

all the way through. In short, it was a

disaster. During its time in the drive-

way a tree had fallen on the roof and

dented it.

We pushed on, taking apart what


Summer 2016 76

And before I knew it, I owned two Hertz cars. But not for long.