A few days later they returned to the
dealership. They expressed interest in get-
ting a Shelby and asked if they could take
one for a test drive. The dealer, smelling a
sale, was only too happy to oblige. Soon the
two Palmer-Balls were driving a new
GT500. Two hours later they returned
with a “where-do-I-sign” look. They or-
dered a new GT350. Hunt was nineteen, so
his dad had to co-sign for the car. The
monthly payments were $160 for three
years. Insurance was $1,000 a year.
The next week he started work at
Burns Ford and kept his job at the Texaco
station, working nights. He tightened his
belt and started making those payments.
Such is life. It wasn’t long thereafter that
a pretty girl drove into the Texaco station
one evening. Hunt was attracted, like a
moth to a porch light. Before long he was
taking Pat for a ride in his Shelby and it
didn’t take much more than that. They
were married in 1969.
Burns Ford was the largest Shelby
dealer in Kentucky. They had a separate
performance service department and the
dealership sponsored a ‘66 GT350 drag car
that ran in the altered and gas classes.
About a month after he began work, Hunt
was asked if he wanted to work in the per-
formance shop. He couldn’t believe what
he was hearing. They handled service and
warranty work on all the Shelbys and Co-
bras the dealership sold. They also han-
dled modifications, updates and any other
work Shelby and Cobra owners requested.
One day a Shelby transporter arrived
with four cars for the dealership. Hunt’s
job was to inspect them after they were un-
loaded. When he discovered one of the
GT350s was his car, he was beside himself.
Needless to say, he didn’t get much done
that day. By the end of the day he was talk-
ing with his boss about drag racing the
GT350. For the next two weeks they pre-
pared the car, adding a 2x4V intake and
carbs, a stronger cam, 7 1/2-qt. aluminum
“T” pan, a scattershield and a Hurst
shifter. The 3.89 rear end gears were re-
placed with 5.14s, custom traction bars
were fabricated and a pair of M&H slicks
were installed. The car was ready for the
local 1/8-mile strip.
In the intervening years the GT350
was drag raced, showed, street driven a lit-
tle and then put away for 22 years. A total,
concours restoration was done to the
8,632-mile car. It has remained part of the
family to this day and Hunt could be the
last original owner of a dark blue ‘67.
The SHELBY AMERICAN
Winter 2016 00