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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.


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