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Identifying Preproduction cars/Looking for color version of this picture

Started by Coralsnake, March 12, 2023, 11:47:47 AM

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Quote from: Coralsnake on March 15, 2023, 05:07:40 PM
Okay to summarize so far, we were able to get the dates from Petersen Publishing along with the item numbers of the shots. The photographer was Eric Dahlquist.

Along with a memo in the SAAC archives we figured out this was the west coast introduction of the 1969 Shelby. The pictures revealed the location as Orange County International Raceway.

After sorting all the pictures it was found three of the four cars had California license plates ;

One of the GT500 fastbacks is "VSA-346"

The GT500 convertible is "XTX-387"

The GT350 convertible is "XRJ-441"

The other GT500 did not have a California plate, but rather a generic "1969" plate. In another photo shoot, it is shown with a California manufacturer's plate "6J-014". 

This was important because that car had been previously suspected of being a pre-production (no Shelby number) car.

Eric Dahlquist was senior editor of Motor Trend in '69-ish.  He later became editor, then was fired a couple of years after that for awarding the horrible Citroen SM as Car of the Year.

He later got into automotive PR and opened the Vista Group agency in Sherman Oaks, CA.  He was primarily responsible for getting Pontiacs, GMC trucks and Mercedes into movies and TV.  He had tons of inside stories about the car and TV/movie businesses.  Died a few years ago.  Good guy.

Crossboss Scott: Didn't you mention that you knew him?
2006 FGT, Tungsten. Whipple, HRE 20s, Ohlin coil-overs. Top Speed Certified 210.7 mph.

Kirkham Cobra 427.  482-inch aluminum side-oiler. Tremec 5-spd.

1968 GT500KR #2575 (1982-2022)
1970 Ranchero GT 429
1969 LTD Country Squire 429
1963 T-Bird Sport Roadster
1957 T-Bird E-model


This was one of the hardest magazines to find during my pre-internet hunt. One of the coolest covers too. Drag Parts Illustrated May '69.


Thank you all for the notes and the opportunity to get the record straight.

The magazine cover confirms the GT500 was Gulfstream Aqua and had the same license plate. I believe it may be the only preproduction car that didnt survive.   
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It looks like the plate on the red car is partially visible ?
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Unfortunately, the research ran out of preproduction cars. The GT350 convertible had to be a production car and a very early built car. I started with 0001 and it matched all the same options. The last car in the archive was the first 1969 Shelby with a serial
number. It was a maroon and white convertible.

I was also able to do a similar woodgrain comparison on this car and the features matched.

Thanks to everyone that helped!
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