I've read a million used-car ads, and I still enjoy the crappy ones most. They often lead to great cars. Take this gem from the Shelby club forum: "WT-5185 Special Orange GT350. Complete. May trade up/down on Hi-Po Fords." That's it. No name, no info, no photos—and no response to my inquiry.
Bummer. In the world of Shelbys, the 1968 Special Paint cars are precious. Out of 4450 1968 Shelbys, only 159 were Special Paint cars, and all but 15 were WT-6066 Special Yellow. Only three were finished in WT-5185 Special Orange, two of which were GT500KR fastbacks. While a '68 GT350 is arguably unremarkable, especially compared with the more focused 1965–1967 cars, this one was different.
MECHANICALS >> Few engines are more robust than a 302 V8 with a hydraulic camshaft. Worst case, a top-notch rebuild is $10,000. Mustang front suspensions wear out, so budget $2000 for new components—it's the difference between a car that scares you and one you love to drive.
PARTS >> Original '68 Shelby parts are scarce and spendy. Fiberglass panels—nose, hood, trunk—are unique; most have been damaged. Repros can be spotted by a trained eye and hurt value. The hubcaps are 1968-only and run $2000 for a restored set. Other valuable bits: shoulder harnesses and Lucas fog lamps.
VALUE >> $60,000 gets you a grinder. $85,000 and up is market for the good stuff. Four-speeds and rare colors bring more.
VERDICT >> I wouldn't hop on a plane for just any 1968 GT350. The car showed up on eBay a few weeks later with an equally terse description, but this time with photos. It isn't perfect, but it is one of one. I love the color, and that three pedals made me throw out the price guides and bring it home for myself. Persistence, and crappy ads, can pave the way to cool stuff.