After Bullitt, What Is The Next Mustang Lost Treasure?

There are few topics in the Mustang hobby that can elicit reaction like the asking enthuisiasts what the next “Holy Grail” Mustang might be. What lost pony car will take the mysterious mantle from the recently unearthed Bullitt?

“Ask a hundred different people that question and you’ll get a hundred different answers,” said one enthusiast. So that’s exactly what we did with just this one question and we got more than we expected.

The original Bullitt Mustang has long been an icon, not only in Ford Mustang circles, but in pop culture as well. Now that the original — long rumored to be lost or destroyed has been discovered — what is the next “lost-treasure” Mustang to take its place?

What follows are the top-five highly subjective answers from hundreds of responses across the country…

5. 1966 Shelby Hertz GT350 Prototype

This is the only 1965 Shelby to be converted into a Hertz rental car. Car #48 started as white and blue, but was converted to GTH livery. Have you seen it?

Originally a white-with-blue-stripes ’65 Shelby, car #48 was pulled and repainted in Hertz black and gold for presentation to Hertz rental company. The car eventually was pressed into rental service in the New York area before being sold to the public after the program ended. The whereabouts of the car today are unknown, but it would be the only carryover ’65 Shelby in the Hertz lineup.

Finding the only ’65 Shelby carryover ever to be turned into a Hertz rent a racer would be a significant find. — Vernon Estes, Shelby Collector

“Finding the only ’65 Shelby carryover ever to be turned into a Hertz rent a racer would be a significant find,” Vernon Estes, noted Shelby collector and expert, said.

4. Edsel B. Ford II’s One-Of-A-Kind HiPo 1965 Mustang

Closer inspection of these Ford photos show many of the one of a kind features added to Edsel B. Ford II’s Mustang GT. Happy Birthday indeed!

Given to Edsel Ford II for his 16th birthday, this one-of Mustang featured pearl white with blue stripes and packed the potent HiPo powerplant, functioning hood scoop, racing mirrors, and special chrome appointments. Blue leather and aluminum adorned the interior and a personalized monogrammed fuel cap completed the motif.

Edsel II drove the car for years before loaning it to a friend who wrecked it. Its vehicle identification number has not been disclosed.

3. Lil Red

Lil Red comes in third on our next list. Twin superchargers motivated this unique car around Riverside Raceway in 1968.

This 1967 GT500 was #0131. A notchback prototype, it served as a test car for various engine configurations, including twin Paxton superchargers. This and other prototypes such as  the Green Hornet, or the EXP 500 were requested to be returned to Ford and crushed at the end of the company’s involvement with Shelby. To date, only the Green Hornet is known to have escaped that fate.

2. Jim Morrison’s 1967 GT500

Nicknamed “The Blue Lady,” Jim Morrison’s Shelby lived much like it’s rock star owner — fast and hard. In an odd case of life imitating art, the exact fate of both the car and owner are constant topics of debate. Rumored to have been wrecked in Los Angeles behind a police station and abandoned by Jim himself while drunk, the Shelby only lives on in the singer’s film HWY, shot in 1969.

Maybe it was crushed, but I have seen other cars that should have been crushed. — Bob Gaines, Concours Judge

“Maybe it was crushed, but I have seen other cars that should have been crushed back in the day when they didn’t mean much that some how survived. Never say never is what I say now,” Shelby concours judge Bob Gaines told us.

Today, the exact whereabouts of the car, and possibly Jim, himself, are unknown.

1. Ford’s 1964 1/2-19 Production Documents

Long believed to have been destroyed by Ford, the original ’64 1/2-’66 Mustang invoices would answer a lot of questions and expose many bogus cars.

Who says the next great find has to be a car at all? Although finding other one of the rare prototypes or the Shelby/Mel Burns factory drag car garnered plenty of responses in our informal survey, the overwhelming winner isn’t a car at all — it’s millions of them!

Known as Marti or Eminger reports, classic owners from 1967 have enjoyed the ability to document their cars original equipment through Fords factory invoices.

These are the original documents that were used by Ford for billing to the dealer. — Kevin Marti, Marti Auto Works

“These are the original documents that were used by Ford for billing to the dealer. They contain the complete option list and, generally, the wholesale and retail costs of the base vehicle, all options, and shipping,” said Kevin Marti of Marti Auto Works, who is licensed by Ford to oversee the official Ford database of all North American production starting from 1967. “The original dealer the vehicle was shipped to is also included on the invoice along with the trim code, date the invoice was prepared, and several other items.”

Unfortunately, the documents from 1964 ½-1966 were destroyed — or so we have been led to believe. Who knows for sure if these are lost to history or simply hiding in a back room or attic somewhere?

The Shelby Factory GT350 drag car #360, the 1966 Mustang Mach 1 prototype, and this 1966 GT with pre-production taillights and gas cap all received mentions when we asked enthusiasts what the next most important lost treasure after Bullitt would be.

We don’t know which, if any, of these lost treasures see the light of day next, but who thought the real Bullitt would ever reappear? Now that you have seen our list, feel free to contribute your own Holy Grail candidates below. And, of course, if you know where to find any of these unicorns, feel free to let us know.

About the author

JP Emerson

My affliction with vintage iron is matched only by my knowledge of classic Rock ’N Roll. Although a heavy lean to all things Ford blue, I have a sharp appreciation for all makes and models, especially those that gulp gas and drop oil to mark their territory. Having provided work for multiple magazines, manufacturers, SEMA, and a top secret list of celebrity and auto insiders, I understand the bond between cars and owners.
Read My Articles

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