Archive for Saturday, April 2, 2011

Rare 1966 Shelby GT350 Fastback found in garage at Lawrence apartment complex off Four Wheel Drive

This 1966 Shelby GT350 was recently found beneath years of accumulated junk in a shed at the Villa 26 Apartments, 2859 Four Wheel Drive. The vehicle will be sold at auction in San Antonio; similar GT350s have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

This 1966 Shelby GT350 was recently found beneath years of accumulated junk in a shed at the Villa 26 Apartments, 2859 Four Wheel Drive. The vehicle will be sold at auction in San Antonio; similar GT350s have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

April 2, 2011

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Technically, it is a 1966 Shelby GT350 Fastback with an original stoplight red paint job and a high performance motor designed by the father of the American muscle car movement.

But in reality, this car is much more: It’s the type of machine that car buffs thought existed only in bar room babbling or in the grimy gossip of a gearhead garage.

“This is why car guys are forever chasing cars,” said Richard Sevenoaks, owner of Tulsa-based Leake Auction Co., which specializes in selling classic autos. “If some guy says he has a Corvette out in the field, you have to go look at it. You are always looking for the Holy Grail, but for most guys it never pans out.”

Maybe fields aren’t the place to look. How about the garage of a Lawrence apartment complex? One off Four Wheel Drive, no less.

“I don’t think this car has seen the sunlight for 26 years,” said Peter Pratt, a Houston attorney who took possession of the apartment complex and its garage as part of a lawsuit involving a $600,000 ruling by a Texas court against one-time Lawrence residents Rex and Gail Youngquist.

• • •

It was in January when Pratt got an email from the property manager of his newly acquired complex. There was a garage full of junk — actually the “debris of life” is how the property manager described it. Old skis. Junk tools. The type of stuff you would expect to find in that corner of the basement you never visit.

Beneath it all was this car.

A quick check of its outdated license plate and its VIN confirmed that the car belonged to Gail Youngquist. A Texas court had appointed Pratt as the receiver of Youngquist’s property to satisfy a legal judgment related to improper oil drilling in the state. Long story short, Pratt has a car to do something with.

Pratt admits that he’s not exactly a car buff, but he knew it was something special. The folks at Lawrence’s Hillcrest Wrecker went to remove it from the garage. When they saw it, they told the property manager it couldn’t be stored at the Hillcrest lot. Too much liability.

So Pratt told them to bring it to Houston when they got the chance. It was there the next day.

“It’s a real rare car,” said Gary Bennett, of Lawrence’s Laird Noller Ford and an avid Mustang collector. “A Shelby is definitely one of the most collectible American cars out there. There is no question about that.”

Pratt had it dropped off at a friend’s garage. The mechanic put new fluids in the car, a new battery, and air in the tires. It fired right up.

• • •

The Houston attorney began doing a little research. There was a service book that showed the car had its oil changed at a Conoco station in 1976. It had about 84,000 miles on it at the time. It now has 87,000 miles on it, and based on the dates of its lapsed registration, Pratt believes it hadn’t been moved from the garage in 26 years.

“This is one of the more interesting ones I’ve found, and when you live the life of a receiver, you find some pretty interesting ones,” Pratt said.

Sevenoaks, the auctioneer, is scheduled to complete the story next week. The car will be sold at a classic car auction in San Antonio on Saturday. He has placed a conservative auction estimate of $80,000 on the vehicle.

But you never know until the hands start going up in the air. Pratt won’t be shocked if it goes higher than that. The car is rare in a way other than being that mythical “barn find,” as such stories are known in the collector-car world.

• • •

This car is a Shelby that was sold to Hertz, who used it as part of a “Rent-a-Racer” program, which allowed people to rent a hot rod on Friday, take it to the track all weekend and bring it back on Monday.

Only about 1,000 of those special Hertz Shelbys were produced. And nearly all of them were painted in a black-and-gold scheme. Only a few came in the red and white. Pratt has found one document that suggests only 50 were painted in that scheme.

Sevenoaks doesn’t know. He just knows he has never seen one. Bennett, at Laird Noller, has a valuation book that lists a pristine black-and-gold Hertz Shelby going for as much as $220,000. Even a middle-of-the-line model can go for about $100,000.

While Bennett is looking up those numbers, someone points out that the car all these years had been sitting off Four Wheel Drive. That is within eyesight of almost every major auto dealership in Lawrence, including one operated by Bennett.

Huh, isn’t life funny?

“Yeah,” Bennett says. “That would have been a good one to find.”

What else can you say?

Comments

Crystal Patterson 5 years, 1 month ago

This car hasn't been completely lost under a junk pile, my dad has an office in that building. It has been bothering him off for years that it has been sitting there not getting any love.

Maddy Griffin 5 years, 1 month ago

Takes me back to my childhood. Remember Bill Cosby's bit about Carrol Shelby? All I can think of is "over 200mph". Ha ha

xdcr 5 years, 1 month ago

Rex bought 2 GT350H mustangs from Hertz. This one was given to Gail for her 16th birthday, the other one to his other daughter. The car has been re-painted. It isn't the orininal color, however it wasn't black and gold, even more rare than red and white.

RCVR 5 years, 1 month ago

what was the original color if not red and white?

John Yocum 5 years, 1 month ago

He's part of a $ 600,000 settlement and he's going to sell the car at auction???? I'd keep it!!

Boston_Corbett 5 years, 1 month ago

Chad only wrote about the car.

I've always wondered about these Youngquists, and their stories of their dad's riches from oil drilling in Peru. Parts of these stories seemed to me a bit ..... well, odd.

The Mustang story is just one new twist to these odd stories, some written about in the paper, and some not.

Do people remember the housing discrimination trial? Or the funny filing in the County Clerk's office that was to secure a mega judgment against the County?

I guess you need permits to drill oil wells in Texas. Go figure.

Sounds like Rex was/is a cantankerous independent get-govt-outta-the-way sort of guy. Kinda John Wayne-ish. If this was Gayle's birthday car, I feel badly she didn't move that car out of the shed way earlier. She would still look good in it.

More info about the car: http://www.mustangevolution.com/mustang-news/1966-shelby-gt350-forgotten-26-years-later-exposed-under-trash/

Lesson #102: How to try to get rich against the county by listening to self-taught non-attorneys and their obscure theories: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2006/may...

Lesson #103: How a housing discrimination suit made lawyers rich, but really not much else. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2005/sep...

I believe old_enough_to_be_your_dad may have some other observations......

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

Now if they could just get it to turn...

BigPrune 5 years, 1 month ago

So much excitement from a boy named Carroll. I see 173 comments have been made, or so it says at the top.

RoeDapple 5 years, 1 month ago

Hmmm . . . somebody really likes that Shelby.

pizzapete 5 years, 1 month ago

40k for a Mustang clone perhaps. 125k is correct for a true 350 Cobra.

Boston_Corbett 5 years, 1 month ago

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