1967 (1968) Group 2 Trans-Am Mustang prototype
© Wolfgang Kohrn - August 24th 2009, last updated April 25th, 2013
A 1967 or 1968 Trans Am season Kar Kraft Notchback prototype?
The acceptance of this car is still not solved as of April 25th, 2013 - parties are splitted about this case through 2011/2012 and into 2013 - We reported earlier it was accepted as of December 2012 by the Historic TransAm group - but we got contradictionary statements from the HT group.
So let's have a look into the case and what is the current status of research:
1) Assembled at the Dearborn, Michigan, Ford plant the week of December 28th,1966, the same week Shelby American took delivery on the first group of Notchback Mustangs to be converted to Group II Trans Am racing vehicles.
2.) Original destination for subject vehicle to be sent to a Tennessee Ford dealer as a dealer demonstrator.
Originally built as a basic six-cylinder model in the color of Springtime Yellow.
3.) Ford had opened a facility near Detroit in 1966 known as Kar Kraft, which was to serve as engineering and design for Ford specialty and racing vehicles. It was to be the East coast Shelby operations, which moved from California to Michigan in 1968.
4.) Jacque Passino,
head of Fords racing division wanted a Mustang
sent to Kar Kraft to serve as an "engineering"
prototype to assist in changes
during the 1967 race season and
to serve for all the changes to be made for the 1968 team
Mustangs, Mr. Passino ordered the subject vehicle to be
re-directed to Kar Kraft rather than the Tennessee Ford dealer.
6.) The subject vehicle was painted a current available blue color for 1967.
7.) During the 1967 race season Kar Kraft loaned the vehicle to race Driver, Bob Johnson to race as an independent at Green Valley Texas wearing the #38.
8.) The 1967 Green Valley race report stated that the "engineering car" should be brought to all remaining races to be used as a back up in the event of practice accidents such as occurred a Green Valley with the Titus # 17 car.
Below is a link to Bob Johnson's race history, here is how it is explained by Matt LaFond:
- March 31, 1967 at Sebring he raced and owned a Falcon #33.
- April 16, 1967 at Green Valley he raced a Mustang (prototype), #38, with no owner listed.
- March 30, 1967 and Jul 4, 1967, Lime Rock and Daytona, he raced a Mustang he had bought and built, #33, he is listed as owner.
After that he raced a Camaro for Penske. He never did well with the Mustangs, the KK/SA Green Valley car, or his own after that, so he parked his car and went with the Penske team. Here is the link, you will notice different car number and no owner listed at Green Valley:
9.) In late 1967 the car was sold by Ford to Kar Kraft employee, Tom Tlusty.
10.) In 1968 Tom
Tlusty sold the car to a military friend in Ohio,
11.) In 1970 the
car was sold to Craig Moskowitz who painted it
silver, over the existing blue.
"Here we have the prototype with the photos dated March 71, this is just before Craig sold the car to Dasilva. If you notice the trunk deck he had changed it due to the fact he found it unimportant to have the deck held down by three hood pins and wanted it hinged instead. This is why the original deck still exists with the Marti Report Springtime Yellow with Brittiney blue over it. When Moskowitz got the car from Griffith, it was Brittany blue with the door numbers sanded off. I had a long conversation with him.
He replaced the deck and hinged it since his intension for the car was hill climbs and autocrossess. He also told me the VIN was stamped as a V-8 model when he bought it, long before fakes, frauds or clones. If you also notice in the photo the correct Shelby TA engine and acc, as well as the correct dash and instruments along with the correct SA pedal set.
Also notice the odd KK wheels as on #38. He stated that Griffith informed him the fenders were already flared when he bought the car from Tlusty and were in primer, tlusty simply added the upcoming 68 flares when he bought the car. Moscovitz sold the car with the original trunk deck that still had the Mustang lettering on it. He painted it silver over the blue and carried the number 74. His driver in the hill climbs died of a heart attack shortly after, so he sold the car to DaSilva." Matt LaFond
12.) In 1971 the
car was sold to Peter DeSilva.
In 1979 Shelby American engineer Chuck Cantwell did a physical inspection of the Stish car and verified that it was an authentic Group II Mustang.
13.) Peter Stish then purchased the car in 1979 and started the restoration back to the "Team Terlingua", Shelby color scheme.
14.) In 1982, the
American Ambassador to Mexico, Ted Gildred
purchased the car and fmished the restoration.
18.) In September
1995, the current owner, Jim Philion, purchased
the car. Mr. Philion restored the car to a black and
white livery, wearing the #68
According to then given hints from insiders there were 3 reasons mainly for an alert
given to the auctioneers:
We received during 2011/2012/2013
some insight into a documentation that will reclaim the cars authenticity. Matt
LaFond was doing research for James Philion and came up with some more
documentation from the Kar Kraft archives, which he obtained in a 3 years
According to that report,
proof will be shown that state:
Disclaimer: We're not taking a role in that case, just reporting on the issue and will keep you updated to make your own judgement. In the end the related parties will probably need to review presented facts.