Part 3 - Interview with Claude Dubois
© Wolfgang Kohrn - December 28th, 2003, last update May 2013

Page 3

Thanks to Claude Dubois
This interview was done in 2002


Thanks again for your  patience - 
let's continue.

Claude, do you still have pictures or documentation available?

My Shelby brochures and documentation have been stolen by a dishonest salesman and I have only left some racing pictures that I need for my future book. 

Update: 2007 - this book has been published meanwhile and is available from Edition du Palmer in french, but also in english (Motorbooks)

Do you still have the Shelby 250 GT based on a Comet*?

Official press photo of the Shelby Europa GT 250

For additional information see

No, I don't know what happened to this car after my partner used it.  
The prototype had a GT40 289 block and heads. The 250 GT prototype Comet* was - I would say - like a "real" original 1966 Shelby...but rather quicker. But where is it now? It the only car I wish I have now....with SFM5R539, of course.

The 250 GT prototype featured special front disc brakes, modified suspension and Koni shocks. A T-10 trans and a Traction-Lok rear with 3.00 Le Mans gears installed. Plus Shelby 14"x7" aluminium wheels. 140 miles was possible with this car. The partner of Dubois has put about 80.000 miles on this car. Despite a note in the recent SAAC registry, Claude obviously does not to have this car any more.
*Update May 2013: When we got a mail from a former dealer, we finally found more information on theis car and its history. Actually all related persons who had their hands on the car, say that it was indeed a Maverick, not a Comet. 
The GT250 was first used by Philippe Bervoet, then the business partner (and former Dubois race team driver of a De Tomaso). It was later sold to M. Olcar (Olcar Sales). He sold the car to a norwegian customer of him. We were fortunate after some monthes of emailing that this norwegian customer indeed remembered the car. He bought a number of cars from Olcar. The Maverick was one of them, but at the time it had a 302 built in, obviously the GT40 289 was taken out at some time. 
Mr. C. remembers that he parted the car out later and scrapped the rest. So unfortunately it is definitely gone. 

Did you ever met other Mustang drivers like Peter Schetty, Alan Mann, Herbert Müller, Hubert Hahne, Malte Huth or Lucky (Lloyd) Cassner?

I never met Peter Schetty nor Alan Mann nor Malte Huth, but I knew very well Herbert Mueller and I met Hubert Hahne and Lucky Cassner, of course. 
I knee very well many other drivers, but most of the time either english drivers, when I was a works driver for Triumph, or Ferrari drivers. The son of Willy Mairesse is my son in law and Paul Frere is the godfathers of one of my daugthers... so yes, I know many race drivers.

Which one was your direct and toughest competitor during your career?

Many, of course. I remember - as such - Jacky Ickx, who fought with me back in 1964 and again in 1967 with the Mustang in Spa. What a fantastic driver he was. 
I had also some good dogfights with Lucien Bianchi and Jean Guichet...driving Ferrrari GTOs at the Tour de France....and Fangio gave me an unforgettable driving lesson during my first race in Sweden. But these are all stories for my own book.

Did you ever drive a Mustang in the U.S.?

I never raced in the United States  

Let's turn to the Shelby Europas. Is the total number of 14 correct and who was the dealer, where you got your cars from?

No, I think it is 12, but I am not sure. I've sent all my datas (incl. the VINs that I have listed ) to the SAAC for verifying any cars. (Still it could be 14). The dealership was Bob Ford in Detroit. All had the same equipment except for the engine.

Which parts did you get from Shelby American and what was the deal like? Did you pay a licence fee?

Some parts were supplied by Shelby like the intake manifold and carburetor, if I remember well. The "500 GT" was in fact a 351 engine, like the 350 versions, but with a special HP hydraulic camshaft. One one car came with a 428 or 429 engine.
Many other parts were either sourced the wheels, tires, shock absorbers or steering wheel. And I think, we fitted home made traction bars, too.
I also had special Shelby Europa side stripes made in Belgium.
(No reply on the licence fee)

At which shows did you display them? One was in Bruxelles, I heard. Do you remember the buyers?

Yes, it was the Brussels Motor Show. (The datas of the buyers are known, but not published here due to privacy reasons). 

Edwin van Beurden, who is the owner of the 351 High Output unit, the G.T.500 Shelby Europe, has some more specific questions. Was the engine painted?

No, the engine and its colours were original Ford. It was not really a race engine. I think I fitted Cobra aluminium rocker covers. 
(Other than that the mods are described in the spec sheet)

There is a special tag in the Shelby Europas saying CLAUDE DUBOIS - BRUSSELS? Anything about these special tags?

Yes, this is the plate Etablissements Claude Dubois used on all the cars we imported. It was necessary for homologation reasons. 

How expensive was a Shelby Europa back then?

I don't remember the sales price in 1971, sorry. Probably around 20% more than a corresponding Mustang?

What do you think, what is the price of a Shelby Europa today? Would you like to have one again today?


Hmmm, probably 10% less than a 1970 original Shelby?
No, I don't want one.


How many Shelbys did you sell between 1965 and 1972?

About 120-125 in total, about 10 G.T.350 in 1966, 20 G.T. 350 in 1967 and 25 G.T.350/500 in 1968. In 1969/1970 it went up to 58 and then the Shelby Europas. My main dealers were Jansen in Amsterdam, Autostrade Motors in Antwerp and some went to Intersport in Paris, the Behra/Ligier-enterprise in France. 

Why did you cease the Shelby Europa business?

My company was undercapitalized to follow up such a project correctly. Also the coming homologation problems were too difficult to cope with my little organisation. Don't forget that I used the GT350 and GT500 1969 homologation documents to get the 1971 cars registered in Belgium. Although the cars were pefectly safe, this was quite an adventure... so I stopped this dangerous business in order to concentrate on the De Tomaso Pantera that became very successful.

Can you tell us something about driving the Europas?

I really did my best to do a good job on those cars. The modifications I designed improved very much the cars compared to the base Mustangs coming from Dearborn, but those cars were big and too heavy anyway. In fact I stopped really loving to drive the Shelbys after the 1967 models... they were, however, excellent cars to go on holidays in the South of France, but no more sports cars. 
Added 2010:... but I had about 2-3 personal demo cars per year. On a 69 we installed a special 50ies Ferrari rear shock set up, which I had considered very effective in my earlier sportscars.. That car has been found in Australia as of 2010

Where was your shop exactly?

My shop was in Uccle, Brussels and the original shop.... during my Shelby times... was real SMALL! At the end of my career, when I became BOSS of Chrysler Belgium, it became real BIG and we had 36 dealers and selling 3.300 cars per year. Incidentally, when I first met Bob Lutz in Brussels, before launching Chrysler Belgium in 1987... who was with him in the Chrysler Corporation Gulstream airplane? Well an old friend ... Carroll Shelby! What a small world. 

Best regards and greetings to your club, have a look into my photobox, once you are here in Brussels


Thanks a lot to Claude Dubois for this exclusive interview. More will be added upon the appearance of SFM5R539 at the Le Mans Classic 2004 or after I get an opportunity to look into his photo archive.


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