This 1969 Shelby GT350 has a remarkable story to tell, it was stolen shortly after it was delivered in 1969 and damaged. It was then bought by Jerry Lecatse who rebuilt it into a Boss 302-powered SCCA B Production race car and it competed from 1973 until 1982.
The car would later suffer another tragedy, it was badly damaged in a fire at a storage facility in the 1980s. A restoration that began in 1994 was completed in 2012, bringing the car back to the specification from its B Production heyday – and it’s now being offered for sale.
Fast Facts – An SCCA B Production 1969 Shelby GT350
- This car started life as a 1969 Shelby GT500 that was finished in Silver Jade and sold new to a customer in Hayward, California in August of 1969. Not long after delivery it was stolen and damaged badly enough that the insurance car wrote it off and paid out the owner.
- By 1971 the car had been bought by Jerry Lecatse’s ABC Auto Wreckers of San Leandro, California. Lecatse was a noted Shelby enthusiast, and he saved the car – rebuilding it into a Boss 302 V8-powered SCCA B Production class race car.
- The car would compete up and down the East Coast from 1973 until 1982. It was later caught up in a fire at a storage facility, it was then given a restoration which completed in 2012. Since this time it has competed extensively in vintage motorsport across a wide range of sanctioning bodies.
- Vintage race cars often have interesting stories to tell, though few have survived two devastating incidents and been rebuilt both times into a highly competitive machine. This car is now due to roll across the auction block in Arizona with a price guide starting at $200,000 USD.
The Mustang That Refused To Die
Race cars often live short, fast lives. This is certainly true of the vehicle you see here, it’s been written off and brought back from the dead twice, and it’s been raced in anger countless times including a slew of period entries in the hard-fought SCCA B Production Class in the United States.
The car left the factory in mid-1969 as a relatively standard Shelby GT500 that was finished in a shade of light green called Silver Jade. The first owner took delivery in Hayward, California on the 28th of August 1969 but their happiness would be short-lived.
The car was stolen and damaged badly enough that their insurance company was unwilling to pay for the repairs. The owner was cashed out, and the car was destined for the scrapheap.
This is where Jerry Lecatse and his company ABC Auto Wreckers of San Leandro, California came into the picture. Lecatse bought the car and set to work turning it into a race car eligible to compete in the SCCA B Production Class.
The original 428 cubic inch (7.0) liter V8 was removed and replaced with a Boss 302 V8 with a more rules-friendly displacement of 302 cubic inches (5.0 liters). The Boss 302 engine had been developed for homologation into the SCCA Trans-Am series and as such it could produce well over 300 bhp with the right tuning and all the go-faster-bits bolted on.
Once the engine was in place and bolted up to the 4-speed manual transmission, Lecatse embarked on the rest of the build process. This included the fitment of a roll cage and competition wheels, and a new coat of coat of Grabber Green paint onto the car’s lightweight Maier fiberglass bodywork.
Lecatse raced the car extensively from 1973 to 1975 in SCCA races across California before selling the car to Gordon and Nancy Gimbel of Roseville, California who continued racing it until 1980.
It was during the Gimbel ownership that the car had a 351 Cleveland V8 fitted, along with GT1-class International Motor Sports Association-style fender flares and 15 inch wheels shod with racing rubber. The color was also changed to Sapphire Blue – with all the correct white Shelby stripes in place.
A Second Death, And Another Rebirth
In 1982 the car was bought by Gary Goeringer who planned to return it to its earlier SCCA racing specification. Tragically, before he could get to work on it the car was damaged in a storage facility fire along with 14 other vehicles.
The car remained in damaged condition in a new storage facility until Goeringer met famous hot-rodder Doane Spencer, they got to talking about the car and struck a deal to finish it together, repairing the parts that needed it with a donor chassis. Spencer would sadly pass away in 1995 and the project wouldn’t see completion until 2012, completed by the California-based competition Mustang specialist Dave Mani.
The car was so well restored to its original racing condition that it qualified for the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association Gold Medallion class, which rules that all parts be original or accurate copies of period-correct technology and that the car be in “as-raced” condition in compliance with the original 1969 SCCA Rule Book.
The restoration was completed with a Boss 302 V8 built by Skip Govia Racing Engines, which was dyno tested at 437 bhp.
A Triumphant Return To Competition
Since it was completed in 2012 the car has been raced extensively in vintage motorsport competition under a wide range of sanctioning bodies including Classic Sports Racing Group, Historic Motorsports Association, SAAC, SVRA, and the Vintage Auto Racing Association. In 2016 it was awarded the SVRA’s prestigious Coronado Historic Trophy for Excellence in Presentation.
It’s now being offered for sale in remarkably well-presented condition condition throughout, thanks in no small part to the current owner’s extensive maintenance schedule which shows invoices for $141,000 USD on file.
If you’d like to read more about the car or register to bid you can visit the listing here on RM Sotheby’s, it’s due to roll across the auction block with them on the 25th of January with a price guide of $200,000 – $300,000 USD in Arizona.
Images: ©2024 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.