What do dangling out of a helicopter with a camera and a building a tribute car have in common? Both require intense focus, knowledge, and skill. That’s why videographer and pilot Shawn Adams turned to the body shop at Butler Automotive Group to transform his stock 1967 Ford Mustang convertible into a 1967 Shelby Mustang Tribute car.
Only one authentic ’67 Shelby convertible exists. Widely acknowledged as the rarest race car in the world, the original belonged to legendary racecar driver, racing team owner, engineer and entrepreneur Carroll Shelby who died in Spring of 2012 at the age of 89. While Shelby manufactured a 1968 convertible, the ’67 drop top never went into production. But that couldn’t keep it from becoming the object of many a teenager’s obsession, including Shawn’s. So, what’s the appeal? “That you never see them around,” he says. “I’ve always liked the look of the ’67 but that model didn’t come in a convertible. It all comes down to the hood and nose. The front end defines that car.”
So, in Fall of 2011 Shawn turned to Butler Automotive Group for help making a Shelby out of his stock 1967 Ford Mustang convertible. He knew Butler, under the watchful eye and skilled hand of Body Shop Manager Guy Fowler, had restored three classic cars already and that Guy, having been part owner in a Camaro building shop in San Jose, had years of experience under his belt. In his spare time Guy, along with body shop technician Thad Grogan, and painters George Dunphy and Rob Scott, dismantled Shawn’s car and began the painstaking process of rebuilding it while adding reproduction Shelby parts. The vehicle was then painted a shade closely matching the original’s candy-apple red. “It was really important to do it right,” Guy says. “The whole car is functional. It’s tight. It was a quality build.” The Tribute car is now fully intact and on display at Butler Ford in Ashland.
A videographer who regularly hangs out of a helicopter to shoot video for such clients as National Geographic and Discovery, Shawn’s been documenting the build and will be assembling a full-length video detailing the process. The plan is to incorporate the Tribute car into a Butler Ford television commercial in Spring of 2013. We don’t want to give too much away but feel safe in saying the spot will include more than one Mustang and at least one helicopter. In the meantime, Shawn’s crossing his fingers for good weather so he can take his sweet ‘Stang on the road, top down, of course. But even if he has to wait until next year, he’s content to just look, for now. “I think it’s the coolest material object I’ve ever seen in my life,” he says. “And that is the truth.”
To see the build process visit http://butlersservicecenters.wordpress.com/the-67-shelby-project/.