In mid-February 1968, the California Ford Dealers began to market a factory-built, limited edition Mustang called the GT/CS, or "California Special". Shelby Automotive, now part of Ford, was assigned the task of designing and engineering the necessary parts and assembly procedures for the GT/CS. This was done alongside the development of their 1968 Shelby GT model line. Shelby's fiberglass panels for the GT/CS comprised of the rear trunk lid and quarter extensions, tail light panel, and side scoops. Other features that set the car apart were a pop-off gas cap unique to the CS, a unique blacked-out front grille, body striping, competition style hood locks, and fog lights. Only 3867 GT/CS cars would be produced.
This Highland Green 1968 Mustang GT California Special is 1 of only 111 GT/CS models ordered with the powerful, big-block 390 cubic inch GT V8 and 4-Speed manual transmission. Of those cars only 3 were built with Highland Green coachwork, over the complimentary Ivy Gold interior. Purchased new on May 8, 1968 from Suburban Ford in Sacramento by Lou Tuttle. Lou drove his GT/CS for the following eight years, before its second owner, a high school senior, purchased the car for drag racing.
In 1983 Mike Jewell purchased the car, but with family priorities taking precedent, Mike sold the car to Bob McClurg, a veteran Mustang enthusiast and automotive journalist. McClurg started the restoration, and covered the process as “Project Something Special” in the now out-of-print Mustang Illustrated magazine. However, when the body was finished and ready for assembly, McClurg decided to return the GT/CS to Mike Jewell, who completed the restoration for concours competition.
Strictly following MCA guidelines, and adhering to all of the correct assembly line techniques, Jewell ensured authenticity. All aspects of the restoration were correct in every detail, from part numbers to assembly line inspection marks. MCA Gold Card Judge, Jeff Speegle, carefully researched the Mustang GT/CS production prior to completing the correct chassis markings, and Pico Wheel Company restored the original 14x6 painted steel wheels, which have been refitted with Firestone F70-14 Wide Oval bias-ply tires for concours display. A second set of chromed wheels are fitted with BF Goodrich radial tires for event driving.
The GT/CS debuted at the 2007 Mustang Club of America's National Show in the Concours Trailered Division, earning 693 points out of a possible 700 amid stiff MCA competition, and taking home Gold.
According to GT/CS authority Paul Newitt, author of Mustang GT/CS Recognition Guide & Owners Manual, Mike Jewell's restoration represents one of the top five examples of a California Special in the world. Newitt further estimates that of the 111 cars equipped with the 390 V8/4-Speed combination, perhaps 40 survive. What makes this particular example even more unusual is the GT Equipment Group, a GT/CS option.
Selected and displayed for six months at the Petersen Automotive Museum in 2014, in the Mustangs Forever, 50 Years of a Legend exhibit, this exceptional GT/CS is ready to continue its winning ways on the show field, or once again pound the streets in anger.
Concours and Show Awards
Concours on the Avenue, Carmel by the Sea, 1st in Class award. 2011
Niello Concours at Serrano, Best in Class award, 2010
SAAC-35 National Convention, Gold award; Division II, Concours Trailered, 2010
Palo Alto Concours d'Elegance, 1st in Class award, 2009
Shriners Concours d'Elegance, 1st in Class award, 2009
Niello Concours at Serrano, 1st in Class award, 2008
Mustang Club of America Awards
Mustang Club of America Gold Award: Concours Trailered Division, MCA National, 2016
Mustang Club of America Gold Award: Concours Trailered Division, MCA National, 2013
Mustang Club of America Gold Award: Concours Trailered Division, MCA National, 2012
Mustang Club of America Gold Award: Concours Trailered Division. MCA Grand National, 2008
Mustang Club of America Gold Award; Concours Trailered Division. MCA National, 2007
Peterson Auto Museum, Los Angeles, CA.
Selected and on display in the “Mustangs Forever, 50 Years of a Legend” Exhibit. 05-03-2014 to 10-19-2014
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