Restoring classic cars is like unveiling buried treasure, and when that treasure is a 1967 GT500 Shelby Mustang, the excitement reaches new heights. Bob, the fortunate discoverer of this vintage gem, may have initially been more inclined towards dogs than Shelby’s, but fate had something extraordinary in store for him. After spending 40 years parked and forgotten, the story of this iconic vehicle captured the curiosity of car enthusiasts everywhere. In this article, we will delve into the restoration journey, detailing the painstaking process and the financial commitment that went into bringing this legendary Mustang back to life.

Unearthing the Past

Loading Up and Heading Out

When the decision was made to rescue the 1967 GT500 Shelby Mustang, the first step was loading it onto a trailer and embarking on a journey to Des Moines. Amidst the vast farmlands of Iowa, Bob’s excitement grew, knowing that he was about to breathe new life into a piece of American automotive history.

Bob Folkstead: A Man of Passion

Bob Folkstead, the proud owner of Creative Werks in Des Moines, Iowa, leads a busy life immersed in his love for cars. Engaging in activities like autocross, road rallies, and speed stop challenges, he is no stranger to the thrill of automotive adventures. Bob’s passion for automobiles extends to his collection, which includes the 1967 Shelby GT500 Mustang, a vehicle he actively races in the Optima Street Car Challenge.

The Initial Restoration Costs

Bob’s determination to restore the Mustang led him to invest significantly in the process. Setting a monthly budget of $10,000, he quickly realized that the project demanded more than anticipated. With parts, labor, and the appraisal cost factored in, the restoration expenses quickly exceeded his initial estimates.

Preserving Authenticity

Unveiling the Original Paint

One of the primary objectives of the restoration was to preserve the car’s originality. The Lime Gold acrylic enamel, shimmering under the Iowa sun, showcased the Mustang’s factory-fresh colors. Despite minor imperfections, Bob was determined to keep the original paint intact, refusing to succumb to the temptation of a show-quality finish.

Addressing Rust and Blemishes

While rust and blemishes were inevitable after years of neglect, Bob and his son, Preston, collaborated with Bob Perkins, a renowned Mustang restorer, to develop a meticulous plan. Clay bar treatment, acid washing, and gentle paint correction techniques were employed to save the original surfaces from further damage.

An Eye for Detail

Restoring a classic car requires a keen eye for detail. Bob Perkins meticulously inspected each component, determining the best course of action. While some areas demanded minor touch-ups, others were left untouched, preserving the historical authenticity that comes with age.

Uncovering Hidden Gems

The Quest for Authentic Parts

As the restoration progressed, the search for authentic parts became an exhilarating adventure. Bob, along with experts like Jeff Yergovich of R & A Motorsports, scoured the market for rare and hard-to-find components. From correct date-coded accessories to original Cobra oval air cleaners, every detail was scrutinized to ensure the utmost accuracy.

Resurrecting the Heart of the Beast

The engine, a critical element of any vehicle, underwent thorough examination and refurbishment. While the original 428 engine was replaced, Bob’s determination led him to acquire a suitable replacement—a 428 from a Shelby GT500 built during the same week, complete with correct date codes.

Upholding Originality

Throughout the restoration, Bob’s commitment to preserving original features remained unwavering. From the meticulously rebuilt wheel cylinders to the re-plated exhaust manifolds, every effort was made to maintain the car’s stock appearance.

Unveiling the Transformed Beauty

The Triumph of Patience

After months of meticulous restoration work, the moment arrived to reveal the transformed Shelby GT500 Mustang. The car emerged as a testament to the dedication and passion poured into its revival, capturing the essence of a bygone era.

Reliving the Glory Days

Stepping into the driver’s seat of this vintage masterpiece is like taking a journey back in time. With its powerful 428 Police Interceptor engine, the GT500 unleashes a raw, exhilarating experience reminiscent of the car’s heyday.

An Investment of Love

While the restoration journey may have been financially demanding, Bob’s unwavering commitment to the project demonstrates the immeasurable value he places on his passion for classic cars. Each dollar spent represents an investment in preserving automotive history and reliving the glory of a bygone era.


The restoration of the 1967 Shelby GT-500 Mustang exemplifies the dedication and craftsmanship required to breathe new life into a classic car. Bob Folkstead’s unwavering commitment, combined with the expertise of skilled restorers, resurrected a forgotten masterpiece. This tale of automotive redemption inspires us to appreciate the heritage and timeless beauty of classic automobiles.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How long did the restoration process take? The restoration journey spanned several months, with the car being dropped off in February and picked up in late June. The process demanded careful attention to detail, resulting in a comprehensive revival of the Mustang.

2. What was the original engine in the Shelby GT-500 Mustang? The original engine in the Shelby GT-500 Mustang was a 428 Police Interceptor. While the specific original engine was replaced during the restoration, an authentic 428 engine from the same time period was sourced as a suitable replacement.

3. How much did the restoration cost in total? The restoration costs far exceeded the initial budget, with estimates ranging from $40,000 to $50,000 for parts and over $20,000 for labor. The commitment to preserving authenticity and sourcing rare components contributed to the overall expenses.

4. What efforts were made to preserve the original paint? Despite minor imperfections, the original Lime Gold acrylic enamel paint was carefully preserved. Techniques such as clay bar treatment, acid washing, and gentle paint correction were employed to save the historical authenticity of the car.

5. What inspired Bob Folkstead to undertake the restoration? Bob Folkstead’s passion for cars, coupled with his love for preserving automotive history, served as the driving force behind the restoration. The discovery of the 1967 Shelby GT-500 Mustang ignited his determination to revive this iconic piece of American automotive heritage.