Full Stripes

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Rich P

Sep 15, 2020, 9:51:46 AM9/15/20
to shelbyr...@googlegroups.com

Early advertisements from Shelby American indicated the intention of offering ‘Full Stripes’ on 1967 Shelby G.T. vehicles. The various SAI documents referred to these optional stripes by different names:

  • The Production Order had a box in the Options section titled "Full Stripes."

  • Dealer "Vehicle" Invoices would have only itemized the option if the car received them. We've never seen stripes itemized on an invoice.

  • Dealer "Continuation" Invoices did not have the stripe option listed on them. 

  • The Monroney (window sticker) had a line item labeled "Rallye Stripe."

  • The tri-fold "Accessory Price List" listed "Rallye Stripe"  under the Other Options section.

  • The bi-fold "1967 Shelby GT 350 and GT 500 Salesman's Feature Card" referred to them as "LeMans body stripes" in the Popular Options section.

  • The pre-production "1967 Shelby G.T. 350/500 Color and Accessories Guide" shows an "Optional Stripe" color for each body painted color.

  • They were not mentioned on the bi-fold "Facts About the Shelby American 1967 GT 350/500" handout.

  • They were also not mentioned in either the “1967 Shelby G.T. 350/500 The Road Cars” Sales Brochure or the “Shelby G.T.350 / G.T.500” Specification Sheet

Different documents; different names; all technically correct....


This 8" x 11" illustrated advertisement depicts two cars, both with top stripes. This introductory ad was likely created just before the first production units were completed in October 1966. The black and white ad first appeared on November 10th in 'Competition Press and Autoweek" and in "Speed Sport News". In December the B&W ad was found in 'Motor Trend', Road & Track", and Hot Rod' magazines. The color ad version first appeared on November 21st in 'Sports Illustrated'. That was followed in December by appearances in 'Playboy' and in Esquire' magazines.


  • The model designation in the side stripe is justified between the door edge and wheel opening (like the previous model years '65 and ‘66). We know this changed for the '67 model year.

  • While the ‘Full Stripes’ are applied to the hood and lower valance, they are NOT represented as being painted inside the front grille area.

  • The wheels are unlike those found on any production cars. They appear to be a deep-dish racing design. 

A second early advertisement with an illustration was also found in two different Ford ‘Autolite’ advertisements. The full color version is believed to be a poster offered by Autolite, while the all-blue tinted ad was found in periodicals. Once again, we see two G.T. cars, both with the ‘Full Stripes’:


  • The ‘eye level brake and turn indicator lights’ in the air extractors (upper scoops), appear to be the larger size versions with chrome bezels. They were only found on the two advertising cars (V738-2 and #0176). 

  • The rear valance shows the bright trim (not the later style GT stamped valance) 

  • Both illustrated cars appear to have KH Mag Star wheels. 

Both ads bolster our theory that (a) the illustrations were created early (likely pre-production) and *(b) that ‘Full Stripes’ were a planned factory option. 

Factory Paperwork

Additional evidence of Shelby American’s plan to offer the ‘Full Stripes’ is the appropriately labeled box in the ‘Optional Equipment” section of the ‘1967 GT 350 / GT 500 Mustang Production Order’. These SAI Production Orders would have been conceived and printed prior to the start of production. This document was intended to be marked with an ‘X’ in the corresponding box with each added option. We have yet to find a ‘67 Production Order with an “X” in the ‘Full Stripe’ box. 

  • Due to numerous issues at the start of production (such as the problematic fitment of the front-end fiberglass components and perhaps the complex assembly of the early cars inner grille lights), the ‘Full Stripe’ option is believed to have been dropped. The SAI assembly line was hard-pressed to finish and ship cars for the November 10th dealer launch event. They continued to have issues completing cars in a timely manner due to fiberglass fitment issues, even after A.O. Smith was brought in by Ford to help. With one possible exception, it does not appear that SAI painted stripes on the top of cars before they left LAX for the dealerships. The possible exception is #0544 - we’re not sure if the unique triple stripe was applied by SAI or by Mel Burns Ford.


  • Dave Mathews, ‘67 SAAC Registrar, has confirmed that he’s NOT aware of any car receiving the “Full Stripes” at Shelby American, since no SAI paperwork (SAI Production Order or SAI Dealer Invoice) has ever been found to indicate they were applied or charged to any car. 

The SAI document 'Confidential' 1967 Shelby GT-350 and GT-500 Vehicle Prices lists the Rally Stripe as "Other Options".
This line Item was noted as $24.95 Wholesale Delivered and $34.95 Suggested Retail.

The Exception

The only 1967 Shelby known to receive the top stripes before being sold to the public is car #0544 (nicknamed the “Super Snake” by Drag Strip magazine). We only know the car had top stripes because there was a video taken at the Goodyear Texas high-speed test track in March 1967. Photos were also found in the August 1967 ‘Drag Strip’ magazine article showing a non-typical, narrow-wide-narrow ‘triple top stripe’.

Here Carroll Shelby is driving #0544 on March 23, 1967 at the Goodyear Texas high-speed test track, testing Goodyear’s new Thunderbolt tires.


This later photo of #0544 is at Mel Burns Ford with Don McCain (Performance Sales Manager).

Note: at least one other car, #3074, is mentioned in the 2011 SAAC registry as having the same ‘triple top stripe’ applied while being serviced at Mel Burns Ford, though this certainly wouldn’t qualify as ‘factory installed.’ With both of these cars and their ties to Mel Burns Ford, perhaps the ‘triple stripe’ was a specific Mel Burns dealership application .. or could it just be coincidence? We may never know for sure…

Dealer Applied Stripes

While Shelby American may never have actually painted ‘Full Stripes’, it is likely some dealers offered them as an option. A rare photo from 1967 at Road America’s Elkhart Lake (possibly during the ‘June Sprints’) shows a white ‘67 Shelby with standard wheels. It has the blue stripes visible on the spoiler of the trunk lid. This photo was taken in the ‘Northwestern Ford’ display area.  


See Also:

Rich P

Jan 30, 2021, 4:03:19 PM1/30/21
to 1967 Shelby Research Group

Why did the 1967 marketing materials use so many different names for the top stripes? 
Perhaps the prior two years of Shelby GT paperwork and advertisements might shed some light on the subject...

For 1965 the SAI PR department created several GT350 magazine ads, a sales sheet, and a postcard. 
The only name found was ‘double blue racing stripes’
  • The ‘65 sales sheet does not mention any stripes
  • GT350 magazine ads (four ads from June and July 1965) do not mention any stripes
  • The ‘65 Postcard does not mention stripes on the front side (uncertain of the back side)
  • An ad for ‘Carroll Shelby & Lew Spenser’s Hi-Performance Motors’ mentions ‘double blue racing stripes’ as optional equipment

In 1966 the marketing direction changed. The name ‘Rally Stripes’ is frequently used when the option of top stripes is mentioned. 
Later, we see the name ‘LeMans body striping’ used as SAI starts reminding us of their 1966 LeMans effort and win. 
SAI was also influenced by the Ford GT40 MKII in the design of the ‘67 G.T. which they started work on the body design in June 1966.
  • Price List notes ‘Rallye Stripes’ $50.00 Dealer Net - $64.00 Suggested Retail (11/1/65)
  • Brochure under the cut-away image listed; “Options: ‘Competition striping’ “
  • Postcard states “Except for the ‘Striping’ ...you’d swear it was a Mustang”
  • ‘How to make an Italian cry’ ad -- does not mention any stripes (Nov 65 Playboy)
  • ‘G.T.350 is “Son of Cobra” ad; “SEE...‘there goes a G.T. 350 ‘striping’.’’ (Dec 65 Motor Trend)
  • ‘Long time since bib overalls’ ad -- no mention of stripes (Jan 66; Car & Driver, Motor Trend)
  • ‘If you get lonesome for Italy’ ad -- notes “optional top ‘Le Mans’ stripes” (only in Feb 66 Playboy)
  • ‘What happens ...Racing champ makes a sport car’ ad -- no mention of stripes (Mar 66 Playboy)
  • The Owner’s Manual, EXTERIOR section ‘NOTES: 
    • Wide Le Mans body stripes running the full length of the GT 350 are a dealer installed option’. 
    • On the cut-away page we also find ‘LeMans Body Stripes (Optional)’. There were at least two printings for ‘66.
  • Hertz Brochure; lists ‘rally stripes from grille to rear bumper’
  • Hertz magazine color ad; ‘add excitement’ notes ‘Rally stripes’ (April 23, 66 Sports Illustrated)
  • Hertz magazine color ad; ‘only 1000 made’ notes ‘Rally stripes’ (June 66 Car & Driver)
  • Hertz Postcard (Sales Sheet); mentions ‘rally stripes from grille to rear bumper’
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