Take a Mustang, heat up the engine, mix with an artfully race-tuned chassis, then add more "competition" features inside and out. That was Carroll Shelby's recipe for turning Ford's new low-priced "ponycar" into a credible track performer. The result was more than credible, as Shelby's GT-350 Mustangs won most every sports-car race around in 1965-66.

1969 Shelby GT-500
The 1969 Shelby GT-500 boasted a 428-cubic-inch V-8.
See more pictures of the Shelby Mustang.

Yet the no-compromise flavor of those first fastbacks was quickly watered down with extra size and fluff. The restyled '67 GT-350 was not only heavier but gained a burly big-engine brother, the GT-500.

1969 Shelby GT-500
The 1969 Shelby GT-500 remain a rare classic convertible.

The following year introduced convertible versions of both. By 1969, the Shelby GTs were just limited-production custom Mustangs. They were even built by Ford.

Still, a '69 GT-500 turned heads like nothing else, and though its 428-cubic-inch V-8 was available in Mustangs, it made at least 65 more horsepower in Shelbys, a mighty 400 advertised. But this tasty confection cost a steep $5027, so only 335 ragtop 500s were sold for '69, plus a spoonful of reserialed "1970" models. The GT-350 was even scarcer at only 194, plus a dollop of carryovers. It was the last of a great line.

For more classic convertibles of the 1960s and 1970s, see:

1960 Dodge Polara
1960 Edsel Ranger
1961 Ford Galaxie Sunliner
1962 Dodge Polara 500
1963 Chevrolet Impala SS
1963 Ford Falcon Futura
1963 Plymouth Sport Fury
1963 Studebaker Lark Daytona
1965 Chrysler 300L
1965 Rambler American 440
1966 Chevrolet Corvair Monza
1968 Mercury Park Lane
1969 Plymouth Road Runner
1973 Mercury Cougar XR-7 1975 Chevrolet Caprice Classic 1975 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale
1975 Pontiac Grand Ville 1976 Cadillac Eldorado

For more information on all kinds of cars, try these: