Story by John Gunnell – Photos Christa Haley
Lately there’s been a move afoot, on the part of Shelby-collectors, to add Bronco sport utility vehicles (SUVs) to their collections. Seth Burgett is one of the drivers of this movement. He is chief executive officer of Gateway Broncos (www.gatewaybroncos.com), a firm that refurbishes 1966-1967 Broncos using assembly line techniques to do its builds. Burgett adopted his manufacturing system from Henry Ford and is a fan of Ford products such as Shelbys and, of course, Broncos.
“Actually, I’m a bit of a Shelby nut,” Burgett said during the Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance (www.milwaukeeconcours.com) in early August. “I’ve got a 1967 GT500 that I describe as ‘my donation to B.F. Goodrich.’ Every time I drive the car, I shred the tires a little more. I have a lot of fun with the car. I road race it at Shelby American Automobile Club (www.saac.com) events whenever I can.” At the Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance, he showed a 1967 Shelby GT350 he’s restoring.
In 1977, the second owner lost his job working on Hilton Head Island. He told Burgett that, at the time, he had a couple of kids. “He said that the kids needed to eat,” Burgett explained. “He decided it was better to feed them than to keep the Shelby. He reluctantly sold the car.”
Two weeks later, the second owner got another job. He then went on to become a successful businessman, working as a corporate controller and later as a chief financial officer. According to Burgett, he also wrote several songs for the Eagles rock-and-roll band for which he still gets royalty checks.
The man also built up a large car collection and bought and sold many cars over the years However, about once a month, he went on eBay looking for Shelby No. 1933. Burgett had Shelby No. 1933 and eventually made contact with the second owner, who then committed himself to assist with the restoration and help bring the car back to the condition it was in when he sold it.
“I talked to him recently and he decided it was time for him to own the car again,” Burgett explained. “So, I sold it back to him exactly 40 years after he had to sell it. We’re going to restore it back to the way it was when he first owned it. So, he had a four- to five-year period when he owned it when it was Brittany Blue with white stripes and also had the Paxton supercharger and the air conditioning.”
Burgett’s company is going to put the car back to that condition even though the Paxton supercharger and air conditioning were not available from the factory or dealer on a 1967 Shelby GT350. As it sits today, it is the way it was when the second owner last owned it and had it painted white with blue stripes.
Burgett said he’ll need to do a little engineering to return the car to its former state. “That’s how he wants it,” Burgett stressed. “We’ll deliver it to him at his Kentucky home and we plan to allow him to have a raging burnout and make more donations to B.F. Goodrich using the Paxton as the motivator behind that.”
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