When it comes to rock musicians who’ve passed into history, few are as legendary as late The Doors frontman Jim Morrison. The same rare honor belongs to the Mustang Shelby GT500. Jim Morrison is easily found at a graveyard in Paris, but the whereabouts of the car he dubbed “Blue Lady” remains a mystery fifty years after the celebrity and the Lizard King’s death.
Morrison’s fabulous freebie
James Douglas Morrison was born on Dec. 8, 1943, in Melbourne, Florida. By the time he was found dead at age 27 in a bathtub in Paris, France, on July 3, 1971, the charismatic lead singer had amassed a catalog of songs and wracked up more than one car. One such vehicle was a blue Ford Mustang Shelby given to him by Elektra Records founder Jac Holzman.
In 1967, after “Light My Fire” became Elektra Records’ first number one hit, Holzman offered the Doors band members any reward they wanted. According to Hagerty Media, keyboardist Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robbie Krieger opted for a state-of-the-art tape recorder. Drummer John Densmore chose a horse, and Jim Morrison asked for -and received- a brand new 1967 Ford Shelby 500GT similar to one owned by his friend and hairstylist, Jay Sebring.
The specifications of the legendary 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby 500GT
Until 1967, the Shelby GT350 was considered the highest-performing Ford Mustang ever made. That all changed when Ford designers Carrol Shelby and Charlie McHose came up with an even faster, more robust vehicle. According to Car and Driver magazine, only 2,050 1967 Ford Shelby 500GT cars were built at a base price of $4,195 and came with specs that included:
- 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds
- Quarter mile time of 15 seconds
- A 428 cubic-inch V8 engine
- 355 horsepower
- 420 ft-lb of torque
The only interior colors available on the now legendary vehicle were Parchment or Black. Exterior colors were available in a broader range and included:
- Acapulco Blue
- Brittany Blue
- Bronze Metallic
- Candy Apple Red
- Dark Blue
- Dark Moss Green
- Lime Gold
- Metallic Grey
- Raven Black
- Wimbledon White
Where did Morrison’s Ford Mustang Shelby wind up?
Numerous rumors abound regarding the whereabouts of Jim Morrison’s now-legendary Blue Lady. One story suggests that the “Light My Fire” singer crashed into a telephone pole and abandoned the vehicle on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. Another story is that Morrison drove himself to LAX and left the car in the airport parking lot. The car is also rumored to be somewhere in Arizona.
A more likely explanation was offered by Morrison’s friend and bodyguard, Tony Funches, who said that the vehicle “didn’t survive by any means” and that Morrison “learned to drive” after “wrapping the Shelby Mustang around a pole,” reported The Clarksvillian.
It’s not too late to drive a Shelby similar to Morrison’s
In 2020, Ford released a souped-up, revised edition of Jim Morrison’s classic Shelby. The rear-wheel-drive, front-engine, four-passenger, two-door coupe boasts an inter-cooled supercharged DOHC 32-valve V8 engine, aluminum blocks and heads, and port fuel injectors along with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, says Car and Driver.
A gas-powered 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 with seven-speed automated manual transmission will set you back at least $70,300. Specs listed by Edmunds rate its engine output at 760 horsepower and 625 lb-ft of torque.
Drivers can add a carbon fiber track pack for $18,500 and a technology package for $3,000. This puts the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 at the cost of over $90,000. Is it worth that sort of cash to drive a car? Reviewers at J.D. Power seem to think so. According to the respected marketing research firm, owners of the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 are enamored with their vehicle’s engine, transmission, interior design, and driving dynamics.
Shelby owners noted only a few drawbacks, including a back seat too small to comfortably seat adults, less than optimal visibility, and poor fuel economy.