Lets start at the beginning…
The Era of the first Generation Ford Mustang was slowly coming to an end when, in 1972, a little red haired boy was born.
Growing up, Franky always had a fascination for cars and more specifically for the Ford Mustang.
Of course this interest was fueled by his dad who was an avid car lover himself. Going to car shows together was one of their favorite pass times.
When Franky turned 14, his biggest dream came true, he got his first car, a 1971 Mustang Grande.
But as most collectors know, there are always better deals around the corner and not long after the ’71 was purchased another icon entered Franky’s life, a 1973 Mach I.
Although…for the untrained eye, it was just a couple of boxes.
A project started on with a lot of ambition but ending up as a torn apart body and a discouraged owner who wanted to get his money back as soon as possible.
But again, Franky was over the moon with his car, eager to build it up from scratch.
At the time of purchase the car was 1 year younger than Franky and owning a powerful muscle car in Belgium was very expensive (it still is by the way).
The only way to make it a little cheaper was buying an oldtimer instead of a younger model.
According to Belgian law a car used to become an oldtimer at the age of 25.
Once it is classified as an oldtimer, insurance and taxes get a lot cheaper.
For the Mach I it would take another 12 years before it would become an oldtimer and neither Franky nor his dad wanted to wait around to make it a little bit more affordable.
And so the search kept on going…
One day in the mid 80’s, Franky and his dad visited a friend in his warehouse in Antwerp. He had all kinds of classics for sale and they wanted to check out his inventory. While there they noticed a very strange looking Mustang sitting in a corner of the building…
It didn’t look like much since a lot of the front end was missing, the engine was not in the car anymore, one door seemed to have been replaced, and the interior was partially stripped.
But it had side scoops and that was something that Franky liked very much!
So for the third time money and papers exchanged hands and Franky became the proud owner of a 1968 Mustang Fastback….or at least that’s what they thought they bought. But then an issue arose.
Once home, Franky’s dad, looked into the paperwork. It turned out that the VIN on the papers didn’t match the vehicle.
And since the seller didn’t want to take any responsibility for this as he claimed to have told the original paperwork on the car got lost, there was nothing else to do for Franky’s dad then start the search for the correct paperwork.
So he started tapping his resources and struck gold when he talked to Smitty Mustangs, one of the only Mustang dealers in Belgium at the time.
It turned out Smitty knew the car Franky and his dad had bought and then the mystery unveiled.
It turned out the car they bought was a Shelby GT500 KR !
In fact it was the only one ever officially sold in Belgium.
It had only been on the road for a couple of years and in 1972 it was parked to be used as a donor car for the only ’68 Shelby Convertible that was driving around in Belgium as well.
Body parts were taken off, the original 428 Cui was pulled out to be put in an Alfa Romeo to go Drag Racing, the complete car was torn apart, and the paperwork ‘got lost’ in the meantime as well.
But Franky’s dad was determined to find those papers and he found them alright. The first owner of the car still had them laying around somewhere and didn’t want to let go of them.
Luckily when paperwork on an original Belgian car gets lost, the owner can apply for duplicates and the original paperwork becomes worthless so after having a good talk with the previous owner, Franky and his dad obtained the actual documents, the restoration of this valuable Mustang could start as well as the search for Shelby parts…
And then life happens…Franky graduated High School, started a career, and a family.
The Shelby got parked in a corner to stay there for a couple of years.
Meanwhile Franky built himself a good reputation as ‘The Mustang Doctor’, who could ‘cure’ any issues people had on their classic cars.
To give his business an extra push the decision was made to sell the KR project.
And although it weighed heavy on his heart to let her go, without knowing it, this step was the first one towards Bullitt Classic Cars…