Legendary Revival: The Journey of a Neglected 1966 Shelby Mustang GT350H Back to Its Former Glory

Discovering a long-lost treasure buried beneath the earth is the stuff of legends. In a remarkable turn of events, a 1966 Shelby Mustang GT350H was recently uncovered in an Ohio backyard after spending four decades hidden from the world. The story behind its recovery is nothing short of extraordinary, shedding light on the enduring allure of vintage automobiles and the determination of passionate enthusiasts.

The Astonishing Find

Imagine stumbling upon a forgotten beauty, seemingly frozen in time. As Rick, an avid car enthusiast, and his friend Mike Charles embarked on an adventure in April 2015, they were met with a statement that piqued their curiosity: “I know where Shelby is in the woods.” Intrigued yet skeptical, Rick and Mike ventured into the unknown, hoping that this lead would not be another tall tale.

To their astonishment, there it stood—the 1966 Shelby Mustang GT350H, embraced by nature’s embrace and the ravages of time. The car appeared as if someone had recently backed it out of the garage and abandoned it, frozen in a moment of automotive history. Despite the decay and rust, the allure of this classic beauty remained, a testament to the resilience of an American icon.

The State of the Car

Examining the relic of the past, Rick and Mike discovered both promising signs and areas of concern. The engine, identified as a 289 Cobra with a four-point distributor, hinted at the car’s powerful heritage. While some components were missing, such as the original exhaust manifolds, headers hinted at potential modifications made over the years.

The interior of the car revealed signs of deterioration, with rust-laden hinges limiting the access to the engine bay. However, a glimpse of the original Shelby tag beneath the hood reaffirmed the authenticity and significance of this find. The question that lingered was the value of this time-worn machine, a matter of both sentimental and monetary importance.

The Quest for Restoration

Diving deeper into the project, Rick knew the road to restoration would be filled with challenges. The rust that had eaten away at the body presented a formidable obstacle, but the dream of rescuing this automotive gem pushed him forward. Signature Auto Home, also known as Abbas Cars, offered their extensive expertise to breathe life back into the Mustang.

Derek, the brother residing at the house where the car was found, shared a special connection to this vintage beauty. Their parents had acquired the car five years before Derek was born. As an elementary school teacher, their mother, Carol Delano, had become known for her cool ride—the envy of both colleagues and students alike. Now, the time had come to honor the legacy and restore the Shelby Mustang to its former glory.

Overcoming Challenges

The process of rescuing a car that had spent four decades exposed to the elements was not without obstacles. The car’s entrenchment in the Ohio backyard proved to be more than a simple extraction. A combination of dirt accumulation, a submerged tree trunk, and rusted wheels created a complex puzzle that needed to be solved before the car could be freed.

With shovels, pickaxes, and unwavering determination, Rick and his team embarked on a mission to unearth the buried treasure. They excavated the car’s surroundings, removing layers of dirt that had settled over the years. Carefully maneuvering and securing the car, they prepared to bring it back to its rightful place—the road.

The Road to Restoration

As the Mustang was gingerly loaded onto a rollback, the realization of what lay ahead became clear. Restoring this car would require extensive work, dedication, and a financial investment. The team estimated a cost of approximately $35,000 to $40,000 for the restoration, considering the replacement of numerous parts, including fenders, quarter panels, and various components ravaged by time and neglect.

Undeterred by the challenges that lay ahead, Rick and his team were motivated by their shared vision of resurrecting this automotive legend. With meticulous attention to detail and a deep respect for the car’s history, they embarked on a journey that would not only breathe new life into the Mustang but also honor its original owners.

Preserving the Legacy

While the road to restoration may be arduous, the rewards will be immeasurable. Rick, Derek, and the entire team at Signature Auto Home strive to preserve the legacy of this 1966 Shelby Mustang GT350H. They recognize the significance of every original part and diligently source replacements to ensure the utmost authenticity.

The journey of restoration is not solely about reviving a car; it’s about resurrecting memories and stories. The rejuvenated Mustang will serve as a testament to the passion, craftsmanship, and dedication of all those involved, ensuring that this piece of automotive history continues to captivate and inspire generations to come.


The recovery of the 1966 Shelby Mustang GT350H from its 40-year slumber in an Ohio backyard marks a remarkable moment in automotive history. It symbolizes the enduring allure of classic cars and the tireless efforts of enthusiasts who seek to preserve and revive these iconic machines. With the determination and expertise of Rick and his team at Signature Auto Home, this vintage beauty is destined to reclaim its rightful place on the open road, capturing the hearts of onlookers and reviving the glory of a bygone era.


1. How long was the 1966 Shelby Mustang GT350H buried in the Ohio backyard? The Mustang had spent a remarkable 40 years hidden beneath the earth, patiently waiting to be rediscovered.

2. What condition was the car in when it was found? The car had succumbed to the effects of time and neglect. It exhibited signs of rust, decay, and missing components, but its authentic Shelby features and vintage charm remained intact.

3. How much will it cost to restore the 1966 Shelby Mustang GT350H? The estimated cost for the restoration of the Mustang is around $35,000 to $40,000. This figure includes the replacement of various parts and extensive bodywork required to bring the car back to its former glory.

4. Will the car be returned to its original owners? Yes, the original owners’ family intends to keep the car. The restoration project is a tribute to its sentimental value and will ensure that the Mustang remains within the family’s possession.

5. What is the significance of the 1966 Shelby Mustang GT350H? The 1966 Shelby Mustang GT350H holds immense significance in automotive history. It represents an era of iconic American muscle cars and showcases the craftsmanship and performance that made these vehicles legendary.

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