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Old 05/21/2011, 06:33 PM   #1
robert campbell
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Debut Cars

Tim suggested that I try to organize one thread with all the information that I have found on debut cars. And to consolidate all the information on my car. It has an interesting history. To start this off here are two pictures of my car when I bought it. It looks great, but trust me these photos are very kind to it. The paint was very old and weather checked and not able to be rubbed out to any kind of a gloss. Very old paint. I will go into greater detail in the next post. This car had two coats of paint when I bought it. This color and the original colors of a Gold Nugget Special (GNS). In fact I found the “C” stipe under this paint. The “C” stipe was part of the GNS package. What is interesting is the fact that the color change was “extremely” thorough. This was not a blow and go, but every area of the car was repainted blue. And the GT/CS scripts were in the high location like Curtis’s debut car.

So my first question for the site is. Were there any other debut cars that were blue with a white vinyl top with white side stripes? This car is a one of one and extremely loaded. I have a picture of the "all white" car at the debut and it is very plain Jane. No tach, standard interior, and hub caps.

I encourage Scott, Curtis, and Doug to weigh in. You are new to this from Curtis’s car. Arlie, Tim, Marty, and Neil have helped me along the way.

More info to come.


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Old 05/22/2011, 06:46 PM   #2
robert campbell
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Here is a copy of my Marti Report. And a picture of the higher position of the script. Below are two older e-mails that discuss many quotes form the first book that led me to believe that a Gold Nugget Special WITH GT/CS options may have been made. To promote the cars in the Northwest.

I hope the experts on this site will read all of the below and refer to the pages identified in the first book. They are very telling. This post is long, so I will go to another post with more info.

Again my car is the only one other than Curtis's with the higher script that I know of.

Thanks for you support on my quest. I have an ad from a Seattle newspaper from January of 1968. It is a Ford company ad not a dealer ad. It states "Only in the Northwest.... 525 Golden Nugget Limited Edition Mustangs". I took a pic yesterday, put it did not come out great. I will scan into a PDF and see if that is better. Arlie as you questioned the 525-production number is for the "Gold Nugget", or "Golden Nugget Limited Edition Mustang" as Ford called it in their ad. I am unsure whether a Marti report for one of these 525 would say "gold nugget" or "gold nugget special" like my report says. Kevin may be able to answer that, but according to Casey, Kevin says that my car does not exist.

The build dates are another mystery. On page 29 of Paul's original registry in the 5th paragraph down it talks about the wide discrepancy in build dates.

It states: “Actual production dates, (see page 53, no.8) often varied by several days to weeks, as this was a computer pre-assigned production date, and not necessarily the exact date. Reflected in the GT/CS Survey are very early cars dating from 21 December 1967 through January 29, 1968. It is likely that these cars were partially built, and on standby for GT/CS modification, or were just “late” cars. For example, one GT/CS in the Survey (page 54) was special ordered on April 28th, and delivered to the (dealer) and the customer by June 3rd. The cars production date was May 28th, one month from the day it was ordered by the dealer, and three days before actual delivery, which explains how production dates are pre-specified dates of completion, and can vary up to one month”.

This brings me to another thought. If the above is true, then cars may have been pre-staged and taken from the assembly line with the trunks and end caps off. Just standard coupes. Ford did the same thing with the early Shelby’s. Ford sent 1965 “K” code (hipo) 4 speed Fastbacks to Los Angeles with no hoods and such. Then they were finished. These late or staged cars may have all sorts of anomalous that are different from a Mustang destined to be a GT/CS from the start of assembly on the line during the height of GT/CS production. I will submit that the GT/CS’s in the February 15th debut, were very “hand assembled”. We already know that the script for the first 14 cars was hand made. And the position of the “California Script” on these cars is higher than the traditional location. Way down at the bottom of my first thread “new member” I discuss this. My car only has the original right rear quarter and in my gallery I show pictures of original holes I chose not to use. When I painted it I moved the script to the traditional location and installed a complete left rear quarter. Someone had butchered a partial panel on it before I got it.

All and all, I think any of the pre-stage cars that may have existed may not show correctly in Kevin’s database. They may have been destined as a plain coupe or golden nugget and converted after being pre-staged. I bet if you ran a report on the first 14 cars, they would not show as GT/CS’s.

It also intrigues me that none of these first 14 have surfaced! Especially, the ones on the stage during the debut. They must have ended up in the hands of some dealership executive or his wife. Someone must have one somewhere in California! Boy would that VIN and history answer a lot of questions!


First of all I think we need to set a couple definitions for the sake of this thread. I will take some liberties as to the names and the descriptions. They may be totally incorrect.

“Gold Nugget Limited Edition Mustang”: Plain-Jane coupe with black “C” stripe, black vinyl top, “Sunlit Gold”, with blackout hood and special plaque attached to the dash with ordering persons name on it. Ford ad said 525 produced for the Northwest. Debut before GT/CS. Ads started in January papers in the NW. Special order paint code 741111. No connection to a California Special.

“Gold Nugget Special”: All the below is either from Paul’s first book or research by myself. Lee Gray stated the existence of such cars. Early jump-start for GT/CS sales in the NW. Pages are identified in the thread. Possible early cars staged by Ford for future conversion to GT/CS. Anniversary Gold vice Sunlit Gold. Tom Shield’s/Janice Brulc’s car was restored to Anniversary Gold. According to Janice it was a clean match to the original paint on the car. Our car is was definitely not Sunlit Gold. Casey’s car is an excellent example of that paint. I had our car down to the metal and saw the paint. Much “browner” and darker a bit than Casey’s car. Two cars within two days of the same build date. Both with DSO code 74111. Same as a Gold Nugget. Seemingly, the combination of the Gold Nugget Limited Edition Mustang and the GT/CS. Again stated as occurring by Lee Gray.

So to answer your question first Casey, I am unsure whether Kevin’s database can discern from “Gold Nugget Limited Edition Mustang” and a “Gold Nugget Special”. They may be the same cars in his database or maybe they are two separate options. That is assuming that a “Gold Nugget Special” is a combination of the GT/CS with Anniversary Gold paint and a black vinyl top. The quest continues, but we have two cars with early dates and to the best of my knowledge and the GT/CS option.

To identify one of the original 14!! Would have to be by luck of someone having personal knowledge. Paul Newitt has more photos of the debut at LA. Maybe they can shed some light. I will bet that all of these cars started their journey down the Ford assembly line as non-GT/CS cars. I may be wrong, but the history seems to indicate that cars were “assembled” prior, to debut the idea, before the ordering started. I hope Paul can help or we find one, one day that has the family history to authenticate it. A run on that VIN would result in some interesting information.

J. Speegle,
Sorry I do not have your first name. Below are my thoughts to the best of my knowledge on your questions.

My perception of what Casey said Kevin said was that a Gold Nugget Special is the Gold Nugget Limited Edition Mustang. No GT/CS option and therefore not a GT/CS combination of the two cars with Anniversary Gold paint vice sunlit gold. I have seen the original door plate of a Gold Nugget Limited Edition Mustang with the dash plaque. One of the 525 made. Its DSO is the same as mine “741111”
It also said “Y5” in the paint code and was definitely “Sunlit Gold”. The number 5 after the pint code number to my knowledge means “black out hood”. Ah more confusion.

Date codes are proven to be very unrealistic to actual production. That seems to be a fact.

Paul Newitt’s original book states that some cars were pulled off the line after completion, or partial completion, and staged for GT/CS conversion. All I have to go on. Do you have the book? Also Ford records to my knowledge do not state. “Destined to be a Shelby” They were built as hipo fastbacks and sent to LA. I could be wrong.

The very early cars were already built. They were not GT/CS cars and the line had not built GT/CS ordered cars. So my guess is the first 14 were hand assembled for the debut. When did actual cars come down the line as GT/CS’s? Car 15, 16, or ??. We have photos in Paul’s book showing the first 14 cars with some with drawings on their sides trying to position the rear quarter script. These were not assembled as GT/CS’s from the beginning.

My real thoughts are cars 1-14 may not have had the heavy-duty bracket for the flasher. Wonder if the fog lights even had wiring to them?? The script was definitely higher in the cars on the stage at the debut. Is that the same for all 14 or just the ones on the stage?? Was the tail light wiring spliced in the trunk or original from under the dash? The questions are endless. The final question is whether my car or Janice’s car are car 15 and 16?? Car 21 and 23?? When did the first car come off the line that was ordered when it started down the line as a GT/CS?? Were Janice’s car and my car dealer assembled. Are they both assembled from a wrecked GT/CS donor car?? That to me seems most doubtful. But I may be wrong


Last edited by robert campbell; 05/22/2011 at 09:24 PM..
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Old 05/22/2011, 07:03 PM   #3
robert campbell
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Still more,
Below is a quote from the author. It is clearly in error as I have a picture of the all white GT/CS from the debut. It does NOT have a tach and does not even have a deluxe interior. This is not to bash, but to confirm that debut cars did not have to have a tach.

I keep forgetting to tell this story....

In my 1988 interview with Lee Grey (So. Calif. Sales Mgr. in 1968), he told me that they originally wanted to include the in-dash tach as part of the GT/CS package.

In fact, the pilot cars on the floor of the Century Plaza Hotel (promo night, Feb 15, 1968) all had in-dash tachs, regardless of engine type or trans type. It was part of that "looks like a Shelby" idea (since all Shelbys had in-dash tachs) I can't say if they were all 6 grand or 8 grand type..

Unfortunately, it didn't become a production item.

More about it in the book.

Paul N.

Below is a pic of the holes in my trunk for the higher script from the inside.

Below are two close ups of my original script. I need to get a comparison to later run scripts that came on a GT/CS that are not later repops.

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Old 05/22/2011, 07:11 PM   #4
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Rob, please elaborate on your fog lights, wiring, switch, tail light harness, options you have (not on the Marti) and how they appeared to be assembled when you found this car. it may compliment the quality of the repaint to blue and (white) vinyl top installation which appeared so professional - adding to the theory.

My question is: Did all of these CS fittings seem as "factory" to you compared with others? If so - why would someone buy a GNS and have it so thoroughly and meticulously converted after the fact(ory) at a time when others were so abundant?

...'Just thinking....

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Old 05/22/2011, 07:27 PM   #5
robert campbell
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Thanks for reminding me.

All fiberglass is factory original GT/CS with the exception of the left side scoop.

Wiring harness has the purple tag and is continuous from the front with no splices.

Fog light switch is old and discolored like the rear window defogger switch. I have removed it as it was breaking up and flashing the fog lights.

Proper grill with very old Marchal’s mounted to it.

Proper fog light resister mounted on fuse panel.

Interesting note is my car had the Marchal’s and the fog light switch when I got it, but there was no wiring in between. Not sure what that means. One theory might be to duplicate the look in a hurry.


By the way, here is another quote from the author from 2004. After our falling out, he denied this as a possibility. Said that he misunderstood Lee Gray. Not bashing, just the facts.

Re:Gold Nugget Special


Thanks, Doug for the neat website...

When I interviewed Lee Grey in 1987, I asked him about these "anomaly" 74-1111 Cal Specials, called "Gold Nugget Specials".

He told me that he remembered that his (sales district) assistant had made a separate deal with some northwest dealers, including Southern Oregon, to buy these cars. I'm pretty sure that the registry reflects these are very early production (GT/CS) cars.

As a side note--Iaccoca was the promoter of the local specials idea within Ford marketing.

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Old 05/23/2011, 08:52 AM   #6
robert campbell
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Below is my complete "elite" report. Of note, the window stickers I have seen for a GT/CS show in detail the complete option. Funny that my window sticker makes no mention of a Gold Nugget option or even mentions that the car is a Gold Nugget. Of note, a Gold Nugget was supposed to have a personalized plaque in the area above the radio on the dash. My car has no evidence of that plague ever being there. The plaque would have the owners name on it. It was glued on I think.

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