Author Topic: What is the origin of the “Z” stamped VIN? …. Is it Ford’s takeover?  (Read 2445 times)

Richstang

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2494
    • View Profile
    • 1967 Shelby Research Group
It is great to read about our Shelby Research Group here on the SAAC forum. Nice to read our ‘Z’ stamped theory on Ford’s takeover.
There are many other reasons that led us to believe Ford took over SAI in very late April / early May 1967.
The ‘Z’ stamp on the VIN plate is just one of the reasons...

For example, there is the letter that discusses Shelby American getting split into 3 separate companies around this time. 
Another letter, discusses Ford opening up sales from the 90 franchised dealer networks to over 1000 non franchises Ford dealers around the country...
to move more units out of inventory.

Then there is the invoice from Shelby to Ford to get paid before the change took place on ‘Loss of Use” of company cars.
Then we see the DSO group number change. Originally it was ‘71', it changed to ‘84’ then to ‘89’ about this same time.
Each change reflected a point in time and Ford’s relationship. I’m sure the list goes on, but you get my point.

Years ago I heard the theory that the ‘Z’ stamped VIN meant that a car should have an outboard grille and lights.
After collecting hundreds of photos of every ‘67 VIN plate I could find, that theory dissolved.
I was also tracking VIN plate photos by the noted registry completion dates. I discovered the added ‘Z’ stamp appears on cars on 4/27/67
 … not one day before that.

Like most everything with ‘67’s, there are one or two exceptions to every rule. We found one car completed after 4/27/67 with a ‘Z’ stamp.
Thanks to Jeff Speegle for sharing that one! The outboard grille / lights start appearing on cars around the second week of May.
That was a couple of weeks after the ‘Z’ stamping started. It’s an interesting theory, but it doesn’t hold water anymore.

Another theory was the cars with a ‘Z’ Stamping were not to be scavenged for parts. That one faded away too.
It was mentioned here on the forum; Why not simply put a card on the dash?
Yes the “Z’ stamp would be more permanent, but who’s going to open and close every hood to check?

Recently, I’m hearing a theory the ‘Z’ stamps were added to cars that received the upgraded Mustang 390 brake pads.
(By dealers that already had cars?)
There was a Service Bulletin issued on March 1st 1967, to dealers, that the brakes pads should be changed to the new 390 on any customer complaints.
Ford was going to change to these other brake pads on Shelby’s after car ‘1422’. That work was under warranty, not a recall of any kind.
It doesn’t explain all the cars with the ‘Z’ the stamping after that ‘1422’ VIN and onward until the end of ’67 production.
Nobody would need to track those units. Also since that service bulletin was issued March 1st it was many weeks before we start to see the ‘Z’ Stamps!.

“98 SVT” I’ve noticed you quoting our SRG posts before, but I don’t think you’re signed up on any of our websites…are you?
We would welcome anyone who wanted to participate and help add information of any kind to the topics.
The links to our sites are in my signatures.
1967 Shelby Research Group 
www.1967ShelbyResearch.com
www.mewe.com/join/1967shelbyresearch
www.facebook.com/groups/1967shelbyresearch

1991-1993 SAAC MKI, MKII, & Snake Registrar

shelbymann1970

  • SAAC Member
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1728
    • View Profile
So many years ago I was at Brian Styles' mancave looking at #0139. I remember him telling me many things about 67s I never knew and one was Ford's takeover according to notes. Now I see the research group saying a much later date than is on Brian's page and what he told me face to face? I understand as more info comes out on any subject opinions/history can change on things. So what's up with the "Oct. 01... Unfortunately, fiberglass fitment, supply issues, and financial problems plague the '67 operation from the start.  Due to these "launch problems" Ford Motor Company steps in and takes control.  SAI's district code is changed from 71 to 84. Dr. Ray A. Geddes takes over purchasing (and possibly operations as a whole).. I copied that just now from  http://www.1967shelbyconvertible.com/research/timeline.asp . I'm just trying to make sense of what you are saying and what I have heard before from Brian who directed me to his fantastic site many years ago.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2022, 09:12:27 AM by shelbymann1970 »
Shelby owner since 1984
SAAC member since 1991
1970 GT350 4 speed(owned since 1985).
  MCA gold 2003(not anymore)
1969 Mach1 428SCJ 4 speed R-code (owned since 2013)

stephen_becker

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 309
    • View Profile
I have been to Brian’s wearhouse & home and actually appraised a car for him in the past. He’s a really good guy with an unbelievable plethora of Shelby history that he has worked very hard at putting together over the years and it’s a shame that there were folks here on the forum that chased him off the forum and eventually prohibited him from coming onto the forum (banned). Some of those very same folks are still here today and is the reason why he is not here (as well as several other very prominent Shelby folks).

shelbymann1970

  • SAAC Member
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1728
    • View Profile
I have been to Brian’s wearhouse & home and actually appraised a car for him in the past. He’s a really good guy with an unbelievable plethora of Shelby history that he has worked very hard at putting together over the years and it’s a shame that there were folks here on the forum that chased him off the forum and eventually prohibited him from coming onto the forum (banned). Some of those very same folks are still here today and is the reason why he is not here (as well as several other very prominent Shelby folks).
I like Brian. I always enjoy conversing with him on Shelbys and other muscle cars. Is there anyone who has put more time and effort and money into researching 67s? 
Shelby owner since 1984
SAAC member since 1991
1970 GT350 4 speed(owned since 1985).
  MCA gold 2003(not anymore)
1969 Mach1 428SCJ 4 speed R-code (owned since 2013)

98SVT - was 06GT

  • SAAC Member
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2559
    • View Profile
“98 SVT” I’ve noticed you quoting our SRG posts before, but I don’t think you’re signed up on any of our websites…are you?
We would welcome anyone who wanted to participate and help add information of any kind to the topics.
The links to our sites are in my signatures.
I don't have any information the would move your research forward. Any questions that I think of have already been answered. I've been around these cars for nearly 50 years and heard 99% of the rumors and presumed facts. I think pointing people to your research is a great value to Shelby history and helps dispel some of the lore around the man and cars. I also don't do social network sites.
Previous owner 6S843 - GT350H & 68 GT500 Convert #135.
Mine: GT1 Mustang Track Toy, 1998 SVT Cobra, Wife's: 2004 Tbird
Member since 1975 - priceless

Richstang

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2494
    • View Profile
    • 1967 Shelby Research Group
Shelbyman1970,

I imagine you enjoyed your visit to Brian’s man cave. He has changed several cars in the past few years.
Most are extra special versions that deserve a second look.
He doesn’t talk much about them, but is always happy to answer any question I have about any of his cars.

The information I’ve noted in the first post, is combined with the last several years of our research.
It is current as of August 2022

Oct 1, 1966 was the approximate start of ’67 production. Brian may have been summarizing the entire year in that website post.
I can’t speak for him,, so you would need to contact him and ask if you have any specific / further questions from his convertible site post.

‘Z” stamps did NOT appear on VIN plates until April 27th 1967. That is more fact than theory.
We have not seen any VIN plates stamped with the 'Z' before that date.
That is the point in time where we believe Ford took over SAI completely
Ford was always involved in SAI operations, but only to lend a helping hand up to that point in time.

We know Charlie McHose (Ford Employee) helped to design the 1967 Shelby. SAAC has published articles to confirm his efforts.

We also know Ray Geddes was sent to LAX (another Ford employee) to aid SAI in resolving problems at the start of production…
And to oversee the entire operation, so it ran more smoothly as production ramped up for ‘67.

If you want a deeper look into the entire run of the 1967 Shelby, our SRG sites, individually keeps up with new discoveries.
We dig deep into most every area of interest.  As mentioned before, the links are in my signature.

Brian’s ban from the forum is old news and in the past.
He was invited back a few years ago, but not in any official capacity, such as a direct email or call. Just hidden inside of a post back then.

The 1967 convertible site is fantastic site and focused on that car, #00139.
I believe Brian does update that site from time to time with new info.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2022, 07:33:02 PM by Richstang »
1967 Shelby Research Group 
www.1967ShelbyResearch.com
www.mewe.com/join/1967shelbyresearch
www.facebook.com/groups/1967shelbyresearch

1991-1993 SAAC MKI, MKII, & Snake Registrar

Side-Oilers

  • SAAC Member
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2295
  • SAAC member since 1981.
    • View Profile
Anyone other than me find it ironic that the Ford takeover day was 4/27? 
Current:
Kirkham Cobra with 482-inch aluminum side-oiler
Formerly:
1968 GT500KR #2575 (1982-2022)
1970 Ranchero GT 429
1969 LTD Country Squire 429
1962 T-bird with 13k original miles
1957 T-bird E-model, dual fours, 3-speed stick

98SVT - was 06GT

  • SAAC Member
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2559
    • View Profile
Anyone other than me find it ironic that the Ford takeover day was 4/27?
Luck of the draw? The 28th was the last working day of the month. They may have wanted all the paperwork done and back in Dearborn by Friday. The whole takeover is said to be caused by CS not repaying a startup loan he got from Ford in 1962. It was said to have a 5 year life and that none of the target dates had been met. The Cobra made its debut at the NY Auto show in April 62. The reaction to the car at that show may have been the trigger for Ford to loan CS the money (on May 1st?) to set up production. I had heard that May 67 is when the note was due so the end of April for the takeover makes sense.

Someone, someday may get access or stumble upon all the CS/SA/Ford paperwork. I suspect that each program had a separate contract. They could be for - develop X car - race x car for x race or season - produce x number of x cars - He probably had a personal service contract where Ford could use him for ads, commercials, pitching suppliers/dealers, speaking at dinners, etc.
Previous owner 6S843 - GT350H & 68 GT500 Convert #135.
Mine: GT1 Mustang Track Toy, 1998 SVT Cobra, Wife's: 2004 Tbird
Member since 1975 - priceless

Side-Oilers

  • SAAC Member
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2295
  • SAAC member since 1981.
    • View Profile
Brett, yes that all makes sense to me.   

Anyone ever heard what the initial Ford loan $$$ was?  If it was just to build Cobras, I'd guess it was not a huge number, but still a pretty big amount for 1962...so maybe $250,000? Then more as the GT350 program began.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2022, 09:55:20 PM by Side-Oilers »
Current:
Kirkham Cobra with 482-inch aluminum side-oiler
Formerly:
1968 GT500KR #2575 (1982-2022)
1970 Ranchero GT 429
1969 LTD Country Squire 429
1962 T-bird with 13k original miles
1957 T-bird E-model, dual fours, 3-speed stick

1175

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 237
    • View Profile
My theory not based on any facts and would relate to Ford taking over and designating the Z cars as Ford property. 

The Ford model designation for Mustang is Z. As in C7ZZ, C6ZZ, etc. Could have been a way for them to track cars owned by them (Ford) or cars not paid for by Shelby. 

Jon

98SVT - was 06GT

  • SAAC Member
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2559
    • View Profile
Brett, yes that all makes sense to me.   

Anyone ever heard what the initial Ford loan $$$ was?  If it was just to build Cobras, I'd guess it was not a huge number, but still a pretty big amount for 1962...so maybe $250,000? Then more as the GT350 program began.
I heard numbers 3 to 5 million. (Ford spent over 25 million total on the GT40 program alone) You have to remember it was used to rent space, buy parts from Ford and other suppliers, buy cars from AC, pay shipping costs, pay workers, buy transporters, set up a dealer and network of dealers, take the whole show on the road to races and flying cars and teams to Europe, advertising, etc. At the rate SA hemorrhaged money there was no way the total could be paid back from selling 1,300 Cobras. CS should have gotten some sort of clause on what the PR value of their efforts were. This was basically starting starting from scratch. I find it interesting he didn't have the money to pay them back but did have enough money tucked away to buy a 4 story office building and lets not forget the Figueroa warehouse the race tires "paid" for.
Previous owner 6S843 - GT350H & 68 GT500 Convert #135.
Mine: GT1 Mustang Track Toy, 1998 SVT Cobra, Wife's: 2004 Tbird
Member since 1975 - priceless

Side-Oilers

  • SAAC Member
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2295
  • SAAC member since 1981.
    • View Profile
I wouldn't doubt $3-5million was what it took to launch the GT350 program, LAX, etc.  But all that just for the Cobras?  Wow...how at $5999 (or whatever each car sold for on average) could anyone expect to make their money back? The gross sales on 1300 Cobras would only be $8million, at best.  Yeah, then factor in the materials, shipping, factory, employees, rent, taxes, etc etc etc.

Looks like CS should've had a smarter CFO than he did. If it WAS $3-5 million in 1962 dollars he got, that should've been enough $$ in an efficient operation at the time (something equaling like $30-50million today... or more.)

 I'm not a mathematician, nor do I play one in my dreams, but I'd like to be handed that much $$ to stick some Ford V8s into ACs and race a few of them.  :P
Current:
Kirkham Cobra with 482-inch aluminum side-oiler
Formerly:
1968 GT500KR #2575 (1982-2022)
1970 Ranchero GT 429
1969 LTD Country Squire 429
1962 T-bird with 13k original miles
1957 T-bird E-model, dual fours, 3-speed stick

A-Snake

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 238
    • View Profile
Brett, yes that all makes sense to me.   

Anyone ever heard what the initial Ford loan $$$ was?  If it was just to build Cobras, I'd guess it was not a huge number, but still a pretty big amount for 1962...so maybe $250,000? Then more as the GT350 program began.
One paragraph from the August 1, 1962 agreement between Ford and Shelby reads:

"In order to conduct the business contemplated by Shelby, it is estimated to require approximately $35,000. per month during the first year of operation. Currently, Shelby is unable to provide the capital required."

Bill

  • SAAC Member
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 886
    • View Profile

One paragraph from the August 1, 1962 agreement between Ford and Shelby reads:

"In order to conduct the business contemplated by Shelby, it is estimated to require approximately $35,000. per month during the first year of operation. Currently, Shelby is unable to provide the capital required."

All other petty minutia aside, and right on target date wise, that paragraph pretty much sums it all up and leaves little to the imagination.


Bill
Instead of being part of the problem, be part of a successful solution.
HOW TO IDENTIFY A FORUM TROLL
https://www.saacforum.com/index.php?topic=16401.0

greekz

  • SAAC Member
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 512
    • View Profile
Being an owner of a "Z" stamped car, this makes sense to me that Ford would want to account for cars manufactured after a certain date.  And, it is more feasible than the previous explanations given this new information.

Also, the "Z" appears to be a definite add on after the vin was applied to the tag, given the size and different font. 

Greek
SFM 6S1134  '67 GT-350 #2339