This Shelby GT500KR Is Tearing Through Tires In Iceland
Photography by Birgir & Bjorn Kristinsson
As a native of Iceland, I grew up seeing cars from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. The town that I still live in is located next to the Keflavik Airport, the Gateway to Iceland. It used to host NAS Keflavik which at that time was a NATO Base where American GI´s and their families lived. Many sailors, (curtesy of the US Navy) brought their cars to the island, that just happened to be top of the line Muscle cars of the day. So, we grew up seeing muscle cars that otherwise would not have been imported. I can remember cars such as 71 Challenger 440 Six Pack, ´68 Mustang GT, 390, ´73 Nova 350, ´74 Trans Am, and a 69 Shelby GT-500. The Shelby left a lasting impression and a dream to purchase one sat in the back of my mind ever since.
The years passed, and I reminisced many times about the cars that were around when I was growing up. I worked for years for the US Navy and traveled frequently to the states and would always pick up car magazines to help nurture my interest in ´60 and ´70 muscle cars.
After years of searching I finally found what I was looking for-a ´69 Shelby GT-500. I was brought to my attention that an older couple living in Pennsylvania was thinking of selling their ´69 Shelby that they had owned for over 20 years. I contacted the owner in November 2004 and had a friend mine inspect the car. After the holidays, my wife and I flew over and finished the deal. I remember that the gentleman was happy that we were going to enjoy the car and drive it, rather than keep it stored l like some museum piece. Once winter was over we shipped the care to Iceland.
Although the car is not 100% original, it has made an impression back home I was only the second Shelby that had been registered in the country. Since it became part of the family I have researched and made a list of parts that were missing. I have been in touch many Shelby enthusiasts, all of which have helped guide me to acquire correct parts.
Having had access to the Discovery Channel for a few years. I have enjoyed watching shows such as “Rides, American Hot Rod” and other interesting series on muscle cars and the culture. When I saw the episode of “Rides” featuring the 2005 Hot Rod Power Tour, I knew instantly that I needed to take part in this event. I was approaching my 50th birthday and mentioned to my wife that I wanted to take the Shelby back to America and participate in the 2007 tour. She replied and said “Go for it”.
It took some planning and to arrange to fly the Shelby from Keflavik, Iceland to JFK, arrange to clear the car through customs, but finally we were on the ´07 HRPT. This is something that we will never forget.
The Shelby was shipped back to Iceland and we take it several times a year to different local events, both show and to the track. My best pass on the ¼ mile clocked 13,70 @102 mph.