Rockstars' Garage: Jim Morrison's Shelby GT 500 Ford Mustang “The Blue Lady”

When Carroll Shelby released the GT500, it was warmly received by car fanatics and hipsters with money. It was double the price of a nice Mustang and hand finished in an ex Los Angeles airport facility Shelby rented. GT 500s were were boutique built cars. Many famous personalities like Lee Marvin and Steve McQueen owned Shelbys. Only 2,050 were made. One of the notorious owners was Jim Morrison, leader of the Los Angeles rock band, The Doors.

Morrison was a troubled individual and didn't adjust well to stardom. As the Doors created more hit songs to follow "Light My Fire" the band spent more time on the road performing live. Once the initial thrill of being famous wore off, Jim grew to hate the pop star machinery and discouraged publicity. Ironically, Morrison's opinions on American society and just about every topic guaranteed unwanted attention. When "Light My Fire" hit #1 on the music charts in 1967, Morrison purchased a 1967 Shelby GT500

His GT500 was a little unusual in that it came with a parchment interior instead of black, the more common choice for a Nightmist Blue metallic body color. Morrison's GT500 also came with the early production twin driving lamps paired close together in the center of the grille. Later cars used smaller, rectangular lamps to comply with federal regulations. Morrison's car never had stripes either. It did come with the 428 Police Interceptor with dual quad Holley carbs and a four speed transmission. Jim patterned his car after Jay Sebring's ride. Sebring was a famous celebrity hair dresser.
Morrison loved the car and called it "The Blue Lady," but he didn't baby it at all. Jim drove it hard and it appears in a movie he produced called "Highway" with Jim doing donuts in the desert and running rough shod on the highway while portraying a deranged character in the film about the dangers of hitch hiking and element of chance meetings.
Morrison's ownership of the car was shared with the accounting firm who handled the Doors finances. The California State Vehicle Registration shows James Douglas Morrison's name on top with "care of Johnson/Harbrand" below. Johnson/Harbrand was a chartered accounting firm and it exists today as Johnson/Harbrand/Foster/Davis. The registration paper was dated April 30th, 1969 and revealed the licence plate was VRD 389. From this data we know the car still was plated for the first half of 1969. Accordingto "No One Here Gets Out Alive"a Jim Morrison biography by Danny Sugarman and Jerry Hopkins, Morrison crashed his car on Sunset Blvd by hitting a lamp standard. Sugarman's account has Jim walking away from the crash leaving it at the site.
Further research reveals that the Shelby was repaired and used later in the "Highway" film. There are many rumors about what happened to Morrison's Shelby. The most common myth is that Morrison parked it at an airport hanger where it was stored so long it was eventually towed away and sold. Another story has Morrison crashing the Shelby behind a Wilshire Division police station late at night.