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Auto blogWed, 19 Mar 2014 16:01:00 EST
We love a good barn find here at Autoblog. We like that there's a palpable excitement and sense of mystery surrounding barn finds. Each case has its own uniqueness to it, and this latest discovery is no different: an unrestored, one-owner 1969 Shelby GT500 with just 8,531 miles on it.
In the case of this particular barn find, many of the typical questions have already been answered. For example, we know who owned it - his name was Larry Brown. He recently passed away, and as he had no wife or children to inherit the estate, the car he purchased at Pennsylvania Ford dealer in May of 1969, will be auctioned off by Ron Gilligan Auctioneers.
The car was fastidiously maintained, having never been driven in the rain. In fact, Brown never even washed it, out of fear of it rusting. According to the auction website, the last time this car saw water was probably when it was detailed ahead of being delivered to Brown. If that doesn't sound like a fanatical sense of maintenance on the part of this GT500's owner, this next part will. The interior has been treated to a similarly painstaking attempt at preservation, with garbage bags covering the seats and two layers of floor mats over the carpets. The result is a car that, aesthetically, is in remarkable shape considering it's spent so long in a barn.
Ken Block became famous for his series of Gymkhana videos, but he's a real racer in his own right. Block has competed many rounds in the FIA World Rally Championship and also rallied in the 2013 Rally America series. He nearly won that latter title last year - if not for a massive crash in the final event of the season.
Block and his co-driver Alex Gelsomino went into the Lake Superior Performance Rally needing a win to take the championship. However, missing a clump of dirt on the side of the road and one little word in the pace notes was all it took to catapult Block's Fiesta off the road and into a tumbling accident. Block says his initial reaction was anger because the crash came out of nowhere.
For 2014, Block is joining the FIA World Rallycross Championship for at least three rounds. He'll drive a Ford Fiesta for the Hoonigan Racing Division at the Norwegian, French and Turkish events of the 12-round championship. Former Formula One World Champion Jacques Villeneuve will also compete in the series.
Ford and Daimler have scored a major victory in a long-running lawsuit filed in US federal court by unnamed South African nationals. The suit alleges that both manufacturers and their subsidiaries sold their vehicles to the South African military, despite knowing that they'd be involved in violently putting down anti-apartheid protesters.
According to Reuters, South African plaintiffs filed the case under the 223-year-old Alien Torts Statute, a law which allows foreign nationals to file charges in US courts for perceived breaches of what was originally international law, but now more closely relates to violations of human rights.
And while the case - which also involves computer manufacturer IBM - has been tied up in federal courts for years, a recent case from the Supreme Court struck down a similar suit against Royal Dutch Petroleum (Shell), arguing that the ATS doesn't apply to corporations or to conduct if it occurred outside the US. In short, the law applies to individuals, but not corporations like Ford or Daimler. A US appeals court ruled that the conditions apply in this case, potentially drawing this long-running saga to a close, as the defendants will now be allowed to request that the case be dismissed in district court.