Did you know that Jim Morrison drove a Mist Blue 1967 Shelby Mustang 500GT? Why would this counterculture rebel drive a Mustang? This model is the icon of American consumerism. A car that old geezers buy when they want to feel young again, which has a more MTV Cribs appearances than Cadillac Escalade? We all thought that Jimbo was one of us, poetry-loving hipster. Why would he need a Mustang? Wouldn’t he be better off with a flower painted VW van?
The Doors did have a VW van. They used it on tours and it was owned by Ray Manzarek. Still, at the end of the sixties, Jim did drive the Shelby Mustang GT500. This model came out in 1967. Back then it was a status symbol, as powerful as the V8 placed under its hood. Although Jim later hated publicity, and his celebrity status, for some time even he had that ”Man, I’m famous!” moment and the thrill that comes with it.
The Doors rose to stardom after ”Light My Fire” had camped on the charts for the whole three weeks. The song was released in January 1967, the same year when Jimbo got its Mist Blue beast. While searching for the information online, I bumped onto few stories that describe how this vehicle got into Morrison’s possession. Some people say that he bought it himself, while the others claim it was a present from his record company, for an unprecedented success of “Light My Fire.” The first version has much more credibility, but it is a fact that the vehicle was co-owned by the company that dealt with the band’s finances.
The registration paper dated from 30th April 1969 says that the car’s license number was VRD 389. It was titled to James Douglas Morrison and ”in the care of Johnson/Harbrand”. This Shelby Mustang was a little bit different from the regular models that were produced in 1967. It came with parchment interior, while other models had the all-black interior design. It also had a 428 Police Interceptor and large circular shaped driving lamps in the middle of the grille.
The Doors’ fans remember the Buick episode when band members had given permission to the company for using their ”Light My Fire” song in their commercial video. Jim Morrison, who was touring Europe at the time, have ended the deal, by telling Buick representatives that he will break their vehicle with a sledgehammer. This episode represents the standard Morrison’s opinion on cars and consumerism, but still, Jimbo had loved his Shelby Mustang. He called it ”The Blue Lady”. Maybe he just didn’t like Buick cars? Guess we’ll never know.
The relationship between Jim Morrison and his Shelby wasn’t the same as the one that mid-life guys have with their machines. He didn’t keep it in a garage and wasn’t driving it once a month and waxing it every evening. Jim had been using all the performance Shelby 500GT comes with. The Blue Lady was fast and furious, which can be seen in the HWY, a movie that he’d made with the help of Paul Ferraro and Frank Lisciandro. This art piece is inspired by the Morrison’s student hitchhiking experiences. It features some rough rides through the Mojave Dessert.
People who knew Jim, have also mentioned numerous drunk rides and crashes. Some of these accidents happened in the close proximity of police stations. A few times, Jim crashed his car, and simply walked away, after which his Shelby was towed. Jimmy used the Blue Lady in his own style, which explains a lot about his philosophy and views. A car is just a machine. It will take you from point A to point B. A sports coupe, made for performance, is the same thing, only the ride will give you more thrill and excitement. Like any other machine, one day it will break, and it is going to be replaced by another, more powerful, agile and fuel efficient one. Some people just don’t let their machines die. They keep them in fancy garages and love them more then they love their children. Although Jim Morrison was against consumerism, he understood the rules of it and used the products of this system for his own thrill.
So what happened to ”The Blue Lady”? There are a lot of different stories and myths about this car’s final resting place. Some people still think that Blue Lady somewhere out there, and they are trying to find it. Still, there are also people, who think that Jim Morrison or Elvis are somewhere out there, and are trying to find them too. Most of the information I used in this article, was pulled from a very interesting blog post. It was based on Patrick Smith’s research that concluded that Blue Lady was totaled, after one of its numerous crashes. This information was confirmed by various people who knew Jim Morrison at the time, and it is the final version of this car’s story. The Blue Lady end up like any other car, crushed and replaced with faster, shinier and more powerful vehicles. That’s just how this world rolls, isn’t it?