Welcome to Thursday Trivia where we offer up a historical automotive trivia question and you try and solve it before seeing the answer after the jump. It’s like a history test, with cars!
This week’s question: What is the year, make and model of car that is reputedly the only car ever owned by The Doors’ Jim Morrison?
If you think you know the answer, make the jump and see if you’re right.
By all accounts, Jim Morrison was that guy in college that you’d cross the quad to avoid running into. Pretentious, prone to spouting ludicrous poetry, and naturally handsome, he was not someone who you would think other dudes would gravitate to.
But that’s just what happened, in a coalescing of artistic types at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television in 1965. The result was The Doors, a band that took its name from an Aldous Huxley book and that helped change the sound of Southern California rock from surf to psychedelic. Morrison fronted the band and provided the moody, often incomprehensibly cryptic lyrics for many of their songs while Ray Manzarek, Robbie Krieger, and John Densmore offered the polish and song structures that would make The Doors one of the most popular and influential bands of the late ’60s.
With success of course came money and with that money came the opportunity to buy things. In the case of Morrison that mostly meant alcohol and drugs but along with those twin sins he also bought a car, reputedly the only new car he ever owned. Perhaps if the drugs and booze hadn’t caught up with him at the tender age of 27 he would have had opportunities to own others, but seeing how he treated the “Blue Lady” it probably for the better. And what exactly was the car that earned such a sad sobriquet?
The only car that Jim Morrison, legendary Doors singer, ever owned was a 1967 Shelby GT 500.
Now, I can’t verify that the ’67 GT500 was in fact the only car ever owned by Morrison, but it is undoubtably the most famous, and there are seemingly no records of any others that I can find. It’s also the most mysterious and frustrating when you learn how Morrison treated his “Blue Lady.” I’ll let Street Muscle Magazine spin the tale:
Seemingly appearing out of nowhere, Jim and his band mates were riding the crest of a mighty wave as their debut album, The Doors, had gone gold and its second single, the contagious Light My Fire, was the number one song in America.
Owing to the fact that that this was his record label’s first chart-topper, Elektra Records founder and President, Jac Holzman, decided to offer each band member any gift they wanted as a reward. Keyboardist Ray Manzerak and guitarist Robbie Krieger opted for state-of-the-art reel-to-reel tape recorders, and drummer John Densmore chose a horse.
What did Morrison want? He knew he wanted a car, but didn’t know what kind. That is, until he saw the Shelby Mustang GT350 owned by his hair stylist (and future Manson Family murder victim), Jay Sebring. Jim thought the car looked both classy and brutal, and asked Holzman for one. Holzman agreed and did one better, buying Jim a brand new, Nightmist Blue 1967 Shelby GT500.
The car was christened “The Blue Lady” by Morrison’s friend, Babe Hill; it was named after a character in a screenplay Morrison had been working on. Jim’s Shelby was equipped with a 428 Police Interceptor powerplant with dual quad Holley carburetors and a four-speed manual transmission. The car was unusual in a number of ways, as it had a parchment interior in lieu of the black more commonly found with Nightmist Blue cars…
…According to some, one evening in the Fall of 1969 Jim was driving recklessly and ran into a telephone pole on Sunset Boulevard. After inspecting the damage, Jim wandered off on foot to a favorite bar for the rest of the night.
When he returned, the car was gone; ostensibly towed away by the police. Others suggest that Jim left the car in long-term parking at LAX for an extended period of time during a concert tour, and when he returned it had been towed and sold at public auction. Still others contend that Jim totaled the car in some feat of misadventure, and that it was crushed for scrap.Although none of these stories have been, or can be verified, three things are certain: 1) Jim was never seen driving the Shelby after that Fall; 2) For the duration of his time living in Los Angeles, he was seen driving a variety of rental cars; 3) The car has been missing ever since……Whether you believe that Jim’s GT500 met its demise or is still out there somewhere, only Jim knew the real circumstances and we unfortunately lost him on July 3, 1971, when he passed away in his rented flat in Paris while on sabbatical. Like the man himself, Jim’s fabled Blue Lady remains shrouded in myth and mystery.