Classic Muscle Car That Absolutely Belong In A Gearhead’s Garage
The Mustang Shelby’s reputation as a superior racing car is owed to Carroll Shelby, who took the Mustang and made it into something out of a dream.
Today, the 1966 Shelby GT350 is one of the most sought after collector cars and is usually sold at upwards of $180,000.
The 1965 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 was a Brute Back in the Day
The neighboring tracks are silent, absent of any car or go-kart racing. There are no jet flybys from the fighter jocks at Edwards Air Force Base.
The only sound is the howl of a single small-block Ford V-8 as it hurls a lightweight fastback through the apex of Turn 9 and heads for the finish.
Ignore the cars in the pits and it’s easy to pretend it’s 1965, except now the lap times are faster. But the car on track is no restomod stuffed with luxury amenities and modern go-fast bits.
There’s no six-speed manual. There’s no supercharged, fuel-injected, 1000-horsepower V-8.
There’s no air conditioning, no power windows, no back seat, and, thank heaven, no 100 pounds of sound deadening stuck to every piece of sheet metal.
There’s a place for all that, but not in this 1965 Shelby GT350.
The latest item we’re not really sure about is the Ford Shelby American Mustang GT-350.
The admitted purpose of the car is to win class BP in the Sports Car Club of America’s production category racing. Which is a pretty amusing reason for building a car in the first place.
Except that this isn’t altogether a new car. It’s a Ford Mustang with the 2+2 fastback body plus those alterations that Shelby American deemed necessary to outrace such cars as the pre-Sting Ray 283-cu-in.
The engine of the GT-350 is basically the 289-cu-in. high performance Ford engine but uses Ford’s new high-riser manifold (which gives a tuned intake effect) with the new center-pivot float 4-barrel Holly carburetor which will not flood or starve during hard cornering.
The GT-350 also uses lightweight tubular headers and straight-through mufflers. The engine is dressed up by the use of a thin air cleaner, handsome finned aluminum rocker covers, and oil pan.
The oil pan increases the sump capacity to 6.5 quarts (from 5.0) and includes baffles to assure that the oil doesn’t surge away from the pickup.
The engine is rated at 306 bhp at 6000 rpm, exactly 35 more than the 271 bhp figure advertised for the standard high-performance version.
In appearance, the GT-350 is readily distinguished from the standard Mustang. First, all GT-350s are white with blue racing stripes.
There is also the fiberglass hood with pin-lock hold-downs and the giveaway airscoop to clear the high-riser manifold. The air intake at the front is simplified by the use of an anodized grille and smaller horse than the decorative cross bars and insignia of the standard Mustang.
All in all, the GT-350 is pretty much a brute of a car. There’s nothing subtle about it at all.
Making the obvious comparison to the Shelby American Cobra, or even the 325- bhp Sting Ray, the GT-350 seems more suited to the drop out than the serious scholar. It will undoubtedly assure its owner of much attention whenever it is driven down the street, rumphed at a stoplight or parked at the drive-in.
For the racing driver, it will also be a source of great amusement, as it should enable him to laugh all the way to the winner’s circle in SCCA’s class BP racing.