Gorgeous Shelby GT350 Offers More Than Just a Wild Ride
Photography by Lashdeep Singh
Loves me not is a new series about why and how people sell cars that they love.
The 1960s were exhilarating times for American car enthusiasts. It was a decade of competition, progress, and change rivaled by few since. Spectators celebrated a golden era of auto racing, with series such as Indycar, Can-Am, Trans-Am, and even comparably uncomplicated drag racing taking massive leaps forward not only in popularity, but also in technology. Additionally, we cannot fail to mention what became arguably the most prized decade in United States Grand Prix history as well. While for fans of accessible horsepower, the muscle-car wars were in full swing. Today, a similar battle is underway between the “Big 3” automakers, but nothing will ever come close to a time when you would quickly run out of fingers trying to count the brawny American eight-cylinder options within wallet’s reach of your everyday consumer.
As OEMs built cold-air breathing tire-shredders, an ambitious fellow named Carroll Shelby was assembling what would become, arguably, the most legendary American racing cars ever built. Words are unnecessary for describing marvels such as the Cobra, Daytona, or the Ford GT40, which, under Shelby’s leadership, defeated the greatest competitors the world had to offer at LeMans–multiple times over.
All of this history comes to a head in today’s Loves Me Not-featured classic. Not quite content to continue with such a “meager” workload at the track, Shelby also decided he wanted to take the Ford Mustang racing as well, and shortly thereafter blessed the world with the Shelby Mustang GT350. This ’60s superstar has become one of the most sought after collector cars of the era, and fellow Petrolisti Lashdeep Singh has brought this immaculate 1967 Lime Gold Green-over-black example back from the brink throughout an eight year journey, ultimately deciding that it was time for the Mustang to find a new home.
Singh spent the better part of two years searching for the right GT350. Having grown up in the Malaise Era of automobiles, more commonly known as the 1980s, he spent his childhood poring over car magazines that would spend most of their type reminiscing about the “last great era” of the late 1960s. Fascinated by motorsport and the history surrounding it, he immediately grew fond of the GT350.
The example presented today was scooped up from a Ford collector in the Baltimore area eight years ago in fairly neglected, but complete condition. According to Lashdeep it was “totally worn out and pretty much undriveable” at the time, and after unsuccessful attempts to start it, it was trailered home. The previous owner had “a lot of Mustangs”, including multiple Boss 302s and a handful of Shelbys, and confirmed that this particular example was shipped to Venezuela by the original buyer where it spent thirty years as a weekend cruiser in the oil-rich nation, before returning to the States in the 1990s.
Lashdeep initially purchased this project to convert into a race spec Shelby, however a month after purchasing the ‘67 he crossed paths with a 1966 model that was better suited to the task. He now personally runs the ‘66 regularly at competition events with the help of his friend Ron McCall of McCall’s Auto Works in Hampstead, MD. Excited by racing the ’66, it ultimately put the ’67 on the backburner for a number of years, and the car hibernated in its original state for about six of Singh’s eight years of ownership.
Luckily, this GT350 was eventually dusted off and given a new lease on life. This old Shelby was reborn using rare original parts whenever possible, including most of the original glass, trim parts, and interior bits. As it included an uncommon factory arrangement–both an automatic transmission and factory air conditioning (one of just 120 for 1967)–Lashdeep took great care to maintain the Mustang’s originality, and he took this classic down to the full bare metal. McCall also beautifully rebuilt the ’67’s 289 cubic inch V8 engine.
No stranger to the classic car love affair, Singh owned enough vintage cars throughout his tenure with the Shelby that he lost count. “Seven or ten or twelve different cars, always something cool that would take our attention away from this car”, he said, when asked why it was put aside for so long. Regarding any pet names for the car, he acknowledged that he did not spend enough time enjoying the car to develop such a rapport with the GT, however his wife once referred to it as “David Banner” not just because of its original green hue, but also because it had remained quiet and innocuous for years, and now that they had spent so much on the restoration she mused that “it had better be able to do something incredible.”
His favorite physical feature of the Shelby was far and away the styling, particularly the nose of the car with its in-board high beams. When asked what he will remember most fondly about his experiences with the GT350, Lashdeep was quick to note that he most cherished the research process. He deeply appreciated the nostalgic feeling that a car such as the Shelby can deliver to someone who may not have even lived through the era. “Owning these cars gives younger people like us an insight and a taste into what it was like back then,” he said. Whether it be uncovering original Shelby invoices, order forms, and vintage advertisements, or discovering firsthand the grassroots appeal and the image that motorsport had in the 60’s, the GT350’s history provided Singh an ownership experience unmatched by anything you can pick off a showroom floor, today. “Whenever I look at it, I think of all of the victories that Shelby had across the world”, he said. And that was all before he even drove the car–which proved to be the “culmination of a dream” of his ever since he was a kid.
His biggest regret with this Shelby was that he waited so long to restore it. He admitted that he should have done so when he originally bought the car, so that he could have enjoyed it for a few years. “I wish I was driving it for seven of the eight years rather than the other way around.” While it is a shame that he was unable to enjoy it for long, the next lucky owner will have a GT350 that is practically showroom new. Consider that the rebuilt engine is still in its break-in period.
Lashdeep has decided to sell the Shelby to focus on his next project–a collaborative effort with his father restoring a 1974 DeTomaso Pantera GTS–which just so happened to be the first exotic car he laid eyes on as a boy, standing alongside his father. “It’s cool that thirty-five years later it has come full circle”, he noted.
Each year Singh drives to Montreal with friends in a convoy of classics to attend the Canadian Grand Prix. His hope is that the Mustang’s next owner will join them for the sprint, and appreciate the Shelby name’s history and heritage. Above all, he wishes that the next owner is prepared to use this car as intended–driven!
You can currently find this restored 1967 Shelby GT350 on eBay for prospective owners to drool over, dream about, and bid on. It’s a gorgeous example built by one of the greatest American racing legends ever to live. With the next generation Mustang spawning a highly potent GT350 variant, expect to see values of these classic 350s venture even higher into the stratosphere. What better time than now to call one your own?