This Shelby Mustang GT350 Is All Original And Begging For Exercise
Photography courtesy of Auctions America
The Ford and Shelby relationship dates back to the earliest days of Carroll’s legendary AC Cobras. We all know the story: Carroll sourced slippery lightweight aluminum rolling shells from British company AC Cars, and needed an engine supplier. Happily for us, the Ford Motor Company agreed to supply the audacious young entrepreneur with a number of high-performance powertrains.
Of course, Shelby’s AC and Daytona Cobras dominated a number of racing series throughout the ’60s, forever making his cars American icons.
So, when Ford turned to Shelby to make the Mustang even hotter, were the results as impressive? In 1964, Lee Iacocca—Mr. Mustang himself—called Carroll with a proposition. Iacocca asked Mr. Shelby if he’d be interested in injecting the Cobra formula into the most popular ‘Pony’ car.
“Shelby, I want you to make a sports car out of the Mustang,” Iacocca asked, to which Carroll hesitantly responded: “Lee, you can’t make a racehorse out of a mule.”
Thankfully, after some discussion, Carroll and his team of hot rod building maniacs agreed to take on the project, which was tailored to fit SCCA guidelines. Specifically, the finished car had to fit the “sports car” class specifications, so, notably, the rear seat was ditched to fulfill the 2-seater qualification requirement. The spare tire was mounted in place of the rear bench for better weight distribution, and to the right of the thin wood-rimmed Cobra steering wheel sits a center dash mounted tachometer—often referred to menacingly as the “Cyclops Eye”.
Underhood, the already potent “Hi-Po” 289 V8 was given an extra 35 ponies—increasing overall output from 271 to 306 horsepower. The suspension was reworked to improve handling, while a special hood and Cragar five spoke rollers aided in reducing weight. The overall package was a no-frills Mustang, race-ready straight from Shelby.
Dr. Paul Boyd purchased the car you see here from Marshall Motor Company in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, on October 22, 1965—for a whopping $3,617.25. Since, the car has been resprayed in its factory Wimbledon White, but reportedly still presents in beautiful condition. The interior is claimed to be OE, and appears to be in excellent preservation. Originally, car left the factory without the famous blue Shelby stripes, but the owner opted to add the livery during the restoration.
This first-year GT 350 marks the beginning of the Shelby Mustang lineage. It’s Iacocca and Carroll’s initial, pure vision for the car, arguably making it the most important and cherished model—just 562 were produced in 1965.
Rebuilt “Hi-Po” Shelby 289-cubic-inch V8 with Borg-Warner four-speed manual transmission and Ford nine-inch rear-differential.
Chassis no.: SMF5S472
Auction house: Auctions America
Price realized: TBD; auction on April 2, 2016