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Shelby G.T. 350

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Ford Mustang

G.T. 350
Vehicle Model

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A car produced by Shelby from 1965-1970. A high-performance variant of the Ford Mustang, an even higher-performance variant was the G.T. 500. The names would return as badges on the Mustang, re-styled as Shelby GT350 & Shelby GT500.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Shelby Mustang page on 30 March 2018, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

1965-1966

The 1965–1966 cars were the smallest and lightest of the GT 350 models. These cars are often called "Cobras", which was the Ford-powered AC-based two-seat sports car also produced by Shelby American during the same period. Both models use the Cobra emblem, similar paint scheme, and the optional "Cobra" valve covers on many GT350s that were part of a marketing tie-in by Shelby, as well as one of his iconic symbols. All 1965–66 cars featured the K-Code 271 hp (202 kW; 275 PS) 289 cu in (4.7 L), modified to produce 306 hp (228 kW; 310 PS). Marketing literature referred to this engine as the "Cobra hi-riser" due to its high-riser intake manifold. Beginning as a stock Mustang with a 4-speed manual and 9" live rear axle, the cars were shipped to Shelby American, where they received the high-riser manifolds, Tri-Y headers, and were given larger Ford Galaxie rear drum brakes with metallic-linings and Kelsey-Hayes front disc brakes.

The 1965 GT350 was not built for comfort or ease of driving. There were 34 "GT350R" race-spec cars built specifically for competition use under SCCA rules, and the model was the B-Production champion for three straight years. The 1966 GT350 had featured more comfort of casual drivers that included rear seats, optional colors, and an optional automatic transmission. This trend for additional features continued in following years, with the cars becoming progressively larger, heavier, and more comfortable, while losing much of their competitiveness in the process. The 1969 GT350s and GT500s were largely styling modifications to a stock Mustang. By 1969 Carroll Shelby was no longer involved in the Shelby GT program, and the design was done in-house by Ford.

The 1965 and 1966 GT350s were delivered from Ford's San Jose assembly plant in body in white form for modification by Carroll Shelby's operation, originally in Venice Beach and later at Los Angeles International Airport. San Jose cars carried an "R" in the Ford VIN denoting that facility. The only year that Shelby Mustangs from the 1960s came from another plant was 1968, where they came from New Jersey, "T" in the VIN, and were modified by A.O. Smith.

1965

All 1965 GT350s were painted Wimbledon White with Guardsman Blue rocker stripes. Very few GT350s were delivered to the dealer with the optional "Le Mans" (or "LeMans") top stripes, which run the length of the entire car. Approximately 28% of the 562 1965 cars built had Le Mans stripes. Dealers often added the stripes, probably at the customer's request. Today, it is difficult to find a GT350 not so equipped.

Many ERT 1965 cars had the battery relocated to the trunk, which was changed mid-year from complaints of fumes, and featured over-rider traction bars, relocated A-arms, as well as other modifications. Over-rider traction bars are named so because of their design being on top of the leaf spring as opposed to underneath them. There was only one transmission available, a 4-speed Borg-Warner T-10 manual. The exhaust system in the 1965 GT350 was a side-exit dual exhaust with glass-pack mufflers. For this one year, the GT350 also featured special 130 mph-rated Goodyear "Blue Dot" tires, named for the prominent blue dot on each sidewall. The 1965 GT350 had a full size spare tire mounted in place of rear seats, making it a 2-seat-only vehicle (to be allowed to race under SCCA regulations as a "sports car"), and rode on either silver-painted steel wheels or special cast-magnesium center "Cragar Shelby" 15" rims with chromed center caps marked with a stylized "CS". Total 1965 model year production was 562 units.

1966

For 1966, the GT350 lost its Mustang tag and was marketed simply as the Shelby GT350. The new model year also saw the introduction of non-white colors, including blue, red, green, and black. Other changes included special rear quarter-panel windows replacing the factory extractor vents, functional brake scoops on each side, and optional SelectShift 3-speed automatic, as well as an optional Paxton supercharger. The battery was no longer relocated to the trunk for 1966, and the over-rider traction bars were discontinued. The normal factory fold-down rear seat was optional. While early 1965 cars had black engine blocks, 1966 and later cars had their engines painted the regular factory Ford dark blue. The 1966 models came with a dual-exhaust exiting in the rear.

The first 252 GT350s for 1966 began as 1965 Mustang K-Code Fastbacks. These cars were specifically ordered by Shelby American for conversion into 1966 GT350s. Upon delivery to Shelby-American, the cars were randomly picked for conversion. The Shelby VINs do not correspond in numerical order with Ford VINs. The Ford VINs were shipped in 'blocks,' but many differ significantly because the order they were taken for conversions.

Total production for 1966 was 1,373 fastbacks, including two prototypes and four drag cars, and the 252 early production models with Ford Mustang 1965 bodies. In order to help Shelby sales, Ford, the major shareholder of Hertz, persuaded the rental car giant to purchase 1,003 fastbacks, including two prototypes. Four "experimental" GT350 convertibles were also built for test purposes in anticipation of a 1967-1/2 convertible offering, bringing total production to 2,378 units for 1966. A small number of the 1966 models were fitted from the factory with Paxton superchargers, but not the No-Spin limited slip differential; with an option price of $670, the engine was rated at 440 hp (330 kW).

1966 Shelby GT350 Hertz models

The deal with the Hertz Corporation to offer ~1,000 GT350s for rental that, after their rental-car lives were finished, were returned to Ford, refurbished, and sold to the public as "GT350H" models. Most Hertz cars were black with gold LeMans stripes and rocker panel stripes, although a few were white with blue stripes. The first 85 Hertz cars were available with four-speed manual transmissions and Hertz advertised them as "Rent-a-Racer" cars. During rental, these cars were sometimes used as production class cars at SCCA events, and were rumored to have been returned to Hertz with evidence of roll bars being welded in. Ford pushed another 800 models on Hertz with black paint, gold stripes and black interior, as well as automatic transmissions.

When the Hertz cars were returned to Ford to be prepared for sale to the public, the high-performance parts were often "lost" (presumably at the manufacturer) before final sale.

1967 Shelby GT350 & 1968 Cobra GT350

The 1967 redesign made for a heavier Mustang, along with a longer, fiberglass hood, and new front and rear facias. The design of the original 1965 version was evident, but these styling upgrades gave the car a more aggressive appearance and achieved Carroll Shelby's goal of differentiating his car from the Mustang on which it was based. The separate high-beam headlamps in the grille added more character, while a thin, chrome front bumper sat below a mesh grille with the classic "Shelby GT350" logo in place (except for the very early cars). The small hood scoop was there to deliver fresh air to the engine. Shelby also included new, horizontal taillights (sourced from a '67 Cougar in 1967 and a '65 Thunderbird in 1968) and an integrated Kamm-type rear spoiler. Functional rear brake-cooling scoops adorned the rear quarter panels. Ten-spoke, fifteen-inch, cast-aluminum rims were the wheel choice with Goodyear white-lettered radials.

The GT350 was available with air conditioning and an AM/FM radio. The steering wheel was a wood-rimmed and satin-trimmed design with the classic Shelby logo in the center. Behind this wheel was a very classy-looking set of gauges. A 140-mph speedometer and a whopping 8,000-rpm tachometer were joined along with a smaller analog clock, fuel level, water temperature, and oil pressure gauges.

The 1967 GT350 came with an iron-block, 289-cubic-inch (4.7-liter) V-8 rated at 306 horsepower and 329 lb-foot of torque. For a pushrod design, the GT350 revved relatively high, with the horsepower peak not in full swing until the 6,000-rpm redline. 1967 was well before modern fuel injection came about, and the car used a single Holley four-barrel carburetor. The true dual-exhaust with H-shaped crossover system came standard with Flowmasters and chrome exhaust tips. Power was routed to the ground through a sturdy, four-speed manual transmission with a single, dry-disc clutch. A three-speed automatic was made available as an option. Rear-end ratios were 3.89-to-1 for the four-speed manual and 3.50-to-1 for the automatic. Acceleration was impressive, with a 0-to-60 time of around seven seconds and a top speed of 140 mph. Braking duties were handled by 11.3-inch discs up front and drums in the rear. Power assist was standard. The front suspension consisted of unequal-length control arms, coil springs, adjustable tube arms, and an anti-sway bar. Out back was a live axle, with multi-leaf, semi-elliptical springs and tube shocks. The steering was a power-assisted recirculating ball design.

In 1968 the 289ci V8 was replaced with a factory 302 V8 using an aluminum Cobra intake manifold and Holley 600 cfm carb. The 302 had less racing parts than the 289 and was rated at 250 hp. A Paxton Supercharger was availble that was reated at 335HP @ 5,200rpm.

1968 GT500KR

Beginning in April 1968, Ford began factory installing a version of the 428 engine known as the "Cobra Jet". The GT500 was subsequently known as The Cobra GT500 KR. The initials KR stood for "King of the Road." Ford rated the Cobra jet at 335 horsepower (250 kW), but with 440 foot-pounds of torque at 3400 RPM, the horsepower was considered significantly underreported. Shelby's KR engine was left stock adding die-cast aluminum valve covers with "Cobra Lemans" to note Ford's FE engine family victory over Ferrari at Le Mans in 1966 and 1967.

1969-1970

The GTs lost their Cobra tag for 1969 and once again were marketed simply as Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT500. The GT350 and GT500 for the 1969 model year received an extensive face lift, the body alone increasing in length by 4 inches (100 mm) with some reaching 10 inches (250 mm). Ford was involved with design and style decisions, with Shelby having little input. The GT350 was now equipped with a 351 cubic-inch V8. Carroll Shelby terminated his agreement with Ford in the summer of 1969.

No production of 1970 Shelby GT350 and 500 models was undertaken; however, unsold 1969 models were given 1970 vehicle identification numbers under FBI supervision. The 1970 models had two cosmetic changes, a front chin spoiler and two black hood stripes. The rest of the changes had to do with emissions. The GT500 had the carburetor modified and marked "ed" (edited) on tag. The GT500 distributor was also changed to the 70 version. The GT350 also had the distributor changed to a 70 version. A total of 789 were re-VIN'd.


Multimedia

Revell-Monogram Ford GT350 Kit Frank Oelhafen on the Revell-Monogram model kit
Video ©2008 Bill Crittenden
From the February 2008 Meeting of C.A.R.S. in Miniature
View video of Revell-Monogram Shelby GT350 Model Kit Review - 62.6MB


Photographs

Shelby GT350 Badge Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash
View photo of Shelby G. T. 350 Badge - 1.4MB
1965 Shelby GT350R 1965 R
Driver:  Tom Hamilton
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
2010 Muscle Car & Corvette Nationals
November 21, 2010
View photo of 1965 Shelby GT350R - 2,491KB
1965 Shelby GT350R 1965 R
Driver:  Tom Hamilton
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
2010 Muscle Car & Corvette Nationals
November 21, 2010
View photo of 1965 Shelby GT350R - 1,767KB
1965 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing 1965
Photo by Nathan Bittinger

#137 - 1965 Shelby GT350 (295cid)
Chuck Bentley
Dayville, CT

2004 Zippo United States Vintage Grand Prix
View photo of 1965 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing - 147KB

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.
1965 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing 1965
2004 Zippo United States Vintage Grand Prix
Driven by Bob Aliberto
Photo by Nathan Bittinger
View photo of 1965 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing - 303KB
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.
1965 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing 1965
2004 Zippo United States Vintage Grand Prix
Driven by Bob Aliberto
Photo by Nathan Bittinger
View photo of 1965 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing - 290KB
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.
1966 Shelby GT350 1966
Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
2012 Round Lake Home Town Festival
View photo of 1966 Shelby GT350 - 4.1MB
1966 Shelby GT350 1966
Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
2012 Round Lake Home Town Festival
View photo of 1966 Shelby GT350 - 4.7MB
1966 Shelby GT350 1966
Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
2012 Round Lake Home Town Festival
View photo of 1966 Shelby GT350 - 3.4MB
1966 Shelby GT350 1966
Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
2012 Round Lake Home Town Festival
View photo of 1966 Shelby GT350 - 3.8MB
1966 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing 1966
2004 Zippo United States Vintage Grand Prix
Driven by John Brice
Photo by Nathan Bittinger
View photo of 1966 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing - 250KB
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.
1966 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing 1966
2004 Zippo United States Vintage Grand Prix
Driven by John Brice
Photo by Nathan Bittinger
View photo of 1966 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing - 347KB
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.
1966 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing 1966
2004 Zippo United States Vintage Grand Prix
Driven by John Kolb
Photo by Nathan Bittinger
View photo of 1966 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing - 270KB
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.
1966 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing 1966
Photo by Nathan Bittinger

#210 - 1966 Shelby GT350 (295cid)
John Kolb
Waccabuc, NY

2004 Zippo United States Vintage Grand Prix
View photo of 1966 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing - 289KB

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.
1966 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing 1966
Photo by Nathan Bittinger

#210 - 1966 Shelby GT350 (295cid)
John Kolb
Waccabuc, NY

2004 Zippo United States Vintage Grand Prix
View photo of 1966 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing - 267KB

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.
1966 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing 1966
2004 Zippo United States Vintage Grand Prix
Driven by Mayo Smith
Photo by Nathan Bittinger
View photo of 1966 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing - 266KB
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.
1966 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing 1966
Photo by Nathan Bittinger

#10 - 1966 Shelby GT350 (292cid)
Mayo Smith
Westport, CT

2004 Zippo United States Vintage Grand Prix
View photo of 1966 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing - 165KB

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.
1966 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing 1966
Photo by Nathan Bittinger

#10 - 1966 Shelby GT350 (292cid)
Mayo Smith
Westport, CT

2004 Zippo United States Vintage Grand Prix
View photo of 1966 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing - 256KB

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.
1966 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing 1966
Photo by Nathan Bittinger

#550 - 1966 Shelby GT350 (297cid)
Chad Cropper
Montoursville, PA

2004 Zippo United States Vintage Grand Prix
View photo of 1966 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing - 377KB

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.
1966 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing 1966
Photo by Nathan Bittinger

#550 - 1966 Shelby GT350 (297cid)
Chad Cropper
Montoursville, PA

2004 Zippo United States Vintage Grand Prix
View photo of 1966 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing - 262KB

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.
1966 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing 1966
2004 Zippo United States Vintage Grand Prix
Driven by Russell Flynne
Photo by Nathan Bittinger
View photo of 1966 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing, 276KB
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.
1966 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing 1966
Photo by Nathan Bittinger

#39 - 1966 Shelby GT350 (297cid)
Russell Flynne
Westwood, MA

2004 Zippo United States Vintage Grand Prix
View photo of 1966 Shelby GT350 Vintage Racing - 323KB

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.
CARS in Miniature Shelby GT350 Photo ©2006 Bill Crittenden
October 2006 Meeting of C.A.R.S. in Miniature
View photo of Shelby GT350 - 258KB
1968 Shelby GT350 1968
All Original, 50,000 miles
Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
2012 Muscles for Muscles Car Show
View photo of 1968 Shelby GT350 - 3.7MB
1968 Shelby GT350 1968
All Original, 50,000 miles
Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
2012 Muscles for Muscles Car Show
View photo of 1968 Shelby GT350 - 2.8MB
1968 Shelby GT350 1968
All Original, 50,000 miles
Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
2012 Muscles for Muscles Car Show
View photo of 1968 Shelby GT350 - 4.0MB
1968 Shelby GT350 1968
All Original, 50,000 miles
Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
2012 Muscles for Muscles Car Show
View photo of 1968 Shelby GT350 - 4.1MB
1968 Shelby GT350 1968
All Original, 50,000 miles
Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
2012 Muscles for Muscles Car Show
View photo of 1968 Shelby GT350 - 4.1MB
1968 Shelby GT350 1968
All Original, 50,000 miles
Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
2012 Muscles for Muscles Car Show
View photo of 1968 Shelby GT350 - 4.9MB
1968 Shelby GT350 1968
All Original, 50,000 miles
Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
2012 Muscles for Muscles Car Show
View photo of 1968 Shelby GT350 - 4.3MB
1968 Shelby GT350 Clone 1968 Clone
Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
Reserve not met ($35,000 high bid) at the Mecum 2012 Fall Premier Auction
Mecum Auctions
View photo of 1968 Shelby GT350 Clone - 3.8MB
1968 Shelby GT350 Clone 1968 Clone
Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
Reserve not met ($35,000 high bid) at the Mecum 2012 Fall Premier Auction
Mecum Auctions
View photo of 1968 Shelby GT350 Clone - 5.0MB
1968 Shelby GT350 Clone 1968 Clone
Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
Reserve not met ($35,000 high bid) at the Mecum 2012 Fall Premier Auction
Mecum Auctions
View photo of 1968 Shelby GT350 Clone - 3.6MB


Documents

DateDocument Name & DetailsDocuments
10 March 1967NHTSA Recall 67V026000
Shelby GT350, Shelby GT500
Service Brakes, Hydraulic:Power Assist
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Recall Page - 1 page


Merchandise

Type & Item #NameDetails
Die Cast - ExactDetail WCC110Rick Kopec Essex Wire 1965 Shelby R-ModelCompetition Series, 1:18 scale, white w/blue stripe #98, production: 2,502
Die Cast - ExactDetail WCC1161966 Shelby G.T.3501:18 scale, sapphire blue, production: 996
Die Cast - Shelby Collectibles DC350041966 Shelby G.T. 350H1:18 scale, black w/gold stripes


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