1965 Ford Mustang (Shelby Replica)


As Seen on Season One of FantomWorks

Owner’s thought

Carroll Shelby once said about the Mustang that turning a vehicle he once dismissed as “a secretary car” into a rumbling, high-performance model was “the hardest thing I’ve done in my life”.  That being said the car he did build has ignited boys and girl’s imagination for almost fifty years now.  Unfortunately owning a real 1965 Shelby Mustang is a very expensive proposition and out of reach for most Americans and besides you still have fifty year old technology.  One thing they do there at FantomWorks is make dreams come true but once and awhile they go for a double.  This 65 Mustang was started by a very talented weekend car builder as a long term project.  Unfortunately with the economic down turn he knew he would never be able to finish it; but he still wanted to see it on the road.  They put him together with the current owner who always dreamed of owning a Shelby Mustang but always thought it out of his price range.  That is where they come in when the restoration is complete the owner will have a car that looks like a 1965 Shelby GT350R but with a modern coil over suspension, high performance fuel injected motor, and will not have a Shelby Mustang price.  Some may call it a replica or tribute but I just call it “One cool car”.

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It’s hard not to think of the Ford Mustang when you hear the name Carroll Shelby. The two go hand-in-hand. One is a successful American car with 40+ years of history on the road. The other is a former test pilot, turned race car driver, turned Mustang visionary.

In the Beginning

Shelby’s first Mustang was the 1965 Shelby GT350; a powerful race car credited with enhancing the Mustang’s image as a performance machine. Ford, having seen the success Carroll Shelby had made of the Cobra race car, knew he was the man to make the Mustang a respected race machine. The company reached out to him to see if he could create a high-performance Mustang for street and track. Shelby was up for the task, and began work on the project in August of 1964. In September, the first Shelby GT350s were built.

The 1965 Shelby GT350 was first revealed to the general public on January 27th of 1965, the same month that Shelby-American moved to its Los Angeles International Airport facility. Of note, it was the first race-ready car ever to be marketed by an American auto maker. Unfortunately, with a base price of $4,547, the car was too expensive for most consumers.

A True Mustang Racer

Those lucky enough to own one got their money’s worth. The Shelby GT350 featured 306 hp courtesy of its modified K-code 289cid V8 engine. This was 35 horses more than that offered in the standard 289cid engine. The car also featured a Holly carburetor, Cobra valve covers, and a special Cobra hi-rise intake manifold. It also featured a four-speed manual transmission and side-exhaust pipes fitted with two-inch Glasspak mufflers. Most notably, the 1965 GT350 had no rear seat. This was because SCCA B Production requirements only permitted two-seater cars. In its place was a fiberglass floor, with a spare tire mounted beneath the rear glass.

A Look of its Own

As for exterior features, the 1965 Shelby GT350 came in one color, Wimbledon White (with black interior). In addition, all GT350s featured rocker panel stripes touting the GT350 name. An optional feature was Guardsman Blue Le Mans striping from front to back. These days, most classic 350s feature the striping. In fact, you’ll have a hard time finding one without them. In actuality, less than half of the Shelby GT350s sold in 1965 were equipped with the stripes.

In addition, the GT350 had a look of its own with a hood-mounted air scoop, along with 15-inch wheels in either white-painted steel or with cast magnesium Cragar Rims.

Another unusual feature of the GT350 was the rear battery setup on the first 300 or so units produced. The first Shelby GT350s featured batteries which were located in the trunk of the vehicle. Unfortunately, owners complained that fumes from the battery were making their way into the car. This resulted in the creation of Cobra Battery Caps which used hoses, and holes in the trunk floor, to vent the fumes. Shortly thereafter, the remainder of the Shelby Mustangs in 1965 were equipped with a battery in the engine compartment. As such, 1965 Shelby GT350s with batteries in the rear of the vehicle are even more sought after by collectors than the 1965 GT350 itself.

Read more about Shelby Mustangs at: http://mustangs.about.com/od/modelyearprofiles/a/1965-Shelby-350.htm

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