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1965 SHELBY GT-350

 CARS > MUSCLE CARS > 1965 SHELBY GT-350

Used Car history 
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Muscle Cars

GTO 1964-1967

Shelby Mustang

Hemi

 

 



Starting With a Blank Slate

Ford's ongoing projects with Carroll Shelby the established Cobra 289 production run, the winning race programs involving small-block Cobras, Daytona Coupes, and King Cobras, and the 427 Cobras on the verge of production, made it natural for the company to approach the man who had working knowledge. Ford wanted an upgraded Mustang with power, flash, and, if possible, immediate racing victories. By then, Shelby had seen almost four years of wrestling with production headaches, bending, molding, and adapting to the racing rules of various sanctioning bodies, and making incredibly quick and perceptive decisions. Survival had forced him to master cost effectiveness, public relations, and plain old going faster in straight lines and corners. He got the call.

The blank slate would be the Mustang Fastback, the "2+2" model new to the Mustang lineup with the introduction of the 1965 models. To qualify the GT-350 for SCCA B/Production competition, a process called homologation, Shelby American would have to produce at least 100 cars before the end of 1964.

Beginning in June that year, Ford had offered its High Performance 271 hp 289ci engine in the Mustang. Shelby felt that a street version would be needed to sell 100 cars, so, with a powerful engine already covered by Ford factory warranty Shelby elected to go easy on the powerplant and to concentrate on modifying the Mustang's handling characteristics to accommodate both racing and street situations. Within the safety envelope, street comforts would be secondary to performance. Of course, the cars built specifically for competition would be hard-core and expensive. But the racing project would evolve without being bogged down by slowly moving inventory.

To create the Shelby suspension, Shelby American engineer Ken Miles went to work with two Mustang hardtops. Testing took place at Willow Springs Raceway, where Miles and Bob Bondurant combined the tricks of their driving experience with the existing unibody and various parts already available from Ford. It was understood that using such components would tap a dependable source, facilitate ordering and inventory, and contribute to the bottom line. Miles eventually determined that if Ford's San Jose assembly plant could furnish Fastbacks with Detroit Locker units in Ford 9in rear ends, close-ratio Borg Warner T-10 close-ratio synchronized four-speed transmissions, 9.5in front disc brakes and station wagon rear drum brakes with metallic linings, plus the heavy-duty firewall-to-shock tower V-shaped brace installed on Mustangs destined for export, Shelby could finish the job in Venice, California. As Motor Trend pointed out in its first road test of the car, "The words here are: control, limit, locate, stiffen, and snub."

The San Jose cars would be Wimbledon White with black standard Mustang interiors, and 5.5x15 in argent steel wheels as produced for Ford by Kelsey-Hayes. Assembly would delete hoods, hood latches, the "pony and corral" grille bars, Ford and Mustang identifying badges, rear seats, radios, and exhaust systems.

After the first three prototype fastbacks were delivered, built, and approved early in the model year, Shelby American ordered from San Jose enough partially completed, or "knockdown," Mustangs to satisfy both the 100-car homologation rule and the company's anticipated need for racing models. The transformations began. Some changes were quick and clean, while lowering the front upper control arms (for lower center of gravity and to optimize camber changes) or removing the rear axles to install override traction bars were labor intensive. The front suspensions were reassembled using new in anti-sway bars, Koni shock absorbers (also added at the rear), and special idler and Pitman arms for improved response and, with a power steering ratio in the steering gear box, less lock-to-lock travel.

The Shelby interior retained the early Mustang's (Falcon style) instrument cluster, standard upholstery, standard door panels, and black carpet. It then received a wood-rimmed Cobra steering wheel (16in steering wheels on the first batch of cars, and 15 in wheels on subsequent Shelbys); an instrument pod at the center of the dash-pad, housing a CS custom-logo Deico tachometer and an oil-pressure gauge; a spare tire mounted on the fiberglass deck that had replaced the rear seat; and 3 in-wide Ray Brown competition seat belts.

The 271 hp Hi-Po engine received only external changes. A 715 cfm Holley four-barrel carburetor was mounted upon a cast-aluminum Cobra Hi-Riser intake manifold. Cast-aluminum Cobra-lettered valve covers and an extra-capacity cast-aluminum Cobra-lettered oil pan replaced the stock pieces, and tubular steel Tri-Y exhaust headers led to 2in diameter Glaspak mufflers and exhaust pipes that exited just ahead of the rear wheels. Still, these simple external changes boosted power, and Shelby advertised his version of the 289ci High Performance engine as having 306hp. For the advantage of weight transfer, batteries were shifted to trunk mountings; due to complaints of fumes and corrosion, this modification was discontinued about half-way through 1965 production. Goodyear's 7.75x15 High Performance Blue Dot tires were mounted on the standard steel wheels or the optional Cragar-built wheels with CS center caps.

Additional modifications included the addition of the following:

  • Twin axle limiting cables connecting the rear axle to frame rail-mounted eyebolts

  • Driveshaft safety loop affixed to the underside of the front seat belt mounting holes

  • Transverse engine compartment "Monte Carlo" bar from shock tower to shock tower

  • Dash-mounted horn toggle to replace the one lost in swapping steering wheels

  • Fiberglass hood with a working air scoop and Klik pin retainers

  • Guardsman Blue GT-350 lower body stripes

  • Mustang tri-color bar/running horse fender emblem mounted on the left side of the grille mesh.

 


 
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1965 SHELBY GT-350

 CARS > MUSCLE CARS > 1965 SHELBY GT-350


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TITLE: Muscle Car Used Car History Vehicle History Report at Auto Lemon - Used Car History Check

Cars Directory : Auto, Automobile, Automotive, Car, Cars, Vehicle, Vehicles, Used Cars, New Cars, Used Car, New Car Price

Site Description: Car Consumer Reports and Consumer Guide on automobile, brake, buying car, car care, car cost, car safety, cooling system, drivetrain, electrical, exhaust, emission, fluid check, fuel system, ignition system, lubrication system, suspension and steering. Offers Free VIN Check, VIN Check

Cars Topics: car consumer reports on automobile, brake, buying car, car care, car cost, car safety, cooling system, drivetrain, electrical, exhaust, emission, fluid check, fuel system, ignition system, lubrication system, suspension and steering.