1965 Shelby Mustang GT350 Street Machine
Editor’s Note: In the middle 1990’s, I owned a 1965 Mustang 2+2 that had a small-block Ford V-8, a 4-speed trans, medium blue interior and wore rather poorly applied (by the previous owner) Wimbledon White paint. This particular 1965 Shelby GT350 that went across RM’s Auction block at the 2013 Arizona event reminds me so much of my little Ford fastback. It really takes me back seeing this car, as it doesn’t even have the over-the-top Guardsman Blue Le Mans stripes that most ’65 Shelbys wear. Of course, my Mustang wasn’t as fast or in as good a condition as this Shelby masterpiece. Even so, I used to feel like I was a road racer in SCCA B Production, whenever I drove my Wimbledon White Mustang. Enjoy this RM Auctions’ piece on an ever-so-iconic American Muscle Machine!
Photo Credit: Robert Reck ©2012 Courtesy RM Auctions
1965 Shelby Mustang GT350
Sold for $170,000
Chassis no. SMF5S472
306 bhp, 289 cu. in. V-8 engine with four-barrel 715 CFM Holley carburetor, Borg-Warner four-speed manual transmission, nine-inch Ford rear-differential, independent front suspension with unequal-length A-arms, coil springs, and stabilizer bar, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and hydraulic front disc and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 108 in.
• Wimbledon White with rare “stripe delete” option
• Comprehensive engine rebuild; only 300 test miles since
• Rare and proper wood-rimmed steering wheel and “Cyclops eye” tachometer
The late Carroll Shelby enjoyed telling the story of a phone call he received in 1964, from his friend and Ford Executive Lee Iacocca.
One day, Iacocca called me, recalled the racing legend, and he said, Do you think you can do something special with my new Mustang? The GT High Performance version is a pretty nice little car, but can you make it into more of a sport car, like the Cobra? I asked back, So Lee, you want me to make a race horse out of your mule? He said yes [!], and I told him that I really didn’t want to mess with it since I was so busy building and selling Cobras and running several racing teams and such at the time. He reminded me of all the support that he and Ford gave me on supplying engines for the Cobra project–so I decided I better be the one messing with it.
The result, of course, was the 1965 Shelby GT350. Carroll and his merry band of designers, fabricators, and hot rodders gave the Mustang GT 2+2 a straightforward yet effective Cobra style makeover, which included more horsepower, recalibrated suspension, reduced weight, and fantastic performance. The 289-cubic inch solid lifter “Hi-Po” V-8 was upped from 271 to 306 horsepower. The factory hood was replaced with a lightweight unit, and the rear seats were cleverly removed so the car qualified as a two-seat sports car for SCCA competition. The rest of the story is legend, with the GT350 knocking off Corvettes and E-Types on nearly every street corner and race track in America.
Shelby American produced only 562 of these rough-and-ready ’65 GT350s. They are considered the most desirable and collectible among all Shelby Mustangs and the purest interpretation of Carroll Shelby’s original vision. Subsequent Shelby Mustangs became less racy and more about fast comfort, with smoother rides, larger engines, and available air conditioning and automatic transmissions, plus the addition of convertibles.
According to the Shelby Registry, SMF5S472 was sold new at the Marshall Motor Company in Mayfield Height, Ohio on October 22nd, 1965, for $3,617.25. Its original owner was Dr. Paul F. Boyd, of Lyndhurst, Ohio. After a known procession of caretakers, the current owner purchased SMF5S472 in 2004. This example is most unique in that, from the factory, it did not wear the dark blue Shelby stripes over the Wimbledon White hood, roof, and trunk, as did most of the production run. The car was repainted some time ago but still presents well, and it is equipped with its original interior, which is nicely preserved and presents an honest patina of time, care, and sympathetic enjoyment. The interior features a rare and proper wood-rimmed steering wheel, and the “Cyclops eye” tachometer is mounted on the dashboard. Also included are a set of new OEM-style seat covers, as well as the original set of car keys.
Most recently, the engine was comprehensively rebuilt using only new and correct date-coded components. No expense was spared during the engine overhaul, and the GT350 has only seen approximately 300 miles since. Showing approximately 44,000 miles, this desirable Mustang represents a rare and unique opportunity to join the prestigious fraternity of first year Shelby GT350 ownership.