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1965 Shelby Mustang GT350

Sold For $242,000

Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.

RM | Sotheby's - AMELIA ISLAND 9 MARCH 2013


Chassis No.
SFM5S226
  • Desirable “year one” Shelby Mustang
  • Documented in Shelby Registry
  • Superbly presented, high point restoration

306 bhp, 289 cu. in. K Code V-8 with Holley four-barrel carburetor, Borg-Warner four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with unequal length A-arms, coil springs and stabilizer bar and live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and hydraulic front disc and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 108 in.

It was late-1964 and Ford’s new Mustang was flying out of showrooms at an astonishing rate, with Carroll Shelby’s Cobra cleaning up in Sports Car Club of America competition. It was not long before Lee Iacocca approached Shelby and asked him to prepare a Ford Mustang that could win the SCCA’s national B/Production Championship.

The result was the GT350, a standard Mustang fastback that Shelby loaded up with goodies: a hot-rodded 289-cubic inch V-8, Borg-Warner T-10 four-speed transmission, beefed-up rear axle and suspension, metallic-lined rear drum brakes, Kelsey-Hayes front disc brakes, a scooped fiberglass hood with tie-downs, and cast aluminum wheels. The four-seat Mustang as it left the factory did not qualify as a “sports car” to the SCCA. No problem: Shelby threw out the rear seats. The body was finished in white with blue racing stripes, which would soon become classic Shelby.

SCCA regulations required that at least 100 street legal versions of the GT350 would have to be sold to private customers in order for it to qualify for B/Production. In the first year of 1965, 562 were made, each capable of 0 to 60 mph in under 7 seconds, and with a top speed of over 120 mph. Today, these “pure” GT350s of the first year of production are the most desired by enthusiasts.

The car offered here was originally delivered to Adamson Ford, of Birmingham, Alabama. It was eventually acquired by Betty Culp, of Texas, and it eventually passed to Lee Larsen, of Louisiana, and then to noted collector Lee Herrington. Following restoration by the Shelby specialists of Fitzgerald Motorsports in Laconia, New Hampshire, the GT350 was featured on the cover of one of Herrington’s well-known apparel catalogues.

The current owner acquired the car in 2000 and had it vetted by Shelby expert Howard Pardee, and then set about correcting all of the small, incorrect items that Pardee identified, with a goal of total correctness so that the car would be able to compete at the Shelby Nationals. More recently, he replaced the GT350 racing model-style front valance, fitted by Herrington, with the original front bumper and valence configuration, returning the car to “stock” specifications in all respects. Just recently, the master cylinder, front brake calipers, rear wheel cylinders, and brake flex lines have all been replaced, and as a result, the GT350 is now reported to be in top operating condition in all respects. An extensive collection of documentation and receipts from the present ownership, along with the racing model front valance, will accompany the car.

This is a rare chance to acquire an extremely well-maintained example of the ultimate first generation Mustang: Carroll Shelby’s feared, fearless GT350.

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