Monterey | Lot 266
1965 Shelby GT350
$362,500 USD | Sold
| Monterey, California
13 August 2021
- Highly desirable early “double-digit” GT350
- Sold new through the legendary Tasca Ford in East Providence, Rhode Island
- Upgraded with a five-speed manual transmission; T-10 four-speed included
- Documented in the SAAC registry
The GT350 offered here, chassis number SFM 5S053, is an outstanding example of a true automotive legend. Starting with Ford’s already exceptional “K-Code” Mustang fastback, Carroll Shelby and his team at Shelby American stocked the GT350 with numerous suspension upgrades, improved safety equipment, and provided the engine with approximately 35 more horsepower than the standard Ford “Hi-Po” 289 V-8. To this day, the GT350 remains an ever-popular choice for vintage racing and touring events around the world.
Chassis 5S053 is one of the earliest examples produced and known as a “two-digit” car. The early GT350s, numbers 015–113, were the group of cars produced for homologation for SCCA racing. Additionally, given the early production sequence, this example benefits from the trunk-mounted battery, which appears (approximately) on serial numbers 001–338. In addition to the relocated battery, the early production cars benefit from unique features, including their fiberglass hood design and construction.
According to the SAAC Shelby Registry, 5S053 was received by Shelby American on 23 December 1964; Shelby completed the car on 17 March 1965. It was shipped just three days later, on 20 March 1965, to Tasca Ford Sales, Inc. of East Providence, Rhode Island. The Shelby Mustang’s first owner was David A. Sartrys of nearby Bristol, Rhode Island, who traded in a 1961 Chevrolet Corvette. The car then spent time with several owners in Maine, Connecticut, and Maryland before finding a new home in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, in 1984. It is under this owner, Robert Varcoe, that the car is believed to have been comprehensively restored, leading to a 2nd-place finish at the Shelby American Automobile Club (SAAC) concours in Dearborn, Michigan, in early July 1986. Subeqent owners are documented in the SAAC registry. It was acquired by its current custodian in August of 2018. It was serviced by Legendary Motorcar at the end of 2019; work included installation of a new starter, starter relay, starter solenoid, new coil, and a transmission rebuild, the latter of which was sublet.
Despite debuting more than 50 years ago, the GT350 remains a dramatic and visceral driving experience. There is nothing subtle about the car; it is designed to go fast, handle well—and of course, to look good while doing both. GT350 5S053 is certainly no exception to this long-established rule. It presents in beautiful condition throughout and remains overwhelmingly original. It retains its correct engine block, heads, timing covers, and carburetor, as well as the proper date-coded GT350 fenders. Though an upgraded five-speed transmission is currently fitted in the car, the correct aluminum T-10 transmission is included with the sale.