|History of the Shelby Mustang
In 1965, about a year after the release of the Mustang, Ford decided that they were going to toughen up the Mustang line. So, they asked Carroll Shelby to make their pony car compete with GM's Chevy Corvette. In order to do this, Ford produced a normal white fastback without rear seats or hoods and sent them to Shelby so they could do whatever it was they wanted to do.
Shelby added and deleted several things to/from the Mustang. An aluminum intake was added to the engine to push it from 271 horsepower to 306. The Shelby headers came out in front of the rear wheels and the car had a Borg-Warner T-10 four-speed transmission. The exterior design had several changes that wasn't all too noticeable from far. The Mustang got a fiberglass hood with functional hood scoops. The side of the car got a blue stripe
across the base of the body with the words "GT 350" behind the front 15" wheels. Also on the exterior, while all the original Mustang emblems were removed, Shelby added a little horse emblem on the driver's side of the grill. The suspension was a big part of the Shelby modifications. A larger front stabilizer bar, a 1" sway bar, adjustable Koni shocks and Koni rear traction bars. On the interior, the vacant rear seat area was the new spot for the spare tire. The interior only came in black.
with a 3-spoke steering wheel. The Shelby also got competition seat belts. Only 562 Shelby Mustangs were made; 12 were race models; 36 were "R" models; 516 were street GT 350 models. These cars were all released by Carroll Shelby on January. 27, 1965. The price of the base Shelby's were about $4,000. They weren't quick and fast sellers, but they were bought by real car enthusiasts, which is who they were intended for in the first place.
1966 saw a more profitable car, instead of just a fast limited production vehicle. The car lost it's one color only "take it or leave it" thought, by adding color options including black, red, green, and blue. The side stripe on the non-white color options were white. At first, the car was offered with a fiberglass hood, but complaints about poor fiberglass materials made Shelby redo the hood in steel. The tri-colored horse emblem on the grill was a bit smaller.
Also, a new GT 350 gas cap was added. On earlier production vehicles, there was 15" wheels, but later they were removed and 14" wheels were added with the option of 14" 10-spokes. There was still the same 4-Speed transmission and same engine. Much of the suspension was the same as the normal production Mustangs, because they were another special addition to the car that wasn't needed to make a profit off of it. Ford heavy-duty shocks were used, with Koni shocks as an option. The interior was still in only black. There was a special chrome GT 350 center cap on the steering wheel.
The spare tire was placed in the trunk and then later on in the production it was placed under the hood. There was three special versions of the Shelby Mustangs. One was a Supercharged option of the GT 350. Shelby only offered around 10 of these vehicles It gave the engine about 390HP. Another version of the Mustang was the Hertz Mustang. This version was added when Ford and Hertz rent-a-center made a deal to offer and special GT 350 Hertz edition. There was only about a thousand of the Hertz Mustangs made. On the Hertz edition Mustangs, many of them were black with gold stripes. There was
also four other colors that included the gold stripes too. One other special edition of the Shelby Mustang was a special convertible model. None of these were sold to the public. Carroll Shelby gave 5 of the convertible models to friends and one to himself. One of those 6 were apparently destroyed, while the other 5 still exist. 3 or 4 racing models were made too.
1967 saw a change in Mustang styling, making it more tough and muscular looking. And then, Shelby topped that with a even tougher looking appearance. Yet again, more delicious extras were taken away. The stang no longer came with Tri-Y headers, but now came with stock exhaust manifolds. The 289cu. in. engine rated at 306HP still remained there. Two functional scoops on the side of the car, two hood scoops and a rear spoiler were added to the car. The hi-beam lights in the center of the grill on the GT 350s were not aloud in some states, because state law mandated that they must be
on the outer edges of the grill, which would actually let the engine breathe in more air Also, there was lights in the upper side scoops that many states had a problem with too. Only about 200 models left the factory with those lights as they were, before a few things were changed. On the passenger-side of the grill was a little horse emblem as had been on the driver's side in 65 and 66. On the rear on the car were two long Mercury Cougar taillights. Lots of fiberglass was also used. The hood, fenders, trunklid and a 3-inch extension to the cars length were all in fiberglass. The biggest edition to the Shelby line was
the Mustang GT 500. This was the big-block version of the Shelby Mustang. The `67 Mustang's larger body made it easier to fit the huge 428cu in. police interceptor motor, which made 355 horses. The engine had a medium-riser aluminum intake manifold. The car came with power steering and power brakes. The car was known to have suffered when turning into corners at high speeds because of the extra weight in the front of the car. The car was offered with a C-6 Automatic Transmission or a Ford Toploader 4-Speed manual. This year didn't see any Hertz or any special Supercharged edition of the GT 350. The only special car was a
Super Snake. 50 of them were supposed to be made, but weren't due to the high price that the car would have to cost just to make a bit of profit off of it. The car had a 427 Cobra motor that boasted 520HP. It included tuned headers, aluminum heads, aluminum intake, and a 4-Speed Transmission with a 4.11. The car was actually on eBay twice in 2002, but the reserve was never met, but bids reached $169,100. Around 2,000 GT 500s and 1,100 GT 350s were produced.