A historic muscle icon.
The 1965 Shelby Mustang GT350 has remained an epitome of American muscle. With only 504 street production models crafted for that year, this iconic vehicle stands out in the annals of automotive history. Its beginnings trace back to the summer of 1964, when Ford sought the expertise of the legendary Carroll Shelby to craft a Mustang variant suitable for the SCCA’s B Production class.
The transformation journey commenced in Ford's San Jose facility in California and later transitioned to Shelby’s hub near the Los Angeles International Airport. Notably, each GT350 of 1965 boasted a sleek Wimbledon White finish, accentuated by Guardsman Blue rocker-panel stripes. One standout model, which was refined with blue Le Mans stripes in the 1990s, further exemplifies the car's timeless allure.
But the GT350 wasn't just about looks. It harbored power beneath its hood, with a 289ci HiPo V8 engine at its core. Having undergone two extensive overhauls, the latest in June 2022, the engine's prowess remains unparalleled. It comes equipped with a four-barrel Holley carburetor and a high-rise intake manifold, pushing out a commendable 306 horsepower.
The interior of the GT350 mirrors its exterior beauty. It features black vinyl-trimmed bucket seats, with the rear boasting a fold-down bench seat addition. The cockpit is further adorned with a wood-rimmed steering wheel, offering drivers a vintage feel. The central pod houses an oil-pressure gauge and a tachometer, standing testament to Shelby's attention to detail.
The drive mechanism complements the power-packed engine. The Mustang houses a Ford Toploader four-speed manual transmission, recently overhauled in 2022, ensuring smooth gear transitions. Additionally, the car benefits from the incorporation of a Hurst shifter and a 3.89:1 Detroit locking differential.
Beyond its mechanical prowess, the GT350 has stories to tell. One particular model has a rich lineage, having started its journey in Scottsdale, Arizona. Over the years, it has passed through various hands, including a four-decade tenure with an owner in Lake Havasu, Arizona.
For car enthusiasts and historians, the 1965 Shelby Mustang GT350 remains a testament to American engineering and design brilliance. Whether on the road or as a museum centerpiece, its legacy is bound to endure for generations to come.
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