2008 Shannons Sydney Autumn Classic Auction
1966 Shelby Mustang GT350 Fastback (LHD)
|Gearbox||5-speed manual (see text)|
|Body Work||Fastback Coupe|
This lot is no longer available
Carroll Shelby, Texan racer and famed builder of the legendary Cobra sports car, joined forces with the Ford Motor Co. in 1965 to create a high performance version of the Mustang that was equally at home tearing up the race track as it was cruising the city streets. Taking the Fastback version of Mustang as his starting point, Shelby created a dual-purpose machine sporting a unique styling package plus a long list of mechanical upgrades and the first year of GT350 production proved highly successful both from a marketing and sales point of view. For 1966, the raw, track-oriented nature of the 1965 Shelby was toned down ever so slightly and a few styling changes made to help differentiate the Shelbys from lesser Mustangs. Adding functional rear quarter panel scoops and side windows in place of the louvres on the rear sail panels, along with stripes on the bonnet and rocker panels plus a functional hood scoop on the fibreglass bonnet created a real street racer feel. The Mustang's interior was dressed up with a fold down rear seat, 9000 rpm tacho and deluxe steering wheel embossed with the GT350 logo (a wood-rimmed item was optional). The classic K-Code 'Hi-Po' 289-cid V8 was retained, developing a healthy 306 bhp thanks to an aluminium high-rise intake manifold, headers and big Holley 715-cfm carburettor, while most came with Koni shock absorbers - although listed as an option these were normally fitted. The Detroit locker rear end was now optional and the side pipes were replaced with a rear exhaust system, while a small number of cars came with the optional Paxton supercharger. Transmission was via a Bog-Warner T10M gearbox with a 9-inch rear end. Ford also entered an arrangement with the Hertz car rental company in 1966, whereby a number of Shelbys were made available to suitably qualified drivers at a cost of $17 dollars per day - it was no surprise that a good number were returned after a weekend hire with evidence of having been on the track. Of the 2,377 Shelbys turned out in 1966, 999 of them were Hertz models, usually sold in black with gold stripes, and later examples often came with the C-4 automatic transmission and Autolite 595-cfm carburettor in place of the big Holley. In the hierachy of Shelby Mustangs, those based on the first generation Mustangs (1965-1966) are regarded as the best and this fact is reflected in the market values for these blue chip collector cars around the world.