2021 Shannons Spring Timed Online Auction
1968 Shelby Mustang GT500 Fastback (RHD)
This lot is no longer available
Having created the legendary Cobra, Carroll Shelby turned his attention to Ford’s new Mustang in 1965, with the Dearborn giant keen to inject some muscle into their new Pony Car. Two versions were built, the GT350 for the street and the ‘R’ model aimed at SCCA B-Production class racing and the Shelby Mustang proved a winner, both on the road and track, taking out the national championship three years running between 1965 and 1967. A Shelby model remained in the Mustang catalogue each year until 1970, with the emphasis gradually shifting from building a raw homologation special towards a more sophisticated high performance GT car aimed at an older generation of well-heeled buyers. Two versions were announced in 1967, the original small-block GT350 supplemented by the new GT500, packing a big-block V8 under the bonnet. Initial assembly moved to Metuchen, New Jersey in 1968, then cars were shipped to the A O Smith Company facility in Ionia, Michigan to have the Shelby components added. The Shelby range for 1968 – which saw the Cobra name applied to a Mustang for the first time – expanded with the addition of convertible versions of both GT350 and GT500 models. Unique styling helped distinguish the model from lesser Mustangs, with ’65 Thunderbird rectangular taillights and longer grille (with inset driving lights) adding a purposeful appearance. Functional side scoops on the side panels and quarter panels plus unique steel wheels and stripes further enhanced the aggressive look of the new model. Inside the Deluxe Mustang interior was augmented by a centre console complete with Stewart-Warner oil pressure and alternator gauges, along with a standard roll bar and inertia-reel seatbelts. The GT500 initially used a 428 Police Interceptor V8 rated at 360 horsepower, replaced mid-year by the Cobra Jet V8 with medium-riser heads and 735cfm Holley, these later cars adopting the “King o the Road” moniker. A choice of transmission options was available – either the four-speed close-ratio top loader manual box or C-6 automatic. In total 2099 GT500 fastbacks were built in 1968 with a further 919 convertibles and like any car carrying Carroll Shelby’s name, each and every survivor is now regarded as blue-chip muscle cars.