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January 27, 1965 – Shelby GT 350 launches

The racing circuit was forever changed when sales of the Shelby GT 350 launched on this day in 1965. Designed and developed by Carroll Shelby, the original GT 350 is based off of the 1965 Ford Mustang fastback. The cars originally came with a 289 V8 that put out 271 hp matched to a 4 speed manual transmission. The stock vehicles were shipped to Shelby American where they were stripped of weight, including the backseat, and received performance upgrades including high-riser intake manifolds, a four barrel carburetor and custom exhaust headers, resulting in an output of 306 horsepower. In 1965 Shelby produced 562 examples, all painted Wimbledon White with Guardsman Blue stripes. In 1966 the cars were more geared toward general consumers. They were available with optional rear vent windows and back seats, and they came in an array of colors. They also had functional hood and rear brake air scoops and were optioned with a 3 speed automatic transmission. Production of the first generation of Shelby Mustangs would last through 1971 with the GT 350 and GT 500, before being reintroduced in 2005. 1965 Ford Shelby GT350 by Yahya S. Front: Side: CC2.0Advertisement for the 1966 Shelby GT 350