January 27, 1965 – Shelby G.T. 350 goes on sale

The racing circuit changed forever when sales of the Shelby G.T. 350 launched on this day in 1965. The G.T. was based off of 1965 Ford Mustang Fastbacks that originally left the factory with a 271 HP 289 V8 and a 4 on the floor. Carroll Shelby had the stock vehicles shipped to Shelby American where his team stripped the car of weight. The car then received performance upgrades, such as high-riser intake manifolds, a four barrel carburetor and custom exhaust headers, boosting horsepower to 306. 

Original ad for the Shelby G.T. 350
Cover photo: 1965 Ford Shelby GT350 by Yahya S.

In 1965 Shelby built 562 examples, all painted Wimbledon White with Guardsman Blue stripes. In 1966 the cars received updates to attract more general consumers, opposed to strictly track racers. The 1966 G.T. was available with optional rear vent windows and back seats, and came in an array of colors. They were also equipped with functional hood and rear brake air scoops and a 3 speed automatic transmission was made available. Production of the first generation of Shelby Mustangs would last through 1971 with the G.T. 350 and G.T. 500.