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

The racing circuit was forever changed when sales of the Shelby G.T. 350 launched on this day in 1965. The cars, based off the 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback and redeveloped by Carroll Shelby, would leave the factory with a 289 V8 that put out 271 hp and a 4 on the floor. The stock vehicles were shipped to Shelby American where they were stripped of weight, including the backseat, and received performance upgrades like 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 were regeared to attract more general consumers, opposed to strictly track racers, and were available with optional rear vent windows and back seats, and came in an array of colors. They were 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.

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