The marriage between Carroll Shelby and the Ford Motor Company began in early 1965 when Ford wanted to take a shot at the performance market dominated by GM’s Corvette. Unveiled by Shelby on January 27, 1965, the modified Mustang fastback had a few subtle exterior changes: a fiberglass hood with functional scoop, a clean-looking grille and a tri-colored running horse on the driver’s side of the grille. All Shelbys in 1965 were Wimbledon White, with a blue GT 350 side stripe below the door. Le Mans stripes running down the center of the body were available as a dealer option. The interior was available in black only and featured a roll bar and a flat-rimmed, three-spoke wooden steering wheel. A special instrument panel in the center of the dash held a large oil-pressure gauge and tachometer. The GT 350 also featured competition seat belts.
A special aluminum intake manifold increased the solid-lifter, Hi-Po 289’s horsepower from 271 to 306. Exhaust from the Tri-Y headers exited in front of the rear wheels. All ’65 Shelbys had Borg-Warner T-10 four-speeds with 9″ Detroit “No-Spin” differentials. Extensive suspension work was a GT 350 hallmark, with a large front stabilizer bar, special steering box, lowered front lower A-frames, Koni shocks and traction bars. The front section was stiffened considerably with an export brace and a Monte Carlo bar. The battery was relocated to the trunk for improved weight distribution on the first 300 cars.
The GT 350 pictured has all matching numbers, with history documented in the Shelby American World Registry. It has undergone an extremely thorough nut-and-bolt restoration by one of the top Shelby restoration shops in the country. It recently finished second in the Shelby Nationals and sports an R-type racing front air dam. (Original chrome bumpers are included in the sale.)
More desirable than the considerably more common 1966 models, this pristine ’65 Shelby GT 350 represents the best of American muscle car engineering at the time.