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In late January 1965, the production Shelby Mustang GT350, derived from the Mustang Fastback, debuted, promising to captivate enthusiasts. Beyond its striking appearance, the GT350 boasted substantial modifications to its suspension, replacing factory components with racing-grade parts.

The Shelby GT350’s most significant improvements took place under the hood, where an eager Shelby heavily modified the stock Mustang’s Hi-Po 289 cubic-inch V-8, which already produced a respectable 271 HP.

Each GT350’s engine was stripped of its stock cast-iron intake, in favor of a Cobra Hi-Rise manifold. A Holley four-barrel 715-cfm carburetor was then installed, as were lightweight tubular Tri-Y exhaust headers. A much larger radiator was borrowed from the Ford Galaxy 500, and placed into the GT350, to keep overheating at bay.

In its refined form, the GT350’s powerplant was capable of producing 306 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, propelling the Mustang to top speeds of 138 mph and a 0-to-60 mph time of 6.6 seconds. This power was directed downstream by a Borg-Warner T-10 four-speed gearbox.

While demanding to maneuver in everyday traffic, the GT350 found its true calling on the track, instantly elevating the Mustang’s prestige. With only 562 GT350s produced, including 34 GT350R competition models, the 1965 Shelby GT350s have attained near-legendary status, remaining highly coveted among collectors worldwide.

Photo Source: RM Sotheby’s