Blast From the Past: ’65 Mustang Shelby GT350

Whether you were alive in 1965 or you just love a great car from any year, the ’65 Mustang Shelby GT350 is a beautiful powerhouse that deserves a closer look. Two production models were built: one for competing in races and one for driving on city streets.

If you’re interested in buying a GT350, you need to know which one you’re getting since each version has unique features.

Under the Hood of the 1965 Mustang Shelby GT350

Ford set aside its stock High-Performance engine for the GT350. This engine generated 271 horsepower, which was quite impressive for that model year. Still, it wasn’t good enough for Shelby. The company tinkered with the engine until it got 306 horsepower from it.

Shelby managed to do this with some innovative modifications. It added an aluminum high-rise intake manifold and a Tri-Y header that made the dual exhaust system more efficient. The faster you can blow exhaust away from the engine, the more air the engine has to generate power.

The 1965 Mustang Shelby GT350 Has Always Been Limited

Ford Shelby never planned to make many GT350s. Including prototypes, the company only built 562 cars. The lineup included: • One street prototype • One Paxton Supercharger prototype • Two prototypes for the 1966 GT350 • Three Shelby Hi-Performance School cars • Four drag cars • 11 advanced pre-production prototypes • 34 factory competition race models • 504 street production models

Finding a 1965 GT350 today isn’t something you can do easily. Many from this original production have succumbed to the ravages of time. Of course, some of the competition cars were badly damaged in races. There are some pristine versions out there, but they’re hard to find, and they’re rare enough that few people want to sell them.

Aesthetics of the 1965 Mustang Shelby GT350

Within its historical context, the 1965 Mustang Shelby GT350 is an engineering marvel that led the way to faster cars. It’s not particularly impressive by today’s standards, but it could easily leave your commuter vehicle in the dust.

It’s those 1965 aesthetics that stand out most these days. The competitive version is particularly enjoyable to behold with its twin stripes running right down the middle of the car. This paint style became popular for a while, but it made the GT350 look extremely aggressive, especially when it’s compared to European race cars manufactured at the same time. While they have their perks, they don’t look like they could go head to head with the Mustang.

Your chances of finding a 1965 Mustang Shelby GT350 are slim to none since most are kept in museums. Those that still belong to their original owners are tucked away under sheets of canvas. They’re basically historical artifacts that no one wants to let go of. Still, it’s good to know that this limited edition car is out in the world. You’d probably like to take one out for a joyride to see what she can do. The closest you’ll get, though, is viewing one at a museum. Unless you’re good friends with Jay Leno, that is. He has one in his personal collection.