first Shelby Mustang GT-350 appeared on January 27, 1965. It was based
on the Ford Mustang fastback and was painted white with blue stripes,
which was to remain the original color scheme for the 1965 and 1966
models. From the outside the GT-350 didn't look very different from a
regular Mustang, but underneath the body many changes were made.
elaborate Shelby modifications made the GT-350 a true racing car. The
engine was fitted with a high-rise manifold, a bigger four-barrel carburetor
and a free-flow exhaust. A fiberglass hood featuring a functional
air-scoop covered the engine which made it stand apart from regular less
special features were the lowered front suspension with relocated
mounting points for fast-ratio steering, a steel bar connecting the
front shock towers to improve rigidity and rear traction bars located
above the rear axle. These modifications gave the Shelby Mustang a
near-neutral handling as opposed to the regular Mustang's strong
The full racing version of the Shelby Mustang was the GT-350R, which had a 350 hp (some even 400 hp) engine, racing suspension and a fiberglass airdam with a large central hole for extra air in front which replaced the bumper. The GT-350R won the SCCA production car championship in 1965, 1966 and 1967, giving the Mustang the so desired competition car heritage. The 1965 championship was in fact snatched from the Sunbeam Tigers run by Doane Spencer's Hollywood Sports Car team, making it a complete Shelby show that season.