Shelby began manufacturing a Shelby GT based on the Mustang, which were officially sanctioned and sold through selected Ford dealers. The first Shelby Mustang – the GT350 – arrived in 1965 powered by a modified version of Ford's 289ci high-performance small-block V8.
Estimate (US$) - 90,000 - 125,000.
289ci OHV V8 Engine
Single Four-Barrel Autolite Carburetor
306bhp at 6,000rpm
5-Speed Manual Transmission
Front Independent Suspension - Live Rear Axle
Front Disc, Rear Drum Brakes
*SAAC Shelby Registry documented owner history to the present
*One of the few steel hood 1966 Shelbys built
*Desirable Hertz "Rent-a-Racer" Shelby
*Iconic black with gold stripes color scheme
*Upgraded to 5 speed transmission and high-speed rear axle
Ford created a new class of car almost overnight with the introduction of the Mustang Sports Coupe partway through the 1964 season, catching the rest of the US auto industry off-guard. The brainchild of Lee Iacocca, subsequent savior of the Chrysler Corporation, the Mustang is one of the most remarkable automotive success stories of modern times and arguably the pinnacle of Iacocca's long career with Ford. Legendary Texan racing driver Carroll Shelby's team had been campaigning Ford's with considerable success in North America, winning the SCCA's B-Production title three years running in the mid-1960s. Capitalizing on his success, Shelby began manufacturing a Shelby GT based on the Mustang, which were officially sanctioned and sold through selected Ford dealerships. The first Shelby Mustang – the GT350 – arrived in 1965 powered by a modified version of Ford's 289ci high-performance small-block V8 producing 306bhp, with options of a 340-360bhp unit in competition trim or 400bhp supercharged. A 4-speed Borg-Warner manual gearbox was the stock transmission on early Shelby Mustangs, though a heavy-duty, 3-speed automatic soon became available as an option. The running gear was up-rated appropriately to cope with the GT350's increased performance, though outwardly there was little to distinguish Shelby's GT350 from the standard product apart from a pair of broad 'racing' stripes down the body centerline.
In 1966, Carroll Shelby, as shrewd a business man as he was a racer, struck a deal with Hertz to offer a high-performance rental car to the public for the first time. This made the legendary performance of the Shelby GT350 accessible to the public. Enthusiasts that might not have been able to afford such a car could now rent it on a Friday afternoon and drop it off at Hertz on Monday morning, after a weekend full of racing or high-speed cruising. The cost to rent all this performance was just $17 a day and 17 cents per mile. One thousand GT350s, with the majority finished in Hertz's colors of black and gold, were delivered to the company for use around the country in 1966.
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
This particular Shelby GT350 was shipped to Milo Brook Inc, in May of 1966 for preparation prior to its delivery to Hertz in Chicago. As new the car was painted black with gold stripes, and fitted with automatic transmission. The car remained in the rental fleet until September of 1967, it was then shipped to Courtesy Motors, Inc. in Littleton, CO.
The next recorded owner was John Beddone Sr, of Phoenix, AZ. After that the car was owned by Philip Brown, of Portland, OR., who had the car restored, painting it red with gold stripes, and fitted a Gurney/Eagle 302 with a top loader 4 speed. The car passed through a few other owners before being purchased by Rick Warnick, of Brooks OR. Mr. Warnick installed a correct date-coded 289 Hi-Po engine, with 4 speed top loader transmission. The remaining owners in its history are documented in the car's history file.
The consignor reports that when he purchased the Shelby in 2007 it was in good overall condition. Naturally, it was decided that the car should be returned to its original iconic scheme of black with gold striping and wishing to use the car for various weekend rallies and driver events, a 5-speed transmission was fitted, along with a higher speed rear end. The seller can vouch for the fact that these additions dramatically improved the car's usability and highway drivability. The original differential is included with the lot.
Today this particular GT350H is still in very good condition, having been meticulously maintained and enjoyed by its present owner for the past ten years. Shown in an all Shelby class at the 2015 Hilton Head Concours d'Elegance, it was recognized by the judges, receiving a Palmetto Award. With its tasteful upgrades this Shelby is the perfect car for Shelby Club event, driving tours, or any number of car shows.
Find this beauty on our Bonhams feed, or at the Amelia Island auctions.