Past Collection – 1969 Shelby Cobra GT 350
History of Shelby Mustang
The Shelby Mustang is a performance muscle car first built in the 1960s. It was originally a series of Ford Mustangs which were specially modified by Carroll Shelby’s company and sold as a series. The program was factory-sponsored and production was eventually moved in-house.
The 1966 was differentiated in body color (non-white versions were introduced – colors included blue, red, green and black, as well as the original white) and trim. The “Le Mans” stripes were continued as an option, as in 1965. It featured special quarter-panel windows and rear air scoops on each side and an optional automatic transmission. A fold-down rear seat was now standard as well. Where early 1965 cars had black engine blocks, 1966 and later cars had the 289 engine painted blue.** The first 252 GT-350s for 1966 were “carry-over” cars. They had the 1965 Ford Mustang Bodies and 1965 Ford Mustang serial numbers under their Shelby serial numbers. They had mostly 1965 features including standard Koni shock and Engines painted black. Blue engines did not occur in 1966 until after these 252 “carry-over” models were produced. 1966 production was 1373 fastbacks including (2) prototypes and (4) drag cars and (252) “carry-over” models with Ford Mustang 1965 bodies. 1001 Hertz fastbacks were produced including (2) prototypes. 4 convertibles were also produced for a total of 2378 units for 1966.
Shelby struck a deal with the Hertz Corporation to produce a special line of GT350s for rent which were subsequently sold to the public after their rental-car lives were finished. These ‘GT350H’ cars are quite rare and sought-after today, with some examples selling for more than $120,000. Shelby produced 1000 of these cars: 800 in Raven Black, and 50 each in Candy Apple Red, Wimbledon White, Sapphire Blue and Ivy Green. All Hertz cars featured gold LeMans stripes and rocker panel stripes. Early “Hertz” cars were available with 4 speed manual transmissions until so many cars were returned from rental with burned and broken clutch assemblies that all of the later cars shipped to Hertz were equipped with an automatic transmission. Many were rented to use as production class cars at SCCA events, some were returned with different engines, holes where roll bars had been welded in, and other modifications to legally run on the track.
The Guns N’ Roses video “Don’t Cry” features a Shelby GT-350H with guitarist Slash at the wheel.
Production #’s: GT350 2,380 units (4 were special order convertibles for Carroll Shelby, the rumor is that 6 were made, but only 4 VIN’s have been discovered)
The Shelby GT350 Mustang sported a 302 cubic-inch V8 while the GT500 came equipped with the 428 cubic-inch Police Interceptor engine. In February of 1968, the GT500KR became available. Under the hood was a 428 cubic-inch Cobra Jet V8 which was rated at 335 horsepower.
This 1968 Shelby GT500-KR Convertible, finished in yellow ‘Factory Special Paint’, was offered for sale at the 2006 Worldwide Group Auction held on Hilton Head Island. It sold for $258,501.
1969 and 1970
Carroll Shelby terminated his agreement with Ford in the summer of 1969. The GT350 and GT500 for the 1969-70 model years received extensive facelifts, the body alone increasing in length by 4 inches. Production of Shelby Mustangs ceased with the 1970 model year.