ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Autos»
  • Automotive Makes & Models

The Early 1965/66 Shelby Mustang History

Updated on March 31, 2015

The beginning of the idea for a Shelby Mustang

The rules in the mid sixties in SCCA racing were pretty strange. Carroll Shelby's AC Cobra's were pretty much cleaning up in A Production and Corvettes were doing the same thing in B Production. Ford didn't really have anything like that to compete in B Production and were wishing they had as Corvette sales were going through the roof. Then along came Porsche. At the time Porsche sales were slow. They could have easily have entered A Production and competed with the Cobra's but that wouldn't have got them sales. So, what Porsche did was enter their cars in the Trans Am and SCCA Sedan class. You'd wonder how a car with only two seats could get away with being allowed into the Sedan class, but what Porsche did was bend the rules a little by putting a very thin disguise of a seat in the back, enough for two race car scrutineers to sit in with a little bit of headroom and whoa - the scrutineers said, sure, this is a sedan. It was a long couple of years for the top manufacturers until the SCCA rule makers finally decided they'd made a mistake and threw Porsche out of the class, but that was after they'd blown everything else to the wall.

Bizarrely in a very courageous move Carroll Shelby, the big Texan chicken farmer, wanted to enter the Sports car class and go head to head with Porsche.

1966 Shelby Mustang

Source

Shelby GT-350 Production

Shelby had a good relationship with Ford. Ford had had the new Mustang in production for about eighteen months in the notchback version and then produced the first fastbacks in 1965. All these cars were, were a Ford Falcon with a longer bonnet. The platform they were riding on was exactly the Falcon's.

So, Shelby took a couple of them off Ford and started chopping them around a little. He got rid of as much weight as he could and for Sports Car Racing, he did the opposite of Porsche. He took the backseat out and replaced it with the spare wheel. In this format the scrutineers agreed that it was a sports car. He then entered the Mustang into B Production going head to head with the Corvettes and he beat them hands down all through 1965, 66 and 67.

He was doing pretty well at the time producing the 289 cu inch and then 427cu inch V8, AC Cobra's, in fact selling just over 1000 of them, then he began producing right next door to them the Shelby Cobra GT350's. He made track and street versions. He simply grabbed them off Ford's production after they'd being finished and pulled any unnecessary bits out of them. He put a great big sump on the 289 V8 motor, which as standard had 271 hp. He then put on his own high rise manifold, 4 barrel carburettor and Shelby fabricated headers. That pushed the power up to an easy 306 hp. That was for the street versions. But for the track versions, they simply bolted the Cobra 289 V8 straight in which was already giving 360 hp. That's where the GT-350 name came from. These motors could easily put out an unreliable 400 hp with a bit of coaxing.

The Borg Warner 4 speed transmission was left alone, he replaced the rear axle and diff with the much stronger Fairlane one. They got bigger rear drums and discs on the front, the front suspension mounts were relocated for much better handling and then they got Koni adjustable shocks front and back. The bonnet was replaced with a fibreglass one with quick release pins and the rear side fake vents on the fastback were replaced by plexiglass which looked a whole lot better. You could also opt for a nice set of rear bucket seats instead of the standard slippery bench seat.



GT-350 Interior

Source

Rental Mustang GT-350

Now and again, Shelby Mustang lovers all over the world go down on their knees and say a small prayer to Irving Hertz, for it was him in 1966 that knocked on Carroll Shelby's door with an order for 1000 Shelby Mustang GT-350's, to be called Shelby-Mustang GT-350H. These were essentially exactly the same car but were painted gold with black stripes. Some were with auto transmissions but a lot were manual. Today if you can find one they're worth a fortune. Hard to imagine a collectable rental car and it must be the only model in history to make that category.

During the period though that Hertz owned them lots of them came back to Hertz with the engine replaced with a standard one and Hertz never knew this until they were getting serviced, so they could never track down the engine thieves. Also, lots were parked up on the sides of race meetings with their engines out for the day getting raced in some special. In fact, its well known that one was used in a Cobra in the 1966 Sebring 12 hour race. So, if you do happen to come across one of these chances of it being matching numbers is fairly remote, but who cares, you've found yourself a real rent a racer.

Hertz Shelby-Mustang GT-350H

Source

Shelby Mustang production

Total production of the Shelby Mustang GT-350 was 562 in 1965 and 2387 including the Hertz cars in 1966. In 1967 he built 3225 Mustangs but these were on a new model which was much heavier than the 65 and 66 cars. They were essentially boulevard racers and none ever saw a racetrack. In 1968 Carroll Shelby sold everything to Ford and that was the end of their association. So, if you're ever in the market for one don't buy anything other than the 1965, 1966 or 1967 models. All others with his name on were great big bulky fakes.

Great book. Only $2.99 and stacked full of American independent sports car manufacturers like Carroll Shelby

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)