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The Ford Mustang, introduced in 1964, jumpstarted the pony car phenomenon in U.S. car sales. With over 500,000 produced in the first model year, Ford had a great success on its hands. Inline with this success and its “Total Performance” plan, Ford added the 289 “HiPo” engine offering to its pony car along with a four speed transmission and a stiffer suspension. Ford management – and its customer base – still wanted more and turned to Carroll Shelby to create a racing image for the Mustang. Having already created the Cobra in 289 and 427 variations and worked magic on the GT-40, Shelby was the natural person to turn to improve Ford’s performance image.
After consulting with the SCCA, Shelby and his team, notably Ken Miles and Bob Bondurant, worked on two Mustang notchback coupes as prototypes. When they were done, Shelby had the plan for his next chapter. The SCCA had told Shelby that he could build 100 modified Mustangs and qualify for production car racing, but he could either modify the engine or the suspension of the stock car for racing but not both. Shelby decided to use the stock 289 HiPo engine, with a few additions, and modify the suspension of the “production” cars thereby leaving the racing cars to modify the engines for more power.
Striped bodies were shipped from Ford’s San Jose plant to Shelby’s production facility in Los Angeles. In all, 516 street cars and 46 prototype and racing GT-350s were produced in 1965. Several books have detailed the modifications Shelby made to the stock Mustang, but the major changes resulted in the essence of the GT-350 known the world over. Because of the fast moving nature of Shelby’s business, there were several running changes and some undocumented adjustments noted over the years, but the general specifications remained the same. All 1965 Shelby Mustangs were finished in Wimbledon White with Guardsman Blue rocker panel stripes featuring the “GT-350” script. Most cars had the dual racing stripes over the hood, top and trunk either added by the dealer or added during later ownership.
This car is a genuine GT-350, the Ford serial number and the Shelby number were verified by SAAC when the car was purchased by the current owner. 5S384 is one of only 516 street GT-350s produced in the first model year. It has been driven and enjoyed by several owners, including 18 years by the current owners. No changes have been made that are not easily reversed for complete originality.
The body was stripped and repainted in 2003 and a photographic record is available for inspection. As with many of these cars, Shelby stripes were added. The interior is in excellent condition and has been recently refurbished and the glove box was signed by Carroll Shelby in 1999. While no antenna is present, the factory AM radio is present and works in its dashboard location. All of the Shelby-specific mechanical parts are present and in excellent condition. A dual chamber master cylinder has been installed for safety, but a single chamber 1965 type is included with the car. Its Cragar mags were restored by Craig Conley and shod with BF Goodrich Comp T/As. Under the hood, the engine is a replacement K-code block and heads installed during an earlier restoration by a prior owner. The correct Holley 4-barrel carburetor is present and was overhauled by Holley in 2004.