The Original Mustang Shelby GT350R Was A Race-Bred Beast

Now that Ford has shown off its 2016 Mustang Shelby GT350, we have the 2016 Mustang Shelby GT350R to look forward to. And rumors of its supposed introduction at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit will likely resonate with the Ford faithful more than anyone else. That’s because in 1965, Carroll Shelby produced 36 competition-bred GT350s for the SCCA’s B/Production class. The vehicle, called the GT350R, was the only road-racing GT350 built over the existence of the Mustang Shelby.

The GT350R cost $1,500 more than the general street-going GT350, retailing for a rich $5,995 (it was 1965, after all), and featured the following equipment modifications:

  • Stewart-Warner gauges
  • “Fireproof” interior with fiberglass seats
  • 34-gallon fuel cell
  • Hopped-up 289 producing an estimated 350 horsepower
  • Modified suspension
  • Racing tires
  • Plexiglass side wondows
  • Four-point roll cage
  • High-capacity oil pan
  • Bumpers removed
  • Front fiberglass apron
  • Brake cooling scoops

The vehicle developed a reputation for success, winning five of SCCA’s six divisions. So, will the 2016 Mustang Shelby GT350R be of the same competitive spirit, or will it be more of a street-legal race car along the lines of the Camaro Z/28? We’re betting on the latter, but we’ll know for sure in a month. If rumors of the 2016 GT350R turn out to be true, that is.

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