1965 Shelby Mustang GT350
This blue striped beauty is number 517 of the 562 Shelby Mustang GT350s built in 1965. The smallest and lightest of the GT 350 models, the 2-seater fastback came with the "Cobra hi-riser" K-Code 289ci, 306 hp V8 attached to a 4-speed manual transmission. As with all 1965 GT350s, 5S517 is painted Wimbledon White with Guardsman Blue rocker stripes. It has the optional Le Mans top stripes, also in Guardsman Blue.
Finished in July of 1965, 517 remained in Shelby American's possession until January of 1966 when the car was finally sent out into the world to find its first owner.
It found a home in the spring of 1966 with Fred H. Thompson of Jackson, MS. After a couple years of use Fred fancied a '62 Corvette belonging to Ronnie MacDowell, also of Jackson, MS and traded the car straight across. MacDowell got the itch less than a year later and 517 was swapped again, this time to Sam E. Scott for a 1967 Shelby GT350 #097.
Scott was a partner in the Bolus & Snopes Race Team. They were campaigning the 1966 Shelby GT350H #6S1828, and during a short window between races the decision was made to pull 517's engine and put it into the racecar. 517's engine was replaced with a Boss 302, and that powerplant stayed in the car for many years. It was reported that the original engine was destroyed racing.
Scott eventually sold the car to one of his crewmembers, Jamie Allen, in 1974. Shortly after Allen's purchase the car was featured in the 9/74 issue of Car and Driver. The photographs were taken around Chapel of the Cross in Madison, Mississippi. The photo of 517 on the road was taken from the back seat, which had been put in by the original owner.
Allen drove the car infrequently and eventually moved to France leaving the car in storage with Scott. After watching the car languish in storage for many years Scott repurchased the car in November of 1998, and enjoyed it once again until 2005.
In July of 2005 Scott once again sold the GT350, and the new owners set about a complete restoration of 517. The result is immaculate. The Boss 302 was removed, and the correct period 289 V8 was built with all of the appropriate ancillaries. Such care was taken in the restoration that the car is presented with all the factory chalk marks, warning tags, and paint inspection stamps. A perfect balance of show winning execution, but not so overdone that it cannot be properly enjoyed where it belongs-on the open road.
517 was driven in the New England 1000 and ran flawlessly. Since restoration it has been serviced regularly and extremely well looked after. It is complete with all original components, has a Shelby Serial Number Verification, and has also been verified by Shelby expert Howard Pardee.
Since arriving at Canepa, 517 has received a thorough inspection and has been found to be an excellent car. This 61,000 original mile Shelby would be the centerpiece of any collection of significant cars.
The 65 GT350 will always remain in the exclusive realm of Shelby automobiles, and as it reaches its 50th birthday it will undoubtedly prove to be an excellent investment.
"It was loud, rough, scary and as dependable as any car ever made. Never again would anything like it be produced for public consumption" Car and Driver, September 1974.