1965 Shelby GT350R Mustang is officially back in production
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The iconic 1965 Shelby GT350R is going back into production, to be produced by a small group of people who worked the original over half a century ago.
The classic muscle car reproductions will be built by former Shelby American employees Peter Brock, Jim Marietta and Ted Suntton, better known as the Original Venice Crew (OVC). The three car builders all had a hand in building the very first GT350R in 1965.
The new models will be built on the same platform as the original ’65 Shelby GT350R, with power and drive delivered by the same specification cast iron 4.7-litre V8 engine and four-speed gearbox. The body will be made from reconditioned classic Mustang shells and fenders, and the interior will be finished in the same style as the original.
Underpinnings will remain the same, but several components will receive a modern update. The front splitter will be replaced with a more aero-friendly piece and the rear windows will be made of Plexiglas to reduce weight.
“The revised shape of the window improves the car’s interior aerodynamics by promoting better airflow for driver comfort while the new front valance has a much closer identity with the original Mustang front-end while increasing the efficiency of airflow to cool the engine,” said Peter Brock.
The most significant change with the modern Mustang is the fully independent rear suspension, a unit with a curious link to the original GT350R. The independent rear was actually designed back in the ‘60s, intended for use on track-only Shelby-built Mustangs, but budget and time restraints meant the suspension system was never used.
The OVC crew built the first GT350R recreation back in 2015 and was tested on-track, generated lot of interest.
In the background, Ford accountants evaluated the viability of a limited number run and, two years later, the project has been given the green light.
“The 1965 Ford Shelby GT350R changed the performance car landscape,” says Jim Marietta, CEO of the Original Venice Crew.
“Three of us who created the first Shelby GT350Rs at the Venice, California, race shop reunited in 2015 for a very special project. We agreed to build the ‘R’ model that we envisioned in 1965, but couldn’t due to time, expense and other restraints.”
Officially licensed by Ford Motor Company and Carrol Shelby International, (formerly Shelby American) production of the 2017 version will be limited to just 36 units.
Pricing is yet to be announced, but if you’re serious about getting one, we’d recommend getting on in touch with Ford or Carroll Shelby International right now.
With the names Ford, Mustang, Shelby and GT350R resonating around the motoring world once more, don't be surprised if all 36 are already pre-sold.