I recently attended the annual car show of the Mustang Car Club of New England that was held at the Auburn Mall in Auburn, Massachusetts. I saw a number of interesting cars at the show. One of those was the Mustang GT350 shown below.
Looking back on my initial comment to the car’s owner, I realize that I might have come across to the car’s owner as a skeptic about the car. I took a couple of pictures of the car and the owner kindly offered to remove a dash cover to allow for a better picture of the interior. I recall saying something like it’s nice to see a real Mustang GT350 compared to a simply a Mustang with GT350 decals and stripes on it. The car’s owner was tolerant of me and showed me a bunch of information that made it clear that this was a real Mustang GT350.
Early In Its Life This Mustang Was Drag Raced At New England Dragway
These days the car appears to a standard Mustang GT350, but the owner’s father actively drag raced the car. In fact, the owner has a picture of his father at New England Dragway 2 days after he bought the car. I normally associate these cars with road racing, but this particular car was something of a test mule for Shelby on the quarter-mile. Apparently data from this car and another drag racing GT350 by Harr Motors was fed back to Shelby American as Shelby wanted to know the best setup for drag racing these cars. Obviously Ford and Shelby wanted to win at all venues with the Mustang GT350.
The Rocker Stripes And The Blue “Skunk” Stripes Were Options
It is thought that most of the Mustang GT350s were shipped in the plain white color with the rocker stripes and the blue “skunk” stripes installed by the dealer. This car is fitted with the optional Cragar wheels made to Shelby specifications. Shelby also fitted these cars with fiberglass hoods. Note the hole in the hood to allow and encourage air flow into the under hood area.
The Interesting Part Of The Mustang GT350 Is Under The Hood
Ford shipped partially finished Mustangs to Shelby for finishing. The Mustangs were sent to Shelby without hoods, rear seats, exhaust systems, and all Ford or Mustang identification. The cars were shipped to Shelby American with the optional 271-horsepower 289-cubic inch engine, the T-10 four-speed transmission, nine-inch Detroit locker rear end, and Ford’s larger station wagon rear brakes.
Shelby VIN Tags Are Readily Visible On The Driver’s Side Fender
Shelby added some performance parts which increased to engine horsepower to 306 horsepower.
Note The Bar Tying The Inner Fenders Together
The Mustang GT350 was fitted with a bar across the top of the engine that helped stiffen the body by tying the inner fenders together. There is also a curved brace going behind the intake filter linking the two shock towers to stiffen the chassis.
Shelby Fitted the Mustang GT350 Cars With A Wood-Rimmed Steering Wheel
The interior of the Mustang GT350 had a couple of unique features such as the Shelby wood-rimmed steering wheel and a central dash-mounted instrument pod with a tachometer and an oil pressure gauge.
The Mustang GT350 Came With The Plain “Radio-Delete” Interior
This Mustang GT350 has been in the same family since new. The three-ring binder shown above on the front seat is filled with information about the early days of this Mustang GT350. This is an extremely well-documented performance car.