1965 Shelby GT350 SOLD

RM Auction - Vintage Motor Cars at Amelia Island - March 10, 2007

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ESTIMATE: $500,000 - $600,000

$528,000 Sold

306hp, 289 cu. in. V8 engine, Paxton/McCulloch supercharger, Borg Warner T-10 four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension, solid rear axle on leaf springs and over-rider traction bars, Koni shock absorbers, nine inch Detroit locker “ no-spin ” differential, front disc, rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 108"


Carroll Shelby is a living legend of postwar motorsports. In the early days, he seemed like an amiable east Texas “ good old boy ” . Scratch that surface and you would have discovered qualities of drive, ambition and a tenacity that one associates with moguls of industry. Creativity and an uncanny sense of timing were also seemingly natural facets of Shelby ’ s personality. Timing? Well, was it luck that he approached AC Cars about Cobra chassis just as their engine supply had dried up? Was it pure fate that he walked through Ford ’ s front door just as the company had decided to implement “ Total Performance ” ? One wonders. Carroll Shelby ’ s racing exploits, which included a LeMans win in 1959, and his early success with the AC Cobra cars are well known so we ’ ll skip ahead to his Ford Mustang days.


While Ford ’ s new 1964 Mustang was a huge hit, selling some 22,000 units the first day, it would never be mistaken for a “ Total Performance ” poster boy, especially since this pony was based on the running gear of Ford ’ s old Falcon economy car. Carroll Shelby, already a Ford-related performance commodity since his AC Cobras were in Ford dealerships, was tapped to transform the wimpy Mustang into a potential “ B ” Production SCCA Racer. Ford brass knew they had engineers on staff who could redesign the Mustang suspension, but in picking Shelby for the program they got not only a development expert but also a superb promoter. (After all, it was Shelby who got his first Cobra featured in seven different national magazines in just one month – in fact, the same Cobra with three different paint jobs!)

Unveiled by Shelby on January 27, 1965, his Mustang Fastback had a few subtle exterior changes: a fiberglass hood with functional hood scoop, a clean looking grille and a tricolored running horse located on the driver ’ s side of the grill. All Shelbys in 1965 were Wimbledon White with a blue GT350 side stripe located below the door. As a dealer option, Le Mans stripes running down the center of the body were available. The interior was a black-only option including a special flat, wood-rimmed three-spoke steering wheel. A special instrument cluster located in the center of the dash surrounded a large tach and oil pressure gauge. The GT350 featured competition seat belts. A special aluminum intake increased the solid lifter Hi-Po 289 ’ s horsepower from 271 to 306. Exhaust from the Tri-Y headers exited in front of the rear wheels. All ’ 65 Shelbys had Borg Warner special aluminum T-10 four- speeds, with 9-inch Detroit “ no-spin ” differentials. Extensive suspension work was a GT350 hallmark, including a large front stabilizer bar, special quick steering, lowered upper “ A ” frames, Koni shocks and traction bars. The front section was stiffened considerably with an export brace and a Monte Carlo bar. The battery was located in the trunk for better weight distribution. Altogether over 50 improvements were incorporated, the remake listed for a most reasonable price of $4,547.00. As always, Carroll Shelby, the racer, delivered the goods, for his three Team cars dominated the SCCA “ B ” Production ranks with Jerry Titus winning the National Championship.


5010 arrived at Shelby American on December 18, 1964. Work commenced four days later and the car was completed January 25, 1965. It was designated by Shelby American as an “ Advanced Prototype ” and was supercharged for experimental and development testing, following which it was uniquely fitted with Thunderbird tail lamps and employed for Publicity and Show purposes. It is the first and only 1965 GT350 prototype to be equipped with a Paxton/McCulloch supercharger – an option that was offered by Shelby American for the 1966 GT350 range.

As an early R&D car, this prototype has many interesting features. The original Shelby I.D. tag is not stamped with an “ S ” (for “ Street). The “ S ” prefix began with VIN 5S032, but the first 31 cars did not have the “ street ” designation. Other early specifications included hand painted side stripes and GT350 logos, early-style stainless steel braided oil pressure lines, 16-inch Cobra-type steering wheel and white painted ram air plenum hood.

The GT350 is also documented to have been used for 1966 model year research, development and analysis. It had 1966-type side scoops fitted along with that year ’ s road wheels, a fold down rear seat and its most distinctive feature – the T-Bird taillights. Interestingly, their installation was contracted to Bill Stroppe ’ s California Race Shop whose long affiliation with Ford and Holman & Moody, went back to the Mexican Road Race days.

It is thought that 5010 was additionally used for 1966 ’ s twin hood scoop and dual carburetor evaluation. According to the current owner, a nationally respected Shelby authority, 5010 likely starred in the movie “ Red Line 7000 ” with James Caan, as witnessed by circumstantial evidence found during various inspections of this Shelby:

1. The movie car had exhaust cut-outs.
Our car has evidence of a bracket mounted in the location of the movie car ’ s cut-out.
2. Header patches.
The original exhaust collectors are weld-patched where the cut-outs were located.
3. Drive shaft tunnel mods.
There is a hole in the tunnel which mounted the exhaust cut-out cable control.
4. Head rests.
The movie car had head rests bracketed to the seat backs. The original unrestored seats still show the screw holes for these.
5. Mustang console.
The movie car had a standard console and the original carpeting showed traces of its location in the car offered here.

To further corroborate this, the company ’ s records show that a Shelby American promotional GT350 was rented to the movie studio just prior to this car ’ s fitment of the special taillights and 1966 model year mock-ups; the film connection is seconded by 5010 ’ s Shelby American World Registry description. This publication also features a photo of this car on page 400 that clearly shows the 1966 GT350 rear brake cooling duct installation.


On October 26, 1965, its R&D and promo career concluded, 5010 was released to the public through Shelby ’ s own dealership, High Performance Motors of Los Angeles, CA. It was purchased by a J.B. Hunter of Costa Mesa, CA in 1966. Joe Flowers of Brunswick, Ohio became the second owner in 1974 before selling the car to the third and current keeper in 1988. The latter has owned 5010 no less than three times with David Yanoff (PA), Bill Summers (NE) and Ralph Furna (CA) being listed as “ interim keepers ” over the 22 year period.


The present owner states that 5010 is the most historic and original 1965 GT350 that he has ever seen and he must know what he is talking about since he has owned some 20 of these early Shelbys! It retains its original drive-train (engine, transmission and rear end). The list of Carroll Shelby fitted components include shock absorbers, radiator, gauges, seats and seat belts, steering wheel and center cap, horn switch, headers, hood, date-coded glass, interior, blue-dot spare tire, Shelby ID tag and all of the sheet metal.

On file is a Shelby American Automobile Club Registry Report dated January 24, 2007, signed by National Director Howard C. Pardee after his recent inspection of this car. His report confirms that this car ’ s Shelby no. SFM5010 matches the known Ford serial number of 5R09K165969 as confirmed by Shelby Factory records.

According to the present owner this car is accident-free and has never been afflicted by corrosion. Thankfully, it has never needed the dreaded “ rotisserie restoration ” , a process which usually eradicates every nuance of originality from an historic vehicle. Instead, 5010 has been sympathetically refurbished and rebuilt as required over the years with the result that it now exhibits an attractive patina of originality – as befits a 40 year old muscle car legend.

1965 Shelby GT350s are by far the most desirable of the model ’ s five year production period and this supercharged GT350 is the best of its type that RM Auctions has ever been privileged to offer for public sale.

Reference Number 7291

as of 2/20/2007

Car 1965 Shelby GT350
VIN SFM5010 
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