The GT350 came to life when Ford decided it wanted a more potent Mustang to participate in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) events all around the country. The Blue Oval had its hands full with its passenger car division so it outsourced the modification work to Caroll Shelby, a rising star in the racing world who had become made a name for himself by designing, building and racing Ford-powered Cobras.
Based on the fastback Mustang, the GT350 was upgraded with a quicker steering, a Shelby-specific suspension tuning, 15-inch Kelsey-Hayes wheels and beefier brakes borrowed from Ford’s large station wagons. The 4.7-liter V8’s power output was bumped from 271 to 306 horsepower thanks to a high-rising intake manifold and a four-barrel carburetor. Power was sent to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential.
The example pictured below is the eighth GT350 built by Shelby American. Ford explains that it is fitted with a number of pre-production components including its hood, its oil pan, the bolts that hold on the shock absorbers, the Cragar wheel and the painted stripes at the bottom of the rocker panel.