- Serial #CSC020
- Licensed continuation car
- Aluminum FEI 427ci (585hp)
- Tremec TKO600 5-speed manual
- Ford 9" Trac-Lok rear / 3.25 gears
- 2-piston / 12" PBR disc brakes
- Track-ready custom suspension
- Modern leather interior
If you've spent time on a road course, you know the thrill of putting a car through its paces at the limit. There's nothing like the feeling of unbridled acceleration or finding that perfect to apply the brakes before the next corner. It's amazing to hear an engine running at its limits, barking out horsepower as you run the transmission up through the gears, feeling the machine working around you. Some guys enjoy it so much that they build cars for doing just that. This 1966 Shelby GT 350SR is such a vehicle: 427 cubic inches, 5 forward gears, giant disc brakes at all four corners, and one seriously impressive suspension setup underneath. Looking for a car that's comfortable on the street but 100% effective on the track? Your Shelby is waiting.
Built as a licensed continuation model, this Mustang carries Shelby American serial number CSC020 as well as the blessing of Carroll Shelby himself. While the recipe is simple, the result is something truly special. At first glance, this car looks an awful lot like the black and gold Hertz "rent a racers" from the 1960s. Look closer, though, and details like the subtly flared fenders and the blacked-out trim shine through. The Raven Black paint is orders of magnitude nicer than the stuff they were spraying on cars in 1966 - deep and rich and glossy, with stripes buried in the clearcoat for long term durability. The panels are flat and straight, body gaps are excellent, and the car is much better assembled than any factory-built Mustang ever was. It's difficult to call a black and gold car with nearly 600hp “subtle” but there is definitely more performance on tap than anyone would ever dream while casually looking at the car.
There isn't much trim left on the car that hasn't been dipped in more of that wicked black paint. The front bumper is a Shelby R-model piece with a center cutout for an oil cooler, painted to match the body. The rear bumper is an original style piece, but again, painted black and not chrome plated as it was from the factory. Note the way the stripes continue into the bumpers - that's a lot of extra time and effort, but the results are worth it. Window surrounds are polished stainless, and yes, those are plexiglass quarter windows, just like on the original 1966 Shelby Mustangs. It's a look that most enthusiasts seem to prefer and it's great to see it return to this modern Shelby. All pieces look new and add up to one extremely well-finished pony car.
Open the hood and take a look at the all-aluminum 427 cubic inch small block V8. While the 4-2-7 number conjures up images of a big FE iron block, this continuation builds upon an aluminum block based on the 351 Windsor small blocks, essentially putting big block size in a small block package. The hot stroker motor is fed by a DC&O fuel injection system that does a really good impersonation of a set of Weber carburetors but without the constant tinkering the vintage pieces require. Instead it uses a F.A.S.T programmable fuel injection system feeding 42 lb.-hr. injectors and breathing through those individual velocity stacks. The result? 585 horsepower that idles like a new car, that starts the first time every time, and pulls like a freight train, all the while popping and snarling like a race car on the overrun.
The engine bay was dressed for show, too. In addition to the sculpted aluminum centerpiece, the rest of the compartment was dressed up with polished goodies like the removable strut tower braces, polished aluminum valve covers featuring Carroll Shelby's signature, and the billet aluminum accessory drive system that includes power steering and air conditioning. Up front there's a custom fabricated aluminum radiator to keep the big beast cool, assisted by an oversized electric cooling fan. An MSD box keeps the fires lit, backed up by an Optima battery. And it's all set against some masterfully crafted sheet metal work that forms the inner fenders and firewall, covered in a wrinkle-finish paint that is both beautiful and durable.
Underneath is where the similarities to a vintage Shelby Mustang end, however. Instead of reworked Mustang pieces, there are tubular A-arms and coil overs up front, with a seriously trick custom rear suspension that includes a Watts linkage and a torque arm. Yes, it's a stock type front suspension, but every piece is a heavy duty race-quality piece featuring heim joints at all the critical locations for incredible precision on the track. A power rack-and-pinion steering system has been installed, along with adjustable trailing arms so you can fine-tune your alignment for any track conditions.
In back, well, it's hard to know where to begin. First there's an extensive network of tubing that reinforces the body tub, acting as subframe connectors and anchor points for the rear suspension. A torque arm keeps the 3.25-geared; Trac-Lok equipped 9-inch Ford rear end from rotating, while a Watts linkage is affixed underneath to keep it centered laterally. Damping is courtesy of a pair of coil-over shocks mounted horizontally and actuated by bell cranks, just like on a race car, saving trunk space and reducing unsprung weight. It's all surrounded by a network of strong, powder coated tubing that keeps it all rigidly mounted under the worst conditions.
With all the suspension modifications, it's easy to forget about the Tremec TKO600 5-speed manual transmission tucked under there, too. The new hydraulic clutch is tucked inside an SFI-approved bellhousing for safety. The exhaust system is a true dual setup featuring SpinTech mufflers that do a quick U-turn just ahead of the rear axle and dump the spent gasses out through trick openings in the rocker panels. Unlike some side exhaust systems that look cheesy and tacked-on, this one is so cleverly integrated that it's easy to overlook until the car is on a lift. Out back, a 16 gallon fuel cell handles gas storage and is fed by the original quick-release gas cap in the rear valence. Brakes are 12-inch vented and cross-drilled rotors clamped by 2-piston PBR calipers actually, they're Shelby Series pieces from Baer, and they reliably erase the speed that big engine can generate. The car wears vintage-flavored 15-inch American Racing Torq-Thrust wheels and 235/60/15 Goodyear Eagle radials instead of the usual 18-inch setup that has become the standard. Note that the "Eagle" part of the white lettering on the tires has been blacked out, adding to the vintage race look.
So it's all race quality stuff underneath, but climb inside and it's a leather-lined cruiser that has all the comforts and features you'd find in a brand-new Mustang. The front buckets are black leather Shelby signature pieces that are as comfortable as they look. Not too aggressive, they look exactly right in the old driver's compartment and are complemented by a folding rear seat upholstered in more matching black leather. Door panels are as original and remain free of power windows to avoid adding unnecessary weight. Carpets and headliner are, of course, new. In front of the driver, there's am attractive wooden steering wheel with a Shelby center, aluminum pedals underfoot, and a Hurst shifter sticking out of the transmission tunnel. The gauges are AutoMeter Shelby signature series pieces, and a chrome A/C unit hangs under the dash just as it would have in 1966, managed by the original control levers. An AM/FM radio is situated in the original location in the dash, but if you need a radio in this car, you're not doing it right. The trunk lid has a lock cylinder in place of the quick pin and the fuel filler uses a 60s Mustang fuel door instead of the trunk mounted splash funnel on the originals.
The specs on this car are flat-out amazing. It's docile enough to drive on the street but was clearly built for those perfect days on the track. Imagine putting a set of sticky tires on it and taking it to its limits, stuffing that black front end up the tailpipes of some vastly more sophisticated and expensive hardware. It's easy to drive and includes all the creature comforts you're looking for in a toy car, but packs a real whallop when you need it. There's absolutely no way you could possibly duplicate this car for the asking price, and the company that was building and certifying these cars is no longer producing them, meaning that if you miss this one, you'll have a long, long wait ahead of you waiting for another. Look again at the photos, then give us a call. There are no disappointments with this car.