There was a time, maybe as recently as a decade ago, when Shelby Mustangs were still fun driver’s cars. Then something happened and they became six-figure pieces of art that were out of reach for many enthusiasts for whom owning a GT350 was the ultimate way to have fun on the road. If you’ve been priced out of the Shelby market, or maybe you simply want a great Mustang that you can drive and enjoy the way Shelbys were meant to be driven, have another look at this Sapphire Blue 1965 Mustang that has been upgraded to GT350 specifications.

Starting with a solid 1965 Mustang fastback, this one was stripped to bare metal in preparation for a ground-up restoration. New quarters were installed with a few small patches here and there, then it was prepped for that two-stage Sapphire Blue paint, which is a cool take on the original Shelby color scheme. Wimbeldon White stripes were added, following Shelby’s template, as well as rocker panel graphics and GT350 callouts. Panel gaps are good, and this pony looks arrow-straight now that the paint has been wet sanded and buffed. It’s hard to hide a crooked early Mustang body, and you can see how well this one fits together by checking the line that runs from the headlights back to the rear quarter panels—very nicely done. A fiberglass hood was installed, just like the real Shelbys, as well as the brake scoops in back.

The bumpers have been re-plated, the stainless has been polished, and even Shelby-exclusive details like the plexiglass windows in the quarter panels have been properly installed. The grille has been upgraded to the Shelby style horizontal bars with a simple Mustang emblem instead of the “horse in a corral” emblem on standard Mustangs. Headlights, glass and lenses are all in good to excellent condition.

The original GT350 was about as close to a race-ready car as you could buy in 1965, and much of that attitude came from the 306 horsepower K-code 289 cubic inch V8 under the hood. This car carries an era-correct 289 that has been fully rebuilt with upgrades that even Carroll Shelby would approve. The block was bored .040” oversize, and the stock crank and rods were reconditioned and topped by a set of TRW aluminum pistons. Factory heads have been ported to squeeze a little more power out of the small block, while an Edelbrock intake and a Holley 650 double pumper carb supply the fuel. Correct Tri-Y headers dump into a dual exhaust system that features glasspack style mufflers, although the early Shelbys carried side exhaust, although we’re certain you’ll appreciate the rear exhaust trumpets after taking this one for an extended drive. For a little dress-up, Shelby cast aluminum valve covers and air cleaner were sourced and installed, giving the tidy engine bay a little Cobra venom. The Ford Blue on the block shines vividly against the satin black engine bay, and the detailing is exceptional—correct hoses and clamps, an Autolite battery, and even a finned aluminum oil pan round out the list of Shelby-appropriate components.

There was only one transmission available in your GT350, Ford’s rugged “toploader” wide-ratio 4-speed manual. Capable of surviving behind 500 horsepower 427s, this transmission proved itself in combat over and over. Out back, there’s an equally durable 9-inch that uses 3.89 gears, just like the original Shelbys—these cars aren’t about top speed or even pleasant highway cruising, they’re all about maximizing performance on the track and that means making all four gears useful. The floors have been given a correct coat of red oxide primer, and there’s just a hint of Sapphire Blue overspray, although it’s almost too nice and neat underneath to be accurate. Efforts were made to duplicate factory inspection markings on the suspension, and the brakes are manual discs and drums just like the first Shelbys. There’s even a set of traction bars on the rear suspension, a small detail that many Shelby tribute cars omit. Wheels are 15-inch American Racing Torque Thrust Ds that were a popular item when this car was new, although it now wears a set of fat 215/60/15 BFGoodrich T/A radials.

Shelby didn’t do much to the Mustang’s interior beyond stripping out the back seat to make way for a spare tire shelf and adding competition-style seat belts. True to form, this car sports a black bucket seat interior without a console, although the back seat was retained for practicality’s sake. A wood-rimmed steering wheel does an awfully good impression of an original Shelby piece, and a set of Pyrotect seat belts have been added for safety. The gauges appear to be original, and there’s a correct AM radio still in the factory location. A Shelby tachometer has been added atop the dash to keep it in the driver’s line of sight and Ol’ Shel himself has signed the passenger’s side of the dashboard. The rest of the interior is simply a beautifully restored Mustang environment, with fresh carpets, a new headliner, and correct door panels. In back, the trunk has a correct mat and full sized spare with matching cover.

Documentation is extensive, including a build book with photos, receipts, specifications, and even a certificate of authenticity from Carroll Shelby, presumably certifying that it is indeed his signature on the dashboard. This car also comes with a Mustang owner’s manual, a GT350 owner’s manual, a Shelby Accessories Installation Manual, a Wiring Diagram Manual, a 1966 Shelby Unique Parts Manual, and a 1965 Mustang shop manual. Together, these materials make it easy to ensure that your tribute Shelby is as correct as it can be.

There’s most definitely a reason why Shelby GT350s are so valuable today—they’re wonderful, fast, fun cars that carry a lot of history with them. For many people, the essence of the automotive hobby is to have fun with the hardware, and doing it with a tribute car like this one is a great way to have all the fun without the financial headaches. No, this car isn’t 100% accurate, and nobody is claiming it is—however, it does have all the flavor of a real GT350 and costs a fraction as much. This is a fast, fun early Mustang that is instantly recognizable at any show you’re likely to attend. Have fun with your car, that’s what this one is all about. Call today!

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$299.00 Dealer Administrative Charge is not included in advertised price. All prices and offers are before state, city and county tax, tag, title and license fees. Out of state buyers are responsible for all state, county, city taxes and fees, as well as title/registration fees in the state that the vehicle will be registered. Dealer not responsible for errors and omissions; all offers subject to change without notice, please confirm listings with dealer.

Please note: Your vehicle may require Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) verification and/or safety and emissions inspections to transfer ownership and register the Vehicle in the declared State of residence. In most States, such requirements are dependent on the age of the vehicle which varies State by State. We recommend as part of the buying process that you check with your local DMV office to ensure compliance with your declared State of residence’s titling and registration requirements.

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