The Shelby GT350 is a classic muscle car lover’s dream. It is powerful and loud, resembling what American car makers and buyers are all about. The Mustang is an all around fun and exhilarating car to drive. In Australia, collector editions can set you back up to $300,000.
Shelby GT350 Features
This 1968 Shelby featured a 4.7 litre 302 V8 engine and boy does it use all of those 8 cylinders well, driving a whopping 250 horse power. The V8 used an aluminium Cora intake. At 0 to 60 in 6.5 seconds, the Shelby had plenty of muscle and even reached top speeds of 230 km/h which was certainly impressive for its day. Traditionally made with four-speed manual transmission also came with a three-speed automatic alternative.
By 1968, Ford decided it would reform the classic Shelby making it into a more aggressive looking car. Carroll Shelby was the original creator but had lost much of his control of the series by this time. This led Ford to update it to look like a more powerful Mustang after it was thought that the classic style of the series was becoming a bit stale.
To achieve this more powerful reform, it needed to change some of the angles and details on some critical parts. Ford extended the length of the fibreglass hood. The brakes were given Kelsey-Hayes discs on the front and drums on the rear. The head lights were replaced too and the grille was modified to let in more air. It was also given a rear deck spoiler and finally the option of tinted windows.
A few of these cars were also be equipped with a Paxton supercharger which gave them bone crushing power but these changes were less about overall performance and more about overall feel and comfort with the additions of air conditioning and automatic transmission.
All these additions gave the car more aesthetically pleasing features with also the option of plenty more colour varieties offered to the plate. The most popular remained in the original and conventional colours of black, white, blue, green or red. The car was a head turner in any of these colours and looked great with a racing stripe.
The Shelby GT350 R was a special edition which was designed to be 75 pounds lighter and had 100 additional horse power. It also had racing tyres and a super-duty suspension but the “R” variant to the series for some reason was not offered in the 68 model.
“The option for racing stripes smacked down the middle was released too which was widely popular amongst rebels and youths.”
The Shelby also had its rear seats removed which were replaced with a fibreglass shelf and the hood was also reformed in fibreglass. The option for racing stripes smacked down the middle was released too which was widely popular amongst rebels and youths.
All these changes to the exterior granted the Shelby a more powerful and aggressive look which certainly turned heads. The Shelby had a bad boy reputation and was featured in many tv shows and movies. It was seen as the go to American performance car.
By 1968, production of the Shelby moved from Los Angeles to Detroit where most cars made by Ford were manufactured. The next year saw the series come to an end but the spirit of the car still lives on and remains iconic. It was a classic car that truly captured the American dream and spirit.
Fast forward to today and the technology in muscle cars have vastly advanced. There is however, that special appeal that is missing in these modern cars, a charm even, that is most certainly found in the 68′ Ford Shelby GT350. It is undeniably one of the most classic cars in the muscle genre.