1965 Shelby GT350R

1965 Shelby GT350R: Ultimate In-Depth Guide

History, Specs, Options, Performance & More

1965 Shelby GT350R

Wimbledon White with blue stripes, the Shelby GT350 R was a purpose built racecar that became the template for GT350 road cars to follow. Racing in the SCCA’s B/Production class, Shelby was Ford’s answer to winning the Road Racing Championship for several years. The cars were built in series as a turnkey racecar.

Prepared in conjunction with Ford, stripped out 271 hp Mustangs left the factory for conversion in Shelby’s facility. The first arrived without side or rear windows, heaters, defrosters, upholstery, headliners, insulation or sound deadening.

Many changes were done to the body, including the fittament of a distinctive front apron in fiberglass. Flares were added to the fenders to accommodate 15×7 inch wheels. Furthermore the side and rear windows were were replaced by Plexiglas with aluminum frames.

Underneath, Shelby changed the pickup points on the suspension, added traction bars for the rear suspension and installed a new differential.

Inside, a new instrument cluster was added with a tachometer and oil pressure gauge. A large 4-point roll cage was installed with a 34 gallon fuel tank.

The engine was thoroughly reworked to include Cylone Tri-Y headers, A Holley four-barrel carburetor, Cobra high rise aluminum intake manifold which produced around 325 to 360 horsepower. An oil cooler was also fitted.


Compared to the stock GT350, R models received new suspension tuning, a modified 289 cubic-inch Ford V-8, an improved cooling system, fiberglass body panels, and Plexiglass windows. The interior was also gutted for racing, and a full roll cage added to meet competition regulations.


type Racing Car
built at USA
production 36
engine V8
position Front Longitudinal
aspiration Natural
block material Cast Iron
valvetrain Pushrod OHV, 2 Valves per Cyl
fuel feed Holley 4-Barrel Carburetor
displacement 4736 cc / 289 in³
power 261.0 kw / 350 bhp
specific output 73.9 bhp per litre
body / frame Unitary Steel Monocoque w/Fiberglass Hood
driven wheels RWD
wheel type American Racing
front wheels F 38.1 x 17.8 cm / 15 x 7 in
rear wheels R 38.1 x 17.8 cm / 15 x 7 in
r suspension Live Axle w/Leaf Springs
transmission 4-Speed Manual

Recognized as the “Flying Mustang”, the first Shelby GT350 “R-Model” ranks not only as the most historically important Shelby Mustang in the world, but it is also arguably the most important Mustang in the history of the marque, period.



More Stories
Medium Canyon Red 1986 Ford Mustang