1969 Shelby Mustang

1969 Shelby GT350: Ultimate Guide

History, Specs, Options, Performance & More

1969 Shelby GT350 Mustang

The 1969 and 1970 cars will share the same page since they are the same vehicle! All the Shelby cars sold in 1970 were 1969 Shelbys that were simply re-tagged with a new VIN tag. 1970 Shelbys did get two black stripes painted on the hood and a unique black chin spoiler. Prices started at $4,434 for the GT-350, and $4,700 for the GT-500. Most dealers received only one car per year and they added as many options a possible to increase profits.

To make the Shelby, FORD used 21 separate pieces of plastic or fiberglass and a stock Mustang. The fiberglass hood was changed to include 5 NACA functional air ducts and two twist lock hood pins. They used 1965 Thunderbird taillights, a tail light panel, cast aluminum wheels, exhaust pipes that exited from the center of the rear valance rather than from each side utilized a cast aluminum outlet. The license plate was bolted between the taillight lens and above the dual rectangular exhaust openings. It was hinged to allow access to the hidden gas cap The front fenders had a scoop mounted between the bumper and the front tire. Along both sides of the car were parallel decorative stripes. Two thin, one thick and two thin. Between the doors and the rear tires were functional air scoops used to carry air to cool the rear brake drums. Adorning each side on the “B” pillar was a Shelby snake coiled over a badge bearing the car’s model.

Powering the 1969-1970 Shelbys were one of two engines. All GT500 cars got a 428 Cobra jet engine rated at 335 horsepower (@ 3200 rpm). They used Holley carburetors mounted on a medium rise intakes. The GT 350 got a 290 horsepower (@ 4800 rpm) with 385 ft lb torque at 3400 rpm, 351 Windsor engine that used an Autolite 4 barrel carburetor. The 500 received a close ratio 4 speed transmission while the 350 got the wide ratio transmission. The close ratio transmission was an option for the 350. The Shelby 350 also as an option could get the SelectShift Cruise-O-Matic three speed transmission

Suspension wise, the cars rode on Goodyear F60-15 Polyglas GT belted tires mounted on 15 x 7″ wheels. Shock absorbers were heavy duty Gabriel Adjust-O-Matics with special valving. The front suspensions had independent with coil springs above the upper arm. a heavy duty front stabilizer bar. In the rear, it utilized a Hotchkiss drive with variable rate semi-eliptical leaf springs and again heavy duty Gabriel shocks with special valving.

On the interior side of the car, the Shelby’s still kept the integral padded roll bars and 2 piece shoulder harnesses. Imitation teak wood was used in the doors, console and dash. The door panels were made of a molded plastic and integrated armrests. The remote control for the mirror was recessed in the door in a small rectangular indentation. The steering wheel utilized a deluxe 3 spoke steering wheel with a rim blow horn. High back bucket seats were used as in the MACH 1. The Mustang deluxe Interior Decor group was standard in the Shelby series. Other interior additions were; reminder lights for the seat belts and parking brake, a console, oil pressure and Ampere gauges were added, an 8000 rpm tachometer and a 140 mph speedometer.

Options for the GT-350 were; Select shift 3 speed transmission, heavy duty battery, close ratio 4 speed transmission, traction loc rear axle (except with A/C), fold down rear seat with SportsRoof, AM radio, AM/FM sterio radio, AM radio with 8 track tape system, forced ventilation on Sports roof only, intermittent windshield wipers, tinted glass, tilt steering wheel and F60x15 low profile Polyglas tires.

Options for the GT-500 were; Select shift 3 speed transmission, traction loc rear axle (except with AC), fold down rear seat with SportsRoof, AM radio, AM/FM sterio radio, AM radio with 8 track tape system, forced ventilation on SportsRoof only, intermittent windshield wipers, tinted glass, tilt steering wheel, F60x15 low profile Polyglas tires and A/C but on in conjunction with an automatic transmission.

For the years 1969 & 1970, there were 3,153 Shelby Mustangs produced.  Their production numbers are as follows:

Test cars 3
GT 350 SportsRoof 935
GT 350 SportsRoof (Hertz cars) 150
GT 350 Convertibles 194
GT 500 SportsRoof 1536
GT 500 Convertibles 335
3153

To decipher the serial numbers, The first digit is the year, if it is a “9” the Shelby was sold in 1969, if it is a “0” the car was sold in 1970. Ford did not manufacture any Shelby’s in the year 1970, all 789 cars not sold in 1969 were retagged as 1970s.

The second letter on the identification plate will be an “F” indicating the vehicle was manufactured in Dearborn MI.

The third and fourth numbers indicate the body style.  02 for a SportsRoof and 03 for a Convertible.

The fifth number on the tag will be either an “M” indicating a 351 engine or an “R” indicating a 428 Cobra Jet ram air.

The Sixth and Seventh numbers must be a 48 to indicate it was a Shelby car.

The last 4 numbers 0000 will be the consecutive unit number produced.  It will be a number between 0000 and 3153.

A valid Shelby tag number would resemble: 9F02R480231


Modifications to the production mustang to create the Shelby were:

  • Front fenders and hood were made of fiberglass
  • Rectangular grill opening to hold two 7 inch headlights
  • Lucas fog lamps below the front bumper
  • 3 forward opening hood scoops
  • 2 rear opening hood scoops.
  • The center forward hood opening provided air for the intake.
  • Front fender air scoops to provide cooled air for the brakes
  • Rear fender air scoops to provide cooled air for the brakes
  • Rear deck lid was fiberglass and had a spoiler
  • Exhaust pipes exited in the center of the car below the bumper
  • 1965 Thunderbird lights were used for taillights.
  • It used an aluminum intake manifold
  • It had aluminum Cobra valve covers.
  • The interior console had 2 Stewart Warner gauges for oil pressure and amperes.
  • The instrument cluster had a 8000 RPM tachometer and a 140 mile per hour speedometer.
  • The Shelby used a competition suspension like the one on a Mach 1.
  • Interiors came in black or white and were the deluxe interiors found on the Mach 1’s.
  • Standard features were power steering, power front disc brakes and a 4 speed transmission.

The last year for the Shelby Mustang was 1969. Now based on the new SportsRoof and convertible Mustang body styles, Shelby’s newly designed Mustang shared very little resemblance to the production Mustang. The GT350 and GT500 were still available in both fastback or convertible.

The front end design on the ’69 Shelby shared was completely new. Both the fenders and the hood were fiberglass and created a large rectangular grille opening which carried two 7 inch headlights. Beneath the bumper, Lucas foglamps were mounted. The hood contained three forward-facing NASA scoops, the center one providing air to into the engine’s intake system. Also on the hood were two rear-facing scoops. Brake scoops can be found on the front fenders, as did the rear, all providing air to the brakes. Rear scoops can be found on convertibles mounted lower in order to prevent any interference with the convertible top mechanism. In the rear, fiberglass extensions were added to the fiberglass deck lid to create a pronounced spoiler. ’65 Thunderbird taillights were used, and a unique aluminum exhaust collector exited in the center beneath the bumper.

Side stripes can be found on both models with either GT350 or GT500 lettering at the front fender in front of the brake scoop. Snake emblems can be found behind the rear side windows and also on the left side of the front grille. Also, Cobra Jet emblems, like the ones found on the ’68 GT500KR, were used on the GT500’s front fenders.

The interior of the Shelby was once again the production Mustang’s Deluxe Interior Decor Group, available in either black or white, with Shelby identification on the door panels, steering wheel and passenger’s dash. The console top housed two two Stewart Warner gauges, oil and amps, along with two toggle switches for foglamps and courtesy lights. The instrument cluster contained a 8000 rpm tachometer, 140 mph speedometer and fuel gauges. All of the fastback Shelbys one again have the inertia-reel harnesses while the convertibles kept the same 1968 type roll bar. A very small portion of Shelbys came with red interior.

The GT350 Shelby came with the 290hp 4-V version of the production 351 Windsor. The only difference being an aluminum intake manifold as well as Cobra valve covers. The GT500 Shelby used the 428CJ-R with all variations found on the regular Mustang.

As with the Mach 1, the Competition Suspension, transmission and rear axle were all options on the Shelby. The unique 15×7 inch rims had an aluminum center section welded to a chrome steel rim. Standard tires were E70x15; although most cars came with the F60x15 Goodyear Polyglas GTs.

Some other standard features found were power steering, power front disc brakes, and four-speed manual transmission.

Around 789 Shelbys were unsold in 1969. These cars were “updated” and sold as 1970 models by changing the VIN showing 1970 as the model year. Changes to the ’70 also included twin black hood stripes and a Boss 302 type chin spoiler.

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