Jim Smart
May 1, 2008
Photos By: William Harvey

Dave put his Shelby's Top Loader four-speed away for safekeeping, too. In the tunnel is a Tremec T-5 five-speed transmission built to take the twist of a 540hp small-block by G-Force. This allows Dave to lay down rubber and accelerate smartly while slipping into Overdrive cogs at highway speeds. Because Shelby had brute performance in mind 42 years ago, Dave didn't have to do anything to the 3.89-geared Detroit Locker but freshen it up with gaskets, bearings, and seals. However, because he wanted greater levels of reliability, he had Paul's upgrade the diff with a Strange carrier and Torque Sensing 31-spline differential. In Overdrive, 3.89 gears keep open-road revs modest, and when it's time to rock, all Dave has to do is leave Overdrive and let those Paxtons go to work.

Although Dave's GT350 packs a lot of power underhood, it remains the essential Shelby elsewhere. Paul's Automotive did this car justice by blueprinting the suspension system, including the red Koni shocks. On the ground are period 15x7-inch Shelby Cragars wrapped in BFGoodrich Comp T/A radials for exceptional handling. Kelsey-Hayes front disc brakes deliver the same kind of stopping power they were designed for four decades ago. When you study this Shelby's underpinnings, it's easy to get into details-all those things that make a concours restoration exceptional.

When you slide inside, it's a trip back to 1966, void of the amenities we've grown so used to in the years since. You won't find a 1,000-watt stereo or a "boom-boom" subwoofer to help you forget what's underhood. There's no satellite navigation, video screen, or six-disc CD changer, either. This is about respecting a classic Shelby's legacy, with a splash of salsa beneath the bonnet just for fun [If you call 540 hp at the tire a "splash!"-Ed.].

Although some might consider Dave's approach to an unmolested Shelby unconventional, this man has never forgotten Carroll's legacy, nor what it will always mean for his followers. Meanwhile, Dave's going to have fun, treasure the experience, and go where most fear to tread.

The Details
'66 Shelby GT350 Fastback
Owner: Dave Heald

Engine
363.5ci displacement (302-based block)
4.125-inch bore, 3.400-inch stroke
Ford Racing Performance Parts aluminum block
Probe 4340 steel crankshaft
Probe 4340 H-beam rods (5.400 inches)
Ross custom forged pistons
Trick Flow heads with complete port work by
Paul's Automotive
2.02/1.60-inch Ferrea stainless valves
Trick Flow Stage III hydraulic roller special
(0.575/0.595-inch lift, 298/310 duration)
1.6:1 Trick Flow roller rockers
Dual Trick Flow valvesprings
Twin Holley 450-cfm carburetors
Twin Paxton superchargers
Autolite dual-point distributor with
Pertronix Ignitor II conversion
MSD-6 BTM ignition
Reproduction Autolite ignition wires
Open-letter Cobra valve covers
Heavy-duty battery cables
Two-row aluminum radiator
High-flow aluminum water pump
540 rwhp
470.4 lb-ft of torque

Transmission
G-Force-modified Tremec T-5 five-speed

Rearend
9-inch
3.89 gears
Strange aluminum carrier
Torque Sensing 31-spline differential

Exhaust
P.A.E. stainless 1 5/8-inch headers
2 1/2-inch stainless steel dual exhaust
MagnaFlow stainless mufflers

Suspension
Front: Blueprinted stock coil springs, reinforced upper and lower control arms, Koni shocks
Rear: Mid-eye five-leaf springs, Koni shocks, underride traction bars

Brakes
Front: Upgraded Kelsey-Hayes four-piston 12-inch disc
Rear: Full-size Ford 11x2 1/4-inch drum
Dual braking system added for safety

Wheels
Front: Custom Shelby-Cragar 15x7 mag wheels
Rear: Custom Shelby-Cragar 15x7 mag wheels (factory wheels were 15x6)

Tires
Front: BFGoodrich Comp T/A, P255/60R15
Rear: BFGoodrich Comp T/A, P255/60R15

Interior
Stock GT350, Hurst T-5 shifter, Shelby Eight-Grand tachometer

Exterior
Sapphire Blue by Paul's Automotive, Cincinnati, Ohio