Jim Smart
March 1, 2009

Two Wimbledon White '65 Mustang hardtops were used primarily as chassis development mules. Two fastbacks were handed over to Pete Brock, also for development purposes. Brock's job was to give the Shelby Mustang a persona people would immediately recognize, yet be simple in scope. He experimented with stripes, both LeMans and side stripes.

When Brock was experimenting with visual effects, the subject of a name came up. It came down to a question that rolled right off the top of Carroll Shelby's head. He looked at Phil Remington and asked him what he thought the distance was between the race and production shops. Remington responded, "Around 350 feet..." With that, Shelby announced the car would be called the GT350.

Once Shelby American got the modifications dialed in, it was time to order around 100 of them from Ford's San Jose assembly plant in order to meet the SCCA's homologation requirements. These were special order units without hoods, rear seats, radios, and exhaust systems. San Jose would build approximately 110 cars in two days for Shelby American. Roughly 95 would be street units while 15 others would become race cars.

Dave Steine's '65 GT350, No. SFM5S520, was delivered to Shelby American's Los Angeles Airport facility on June 16, 1965 and completed two weeks later on June 30. The car would travel thousands of miles by air and truck before it wound up in the hands of James Philpott of Southern California, who enjoyed the car for decades before selling it to Jim Bridges in 1985. The car survives as a factory original thanks to a carefully orchestrated chain of committed owners. Dave is only the latest in a coveted lineup of stewards to have had the good fortune of caring for such an authentic factory original.

This is a real driver's GT350 with a 306-horse 289 High Performance V-8, aluminum T-10 four-speed, and 3.89:1 Detroit Locker gears. Those Goodyear Blue Dots aren't reproductions; they are the real thing in the interest of authenticity. Don't expect Dave to be cutting apexes with them anytime soon because this car is never driven. It will remain what it has always been--a rolling museum piece and a great tribute to Shelby's enduring legacy.

'65 Shelby GT350 Production
Street Prototype1
Street Production Units521
Drag Cars4
Competition Prototypes2
Competition Production Units34
Information Courtesy
Shelby American Automobile Club