Evan J. Smith
April 28, 2015

Don’t worry, Ford will build more than 100 GT350s and more than 37 R-model. But first, Ford will build 100 Shelby GT350s in 2015 with a unique VIN to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the very first Shelby GT350, which appeared in 1965.

Carroll Shelby’s GT350 set the standard for Mustang’s performance both on the street and on racetracks worldwide. His 1965 models are some of the most coveted classic Mustangs—but you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. While the 1965 was a capable performer, the 2015 will set a new modern standard for naturally aspirated performance. The heart of the 2015 GT350 is what Ford is calling “the most powerful naturally aspirated Ford production engine ever.”

Enthusiasts are anxious to hear the sound of the flat-plane crankshaft and hear the quad exhaust howling—especially with speculation that the 5.2L VooDoo V8 will rev past 8,000 in factory trim and produce over 500 horsepower.

“Fans of the Shelby brand are among the most passionate in the automotive industry,” said Henry Ford III, Ford Performance marketing manager. “To honor the passion of our fans for Shelby GT350’s 50th anniversary, a limited run of GT350 models will be built in 2015; these cars will be highly coveted by both Mustang and Shelby enthusiasts alike.”

Our source at Ford stated just 100 Shelby GT350s will feature the 2015 model year designation, and then production switches to the 2016 model year. It was also stated that 50 of the 100 will be equipped with the Technology Package, and 50 equipped with the Track Package.

The GT350 is truly set to become a special Mustang that will get the job done in any environment. Of course everyone wants to know if it will beat the Z/28; and that will be the test of the century. The GT350 will be a track-ready machine, but one that’s tame enough for daily driving. Our insiders say they VooDoo engine sounds glorious and has excellent power all the way through the rev range. And Ford says the R-model is about 130 pounds lighter than the standard model. The GT350 follows a long list of amazing Mustang, like the recent Boss 302 and Shelby GT500. And we’re excited to see how it stacks up.

2015 Shelby GT350R: Celebrating 50 years of a pony car legend

In 1965, Carroll Shelby developed, built and sold an FIA-homologated Mustang called the Shelby GT350 competition model. This race-ready Mustang took to tracks around the world, competing in the most prestigious races and against the stiffest competition there was. In addition to winning the Sports Car Club of America’s B Production national championship in 1965, 1966 and 1967, the car entered races throughout South America and Europe, including the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans.

There is heated debate among Shelby enthusiasts over how many 1965 GT350 competition models were built during the extremely limited production run. While Carroll Shelby insisted two prototype cars and 35 production models were built, most records show only 34 production models received serial numbers from the Shelby production facility.

For 2015, Ford will make sure there is no confusion about the number of GT350R models constructed; 37 cars will be built in Carroll Shelby’s memory.