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Video: Building the Shelby G.T. 350 R That Should Have Been
The original Shelby G.T.350 R could have been even better. Pete Brock and other original Shelby heroes set out to build it the way they wanted to back in 1965.
Did you know that there was an independent rear suspension (IRS) designed for the Mustang back in 1964 by Carroll Shelby’s crew in their Venice, California shop? Ford nixed the idea, we assume due to budget reasons, so it was destined to live in blueprints ever since, but the Original Venice Crew (OVC, as they call themselves) has wondered all these years how well it would have worked. An IRS setup was indeed built and tested in a Falcon, but a head-to-head, IRS-vs-solid axle test in a Mustang had never been done. Now it’s about to be.
The original crew that developed the G.T.350 R-model race Mustang had a few more things that they wanted to change on the car 50 years ago but never got the opportunity to, so they all got back together to build the R-model they always wanted to, and they went to Pete Brock’s shop to do it. As Brock himself said, “Looking back at that car we got a chance, with the original crew, to take this car and build it the way we would liked to have seen it done.” Along with OVC members Ted Sutton and Jim Marietta, they took a fastback Mustang and turned it into a Shelby G.T. 350R with the IRS, along with some things that Brock had always wanted to do, like a re-shaped (ventilated) rear window, a re-shaped front fascia, and a big front air dam.
As you’ll see in this video and the two to come after it soon, the goal was to finish the car for the Shelby 50th anniversary meet at Willow Springs in 2015. They met the goal but didn’t get a chance to really test the car, so the OVC has invited Mustang Monthly to join them in instrumented tests of the IRS car against a real G.T.350R on the big track at Willow Springs, the same track that they did much of the Shelby testing on back in the day. We’re excited.