Former Shelby employees putting the GT350R back into production in a limited series of continuation models.
Continuation cars are becoming increasingly popular. If you can cough up the cash, you can buy authentic recreations of iconic cars like the Jaguar XKSS and Aston Martin DB4 GT built to original specifications to save you the hassle of hunting down the originals. Now, original engineers are giving the 1965 Shelby GT350R a new lease of life 50 years after its racing debut with a series of continuation models. Behind the project are three former Shelby employees known as the “Original Venice Crew” who built the original racecar.
The crew consists of Peter Brock, Jim Marietta and Ted Sutton, who are aiming to make the original car even better. “By adapting lessons that the Shelby team learned racing Cobras and Daytona Coupes, our Crew at Shelby American turned a ‘mule into a racehorse’ as Carroll Shelby would say,” Jim Marietta, CEO of the Original Venice Crew company, said. “Three of us who created the first Shelby GT350Rs at the Venice, California, race shop reunited in 2015 for a very special project. We agreed to build the ‘R’ model that we envisioned in 1965, but couldn’t due to time, expense and other restraints.” The team will start with a 1965 Mustang donor car packing a 4.7-liter V8 engine and a four-speed gearbox.
New modifications that the crew originally intended to implement in the 1960s include a redesigned front valance, Plexiglas rear and quarter windows, and Ford-designed independent rear suspension. “The revised shape of the window improves the car’s interior aerodynamics by promoting better airflow for driver comfort while the new front valance has a much closer identity with the original Mustang front-end while increasing the efficiency of airflow to cool the engine,” Brock explained. “While these changes may look subtle, they combine with the new suspension to dramatically change the character of the car.”
Only 36 continuation cars will be produced to match the 1965 GT350R Mustang’s original production run, and will be fully licensed by Ford and Shelby. Production will start next month with prices starting at $250,000.