Malibu Firefighters Know A Classic Worth Saving When They See One

Muscle Car

First responders pushed this '66 Shelby GT350 to safety.

Say what you will about California – they sure do love their cars. Even the firefighters, who apparently have their priorities straight.

While fighting the wildfires outside Malibu, a team local firefighters found a classic Ford Mustang – but not just any Mustang. In the garage of a house on fire they discovered a 1966 Shelby GT350, so they did what any sane, car-loving first-responder would do, and pushed the car out to safety. And good thing they did, especially considering how rare, valuable, and beloved by so many pony-car fans the original GT350 is.

Whereas Ford made a million or so Mustangs in its first year and a half of production (from mid-1964 through the end of '65), fewer than 1,400 Shelby GT350 fastback coupes were produced the following year. That in and of itself was enough to lend it legendary status.

The first Mustang customized by the late, great Carroll Shelby, the GT350 packed a 4.7-liter V8 producing 306 horsepower and 329 lb-ft of torque. That may not seem like all that much by today's standards, it was a heck of a lot more potent than any of the engines with which Dearborn offered the first-gen Mustang from the factory.

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The base Mustang originally came with a 2.8-liter straight-six good for just 105 hp, replaced by a 3.3-liter version with 120 hp. A number of V8 options were offered as well, but even the most powerful produced just 271 hp and 312 lb-ft – 35 hp and 17 lb-ft down on the Shelby.

Little wonder then, as The Drive points out, those examples of the GT350 that have survived can be worth upwards of a quarter-million dollars today. So it's a good thing the firefighters saw fit to save this one, even if their chief concern was over the fuel in the tank exploding.

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