It was in a small, crowded shop on Princeton Avenue in Venice, California, just a couple of miles from the crashing waves of the Pacific and the bulging biceps on world-famous Muscle Beach — where Arnold Schwarzenegger would soon savor his initial taste of stardom — that Carroll Shelby and his crew built the first high-performance Ford Mustang to wear his name: 1965 Shelby Mustang GT350.
All Shelby Mustangs were Wimbledon White fastbacks powered by a 306-horsepower small-block V8 tweaked by Shelby and using a four-speed manual transmission. The Mustang, first introduced in 1964, was an immediate success, but it now had a true high-performance variant. Shelby built 562 vehicles for the street in 1965 and 36 for the racetrack. Today, the street cars can command half a million dollars from collectors and the competition models are seven-figure vehicles. Ford and Shelby continued to produce the GT350 model until 1970. The 2018 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 continues that legacy, offering the most power and performance in the model’s history. Today it competes with the supercharged Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and the various Hemi-powered variations of the Dodge Challenger including the Scat Pack and Hellcat.