Shelby American announced that the 2013 model year will be the end of the line for the Mustang GT350 . The company will continue to accept orders for new GT350 models through December 31st, 2013, so you had better get to ordering while you still can.
Shelby launched the GT350 program in 1965 and painted each and every one of the debut models Wimbledon White with Guardsman Blue rocker-panel stripes, and just over a quarter of these models features Le Mans (racing) stripes. These models came with a 289-cubic-inch V-8 powerhouse that Shelby tuned to 306 horsepower — stock output was 271 horsepower. Other updates included heavy-duty rear axles from the Ford Galaxy, larger rear drum brakes and upgraded Kelsey-Hayes front disc brakes. The engine hooked up to a T-10 four-speed manual gearbox and the car held the road via over-rider traction bars, revise A-arms and 130 mph-rated Goodyear rubber.
1966 brought about four new colors: blue, red, green and black. It also gained brake cooling ducts, an optional three-speed automatic transmission and an optional Paxton supercharger. The latter option ran $670 — a relative bargain by today’s standard — and bumped the engine to 440 horsepower.
Also new for 1966 was the Hertz "Rent-a-Racer," which were later refurbished by Ford and sold to the public as the GT350-H. The "Rent-a-Racer" program netted plenty of issues, as many of these cars were rented for use in SCCA events, which ended up with customers temporarily welding in roll cages. Additionally, many of the performance parts were missing by time Hertz returned the models to Ford for refurbishing.
In 1968, Ford added in the GT350-KR model — "KR" meaning "King of the Road" — which included a 428-cubic-inch V-8 powerplant with 335 horses and 440 pound-feet of torque. Also changed up was the addition of the "Cobra" tag to the name in 1968, making it the "Shelby Cobra GT350."the Otherwise, the GT350 remained the same in 1967 and 1968.
In 1969, which was the GT 350’s final year, the "Cobra" tag disappeared and a 351-cubic-inch V-8 found its way under its hood.
In 2011 Shelby reintroduced the GT350 and produced only coupe models painted in Competition white with Guardsmen blue stripes. In 2012 , it also offered a convertible version, plus three more colors (red, blue and anniversary black/gold celebrating 50 years of Shelby American).
As of January 1st, 2014, Shelby will continue to offer models like Shelby GTS, GT500 Super Snake and Shelby 1000, Shelby Raptor muscle truck and hot hatch Shelby Focus ST.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350.
The 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 is powered by a 5.0-liter V-8 engine offered in both natural and supercharged versions. The naturally aspirated model delivers a total of 430 horsepower, and Shelby’s cold air package increases the car’s output to 450 horsepower.
With the supercharger in tow, the GT350 produces 525 horsepower or a 624 horsepower, depending on the version the buyer chooses.
The 2013 Shelby GT350 package is priced from $26,995.00 for the normally aspirated version and $33,995.00 for the supercharged version.
gallery: Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
Shelby American, a wholly owned subsidiary of Carroll Shelby International Inc. (CSBI:PK), has announced that 2013 will be the last year of availability for its limited-run series of Shelby GT350 muscle cars. Shelby American will take new orders for the Shelby GT350 through December 31, 2013. Production of all other Shelby performance cars will continue.
“The Shelby GT350 is one of the world’s most celebrated, iconic muscle cars,” said John Luft, president of Shelby American. “When we unveiled this latest version of the Shelby GT350, we promised it would be built for a limited time to preserve its collectability and value. So we’ve been preparing for this day since 2010. In true Carroll Shelby fashion, we’re planning our next ultimate performance Shelby model.”
Shelby American’s approach has always been to first make history and then repeat it. In the 1960’s, Shelby American built the GT350 in small numbers for the 1965, 1966 and 1967 model years, making those cars among the most desirable, collectible vehicles on the planet.
The first (2011) model year 45th Anniversary Shelby GT350’s were all coupes clad in Competition white with Guardsmen blue stripes, just as Shelby American did with the initial car in 1965. In 2012, three more colors (red, blue and anniversary black/gold celebrating 50 years of Shelby American), as well as a convertible option were offered, similar to the options offered by Shelby American in 1966. For the 2013 model year, Shelby American again followed tradition with expanded color options, equipment choices and styling changes, while the performance improvements remained intact.
“The Shelby GT350’s rich history is well-documented,” said Shelby American Vice President of Production Gary Davis. “People value that heritage and tell us that they want this car to equal that exclusivity. We’re staying true to our commitment to deliver a small block car with high performance, unique styling and collectability in a way that honors our heritage.”
The concept behind the current GT350 was to build a car that is light, nimble and powerful. Beginning with the “small block” 5.0 liter Ford Mustang GT as its base, every aspect of the car is enhanced or replaced to create the ultimate, balanced performance pony car that is true to the spirit of the 1960’s era Shelby GT350.
“We’ve taken another page out of the ‘Carroll Shelby playbook’,” said Luft. “In the ever evolving automotive market, we continue to adapt to meet customer needs. While we’ll look back on the current GT350 with great love and devotion, as Carroll always said, ‘our favorite car is the next one we build’.”
Orders are now being taken for all 2012 - 2014 model year Shelby American GT350’s through the end of 2013; As of January 1, 2014, this chapter of Shelby American history will close. Production will continue on all existing models, including the Shelby GTS, GT500 Super Snake and Shelby 1000, Shelby Raptor muscle truck and hot hatch Shelby Focus ST.