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2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

Mid-cycle facelift adds new aero features and revised underpinnings

It’s been almost a year since Ford gave the sixth-generation Mustang its mid-cycle upgrade, and the time has come for the Shelby GT350 to get its refresh. Despite rumors that it won’t be around for long, the GT350 continues into the 2019 model year with revisions inside and out to go with tweaked underpinnings.

As we’re waiting for the Shelby GT500 to return after a long hiatus, Ford just rolled out an upgrade for the GT350. But, while the muscle car did get some notable updates in the aerodynamics and drivetrain departments, it didn’t gain the visual changes we’ve seen on the facelifted Mustang. In short, it’s still based on the original sixth-generation Mustang. The good news is that the updated coupe was tested by Billy Johnson, a racing driver with plenty of experience in the FIA World Endurance and the IMSA championships with the Ford GT and Mustang GT4 programs. Let’s see what changed and what remained the same in the review below.

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1965 Shelby Mustang GT350

1965 Shelby Mustang GT350

The Mustang was Ford’s biggest commercial success since the golden days of Model T production. Originally conceptualized as a strict two seater, Ford’s senior executive, Lee Iacocca, realized that its success hinged on volume sales. And volume sales were exactly what Iacocca got, over 22,000 Mustang’s were sold within the first day and more than 100,000 rolled off the production line inside the first four months. Within two years, more than a million would be sold, but come summer 1964, Ford’s executives thought the bubble was about to burst.

All GT350s started life on the Ford production line as Wimbleton White K-Code DSO fastbacks with a 271-horsepower 289 V-8 and black interiors. The DSO code referred to the unique blend of upgrades these cars were built with, which included several special bits from the Ford parts bin – all before being shipped to Shelby. The front disc brakes were kept, but sintered metallic pads were used instead of the softer stock ones. Station wagon drum brakes with larger metallic-lined shoes were added at the back. Also added was a nine-inch Detroit Locker differential, under-hood ’Export’ bracing, and close ratio T-10 Borg Warner four-speed manual transmission with an aluminum housing.

Cars were shipped from Ford’s San Jose plant to Shelby America’s Los Angeles facility without hoods, grilles, rear seats, exhaust systems, or emblems. Then the transformation really began.

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1966 Ford Shelby GT350 By Revology Cars

1966 Ford Shelby GT350 By Revology Cars

The most accurate reproduction of the original, 1966 Shelby GT350

This year’s SEMA Show will be packed with aftermarket builds based on the sixth-generation Mustang, but there’s at least two companies that will bring restomods built around the first-generation muscle car. One of them is Ringbrothers, which is planning to showcase a 1965 convertible with a wide body and a supercharged engine. The other one is Revology Cars, which prepared something a bit more conservative, in the form of a 1966 Shelby GT350 replica that’s identical to the original car. At least on the outside.

Revology’s new project is actually a restomod, in the sense that it marries a vintage-looking body with a modern interior and drivetrain. However, while most restomods also come with modern exterior elements such as wheels, carbon-fiber bumper and wild paints, this project remains true to the 1966 Shelby GT350’s design and white-and-blue livery.

The GT350 isn’t Revology’s first build that mimics the original car on the outside. The company also offers a convertible and a 2+2 coupe, both based on the 1966 Ford Mustang. They’re not exactly affordable, being priced from more than $150,000 before options, but it’s not a bad price given that you get a pristine-looking Mustang with modern underpinning and all the comfort you have with a 2017-model-year car.

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2016 Ford “Ole Yeller” Mustang Shelby GT350

2016 Ford “Ole Yeller” Mustang Shelby GT350

Ford’s latest aviantion-inspired Mustang is unique and sports a big, carbon-fiber wing

The sixth-generation Ford Mustang was unveiled in December 2013 and went on sale for the 2015 model year. The redesigned pony car is a significant departure from its predecessor, being the first to feature an independent rear suspension, among many other modern features. The new Mustang is also the first that’s sold globally, and the first to receive a right-hand drive version from the factory. Also, it’s the first Mustang since the third-generation car to feature a turbocharged, four-cylinder engine.

Much like its predecessor, the sixth-gen Mustang spawned many special-edition and higher-performance models in its first couple of years on the market. One such model is the "Ole Yeller." Created to benefit the Experimental Aircraft Association’s youth education events, this is a one-off muscle car based on the Shelby GT350. The ninth aviation-inspired Mustang built by Ford for the EEA since 2008, the "Ole Yeller" pays homage to the P-51D Mustang aircraft with the same name. One of the most recognizable planes in the world, the "Ole Yeller" still holds the prop plane record for coast-to-coast travel at five hours and 20 minutes, set in 1985.

The unique GT350 is also a tribute to R. A. “Bob” Hoover, who is widely considered the founding father of modern aerobatics and thrilled airshow fans piloting “Ole Yeller” for more than 20 years. In 1997, Hoover sold "Ole Yeller," but the plane still flies frequently and is based at the Legacy Flight Museum in Rexburg, Idaho.

The "Ole Yeller" GT350 will be donated and sold via auction at the Gathering of Eagles charity event on July 28 at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016. All proceeds will benefit EAA’s youth education programs, including the Young Eagles, which has provided free introductory flights to two million young people since 1992.

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2016 - 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang

2016 - 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang

The most powerful, naturally aspirated Mustang ever built

Ford gave birth to the GT350 nameplate in 1965, the same year when Carroll Shelby was commissioned to build high-performance versions of the first-generation Mustang. Built in 1965 and 1966, the initial GT350 was not just lighter than a regular Mustang, but more powerful too. Originally rated at 271 ponies, the ’Stang’s 4.7-liter V-8 was uprated to deliver 306 horsepower at Shelby American’s shop, where it would also be equipped with heavy-duty rear axles, larger rear drum brakes, and front disc brakes. All 1965 models were painted Wimbledon White with Guardsman Blue stripes, while the 1966 model year brought more colors to the car. The GT350 continued in 1967, 1968 and 1969 with more cosmetic changes that performance updates. The GT350 moniker disappeared until 2011, when it returned for the fifth-generation Mustang. As the redesigned pony rolls into dealerships for the 2015 model year, the Shelby GT350 has made yet another comeback as a track-prepped version of the sixth-gen Mustang.

Introduced for the 2016 model year, the first Shelby Mustang GT350 to feature an independent rear suspension is Dearborn’s answer to the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. The body panels were reshaped into a more aerodynamic and aggressive shape, including a completely new front section, while the GT’s standard 5.0-liter V-8 was replaced by a slightly larger unit specifically developed for this muscle car. But enough with the spoilers. Keep reading to find out everything there is to know about the new Shelby GT350.

Updated 06/28/2016: Ford dropped a new video featuring David Patterson "That Dude In Blue" tackling the GT350 Time Attack at the Ford Performance Octane Academy. Hit "play" to watch the new video.

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2016 GeigerCars To Sell 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang In Europe

2016 GeigerCars To Sell 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang In Europe

Geiger Cars is mostly known for its aftermarket programs for some of America’s finest vehicles, but the German company also serves as a distributor of American performance cars across the Atlantic. Recently, Geiger Cars announced that it has taken deliveries of the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang and is ready to sell them to anyone looking to own the pinnacle of Mustang performance.

For now, Geiger Cars is selling the Shelby GT350 Mustang in stock configuration so don’t expect any cosmetic, aerodynamic, or performance upgrades on the muscle car. That’s not to say that there won’t be any in the future, but for the purposes of keeping the expectations to a minimum for the time being, the German tuner will begin rolling out the GT350 Mustang in stock form before embarking on any aftermarket modifications.

The 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang is already available to customers in Europe via Geiger Cars. The price starts at €82,500, which is close to $90,000 based on current exchange rates. The price is much more expensive than the $50,000-starting price of the muscle car in the US. That can be attributed to the extra taxes that come with buying the car in Europe.

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Ford Mustang GT King Edition By Petty's Garage

Ford Mustang GT King Edition By Petty’s Garage

The Ford Mustang is no stranger to receiving the limited edition treatment. Just this year, we’ve already seen a handful of them, most notably the Shelby GT350R Mustang Cattle Baron’s Ball Edition and the Mustang Convertible Neiman Marcus Edition. These are just two examples of unique Mustangs that have recently come to our attention. Now, Ford is proud to announce the newest limited edition Mustang, and for this one, it tapped an old friend to help in its customization. It’s called the Mustang GT King Edition by Petty’s Garage, and it’s the latest in a long line of customized Mustangs that have gone to the hands of Richard Petty’s aftermarket performance shop.

The Mustang GT King Edition actually comes in three different variants, each with limited availability. Despite having different quantities, all three serialized, limited-production Petty Mustang GT variants went thought the high-quality customization process that Petty’s Garage is famous for. They have exterior modifications, interior upgrades, and most importantly, engine modifications that shoot the muscle car’s output straight into the stratosphere.

The end result certainly speaks for itself. Anytime Petty’s Garage is involved in customizing a Ford Mustang, you know something special will come out of it.

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2016 Ford Shelby GT350R-C Mustang Race Car

2016 Ford Shelby GT350R-C Mustang Race Car

The arrival of the 2015 Ford Mustang not only brought many changes to America’s iconic muscle car, but also gave rise to several questions as to what high-performance models would be built around it. There’s been a lot of talk about several Shelby nameplates being dropped with the new generation, but although the 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 has yet to receive a successor, Ford did roll out a 2016 Ford Shelby Mustang GT350 model and a more track-focused 2016 Ford Shelby Mustang GT350R that promises to become the most potent Mustang on the race track. Now, Ford has also unveiled the GT350R-C, which replaces the previous-generation 2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302 in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.

The new muscle racer is set to make its first official track debut at Watkins Glen on June 27th and will continue to race in the remaining six events of the 2015 season through September. The race team will be managed by longtime Ford partner Multimatic Motorsports, while the cars will be driven by Billy Johnson, Scott Maxwell, Austin Cindric, and Jade Buford.

“Ford is committed to the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and we’re very happy to be campaigning its product here,” said Larry Holt, team principal, Multimatic Motorsports. “We like the endurance format, and the racing is always intense. The cars must be fast and reliable, and there are always at least 10 contenders running door-to-door for two and a half hours. It is the perfect home for the GT350R-C.”

Updated 06/29/2015: The new Shelby GT350R-C made its racing debut this weekend during the qualifying session for the 2015 IMSA. With a lap-time of 2 minutes, 1.358 seconds - the new GT350R-C grabbed itself a pole position for its first race!

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