In the words of Carroll Shelby, "These cars are made to be driven." Most of the Shelby faithful adhere to that principle with tenacity. They track-time the cars, drag race them, and just generally have a gargantuan good time. Of course, there are also those folks who show the cars. These people give us a window into the past-a chance to see what it was like when the Shelby was new. Without them, the rest of the breed would probably be a shabby mishmash of whatever is available. With them, you get cars such as the one pictured here.
Jim Uliano of Huntington, Connecticut, has been in both camps. His present ride, this beautiful '66 GT350, does not seem to be the track-time-car type, but it is-or rather was.
Jim told us his modus for the Shelby. "I bought this Shelby for the purpose of using it in the occasional open-track event." Of course, that one statement does not cover the time and effort that Jim expended just to get the Candyapple Red rocket in his possession. Two years ago, it took three months of negotiations and price haggling before Jim could sign on the dotted line and take the GT350 home to rest.
"The car was restored in 1988," Jim said. "The 289 High Performance engine and all the body panels are original and date-coded." The Shelby also packed the original Borg-Warner T10 and the same 3.89 rear gear that Shelby specified. Even the black interior with its Deluxe wheel and the Shelby dash-mount tach were in need of nothing except for a little cleaning. The paint was not fresh but certainly fine for open track. So with that being the case, Jim's only real jobs were to find a correct replacement Holley for the non-stock, big-bore carb under the fiberglass hood and to ditch the 3-inch exhaust in favor of the factory stuff. The rest of the Shelby was left untouched-well, sort of.
We said "sort of" because of an incident that occurred at last year's Shelby American Automobile Club event. "I forgot to put the hood pins in, and the hood flew up and snapped off," Jim told us with some chagrin. We can only imagine the moment of panic that must have filled him when the hood went sailing. With the hood in slight disarray, Jim decided that an entire paint job was in order. For now, at least, the Shelby sees more mundane street-and-show duty, but Jim says that at the first sign of a stone chip or a door ding, then it's off to the track, with hood pins in place!