Boylan is especially proud of the unique Borla exhaust system, which ends with a pair of 3 1/2-inch round tips at the center of the rear valance. "Borla out-did themselves with this one," Amy says. "They're artists when it comes to exhaust quality and sound. They gave us just the right rumble. I was walking through the building when they started the GT350 and I thought it was one of the vintage cars."
Boylan points out that the front fascia on the GT350 prototype has a three-piece front fascia, but it'll be one-piece for production. Likewise, the 19-inch wheels, made by Cragar, the same company that manufactured the optional five-spokes for the '65 GT350, will be slightly revised for production to clear the Baer six-piston calipers. Shown here in white, the production calipers will be nickel-plated to match the wheels
Woods treatment at the rear, with a black-out center panel, lessens the angular appearance of the new Mustang's taillights, something most enthusiasts will welcome. Don't be surprised if the rear fascia, along with other GT350 components, show up in future Shelby Performance Parts catalogs.
Boylan says the interior is a throw-back to the '69 Shelby, with black high-back buckets with red stitching along with a red, white, and blue insert. "GT350" is embroidered in the seat back with Carroll Shelby's signature in the head rest. Also included are GT350 sill plates, dash plate with the car's sequential serial number, and an A-pillar gauge package with fuel pressure, oil pressure, and boost gauges.
Something else that the new GT350 shares with its predecessor is the fact that it will be built at the Shelby American facility in Las Vegas, just like the earlier GT350s were assembled at Shelby American's hangar at the Los Angeles airport from 1965-1967. There are two ways to order a 2011 Shelby GT350. Thanks to Shelby American's relationship with Ford, you can order one from your Ford dealer, who can have the car drop-shipped at Shelby American for the installation of the $33,995 GT350 package (over the cost of the Mustang GT). Shelby will then ship the car back to your dealer for delivery. Or you can buy a white 2011 Mustang GT with the six-speed manual transmission and ship it to Shelby American yourself, much the same as GT500 Super Snake conversions.
So what does Carroll Shelby think of the latest rendition of his GT350 "I like it a lot," he says. "It has enough of the old and enough of the new."
That is particularly pleasing for Amy Boylan to hear. "GT350 is the most special of his Mustangs. Carroll turns 87 in January, so we wanted to make sure we had the right car at the right time. We don't have the luxury of three years down the road. I hope he makes it to 100, and in that case there could be a next generation GT350. But if there isn't, at least we've met our goal of fulfilling the destiny of Carroll Shelby. I think we've done that with this GT350."
Larry Woods (left), formerly with Mattel, and Shelby American's Vince LaViolette (center)
Built To Race
The original '65 GT350 was designed as a race car; Shelby built street versions only because the SCCA said at least 100 had to be sold to the public to make the car legal for road-racing. Two of the first GT350s were competition models, known today as R-Models, with 5R001 winning the 1965 SCCA B-Production national championship with driver Jerry Titus, whose job as an editor at Sports Car Graphic provided needed exposure for Shelby's venture into Mustangs.
To pay homage to Titus, every 2011 GT350 will come with a set of decals in the trunk, including "Jerry Titus" driver decals for the roof and round "meatball" door decals with Titus numbers 36B and 61B.