I spotted this '70 Shelby G.T. 350 at the 2011 Shelby Bash in Las Vegas and invited the owner, Shannon Moore, to bring her classic on the road-racing course where I was photographing several late-model Shelbys. The '70 Shelby is a rarity. You scarcely see them, even at the big national shows. That's because only 789 were produced, compared to 2,361 for '69. In reality, the '70 Shelby is a '69 model updated with a '70 VIN, chin spoiler, and hood stripes.
Moore is the first to give credit to her father for buying and restoring this classic. Her father's friend actually bought the car for his wife over 20 years ago. She became impatient with the progress of the restoration and Shannon's father, J.B., took over.
As we rolled the car onto the track, I couldn't help but remember the time Carroll Shelby stood in front of one of these models for a photo in a magazine advertisement. Those five scoops on the hood blew me away. They looked incredible. I learned later that the front three ducts channel air to the carburetor and the back two evacuate hot air from the engine compartment. Back when I first noticed them in that ad, all I cared about was how great the hood looked.
I also could not believe how well the front fender scoops and the scoops on top of the rear quarter panels integrated with the design. Shelby tossed in a snake emblem to make fastback and convertible, small-block and big-block, look that much cooler. Pressing on the brakes lights up a taillight board as wide as the car. The lights even blink sequentially with the flip of a turn signal.
The '69-'70 Shelbys don't look like Mustangs. The fenders are unique to the Shelby, made from fiberglass to cut down on production costs and adding another cool feature to the Shelby.
The grille is also completely different from a Mustang. A specially designed bumper forms the lower half of the grille opening, running the width of the car. Inside the grille is rectangular chrome molding flanked by single headlights set against a blacked-out background.
Styling-wise, Shelby nailed the signature Shelby look with the '69 and ‘70. Yes, they are cruisers with luxury everything. But with a 428 Cobra Jet, the G.T. 500s were well-suited for drag strip fun. And for the '69-'70 G.T. 350, Shelby upped the cubes from 302 in '68 to a 351 Windsor, sort of a mid-sized V-8 pumping out 290 horsepower.
Shannon told me that she and her brother, Scott Glassco, inherited this '70 Shelby, already restored, from their father in 2009. They both like cars, but Shannon said, "We didn't know much about showing cars." So they decided to get out there and have a little fun. After two or three shows, they ended up at the Shelby Bash.
The '70 G.T. 350 was their show car, but Shannon also had a hotter ride for the track—an '11 Shelby G.T. 500, silver with red stripes. If the '11 is the Beast, the '70 is the Beauty.
"I like the absolute power," Shannon says about her G.T. 500. "And it's loud and sexy. When you hit the gas, it goes!"
Shannon's dad had a small collection of cars so Shannon is following in his footsteps with a Terlingua Shelby and a '06 Shelby once raced on the American Iron circuit. She recently bought out her brother's half of the '70 G.T. 350, so her little collection is growing.
Shelby tossed in a snake emblem to make fastback and convertible, small-block and big-block, look that much cooler.