When the Shelby GT350 hit the scene in 1965, the enthusiast press jumped all over it. Powered by a 306hp Cobra version of the 289 High Performance and equipped with suspension modifications for improved handling, the GT350 was more race car than road car, especially in 1965, when it had side exhaust and no rear seat.
By 1966, the GT350 was a bit more refined, but it was also available with an optional Paxton supercharger, a package that boosted the Shelby's performance to 14-flat, as evidenced by the test reports in both Motor Trend and Car Life in the summer of 1966.
Most naturally aspirated GT350s performed in the high-14, low-15-second range, including a Hertz rental car version with the automatic transmission. Oddly, the '65 tested by Motor Trend was a full second slower than the one tested by Car Life.
'66 GT350S - 14.0/102 - auto - 3.89 - Motor Trend, Aug. 1966
'66 GT350S - 14.0/92 - auto - 3.89 - Car Life, July 1966
'65 GT350 - 14.7/90 - 4-spd. - 3.89 - Car Life, June 1965
'65 GT350 - 14.9/95 - 4-spd. - 3.89 - Car & Driver, May 1965
'66 GT350H - 15.2/93 - auto - 3.89 - Car & Driver, May 1966
'66 GT350 - 15.6/94 - 4-spd. - 3.89 - Motor Trend, Aug. 1966
'65 GT350 - 15.7/91 - 4-spd. - 3.89 - Motor Trend, May 1965