Written by independent automotive journalist Steve Statham

Lot #1381 – 1965 Ford Shelby GT350 will be selling with No Reserve at our 2022 Scottsdale Auction.


More than half a century after Carroll Shelby unleashed the GT350 Mustang on the world, Shelby Mustangs have become a highly visible part of our automotive culture. While always attention-grabbing, it’s not unusual to encounter a late-model Shelby on the daily commute. That’s why it’s easy to forget that, originally, the GT350 Mustang was a pretty rough-and-tumble street companion. The first GT350s out of the gate in 1965 were sent out into the world without back seats, with trunk-mounted batteries, noisy Detroit Locker rear ends, metallic brake pads and side-exit exhausts. They were barely street legal in some locales, as Shelby’s intention was always to see these cars make a smooth transition from the street to the track, especially in the SCCA’s B-Production class.

That performance heritage is on full display with this 1965 Shelby GT350 Mustang that will be offered with No Reserve at Barrett-Jackson’s 2022 Scottsdale Auction at WestWorld, January 22-30. But equally noteworthy is that this car travels in the upper echelon of show vehicles, having won some of the most prestigious awards a Shelby can win. SFM5S257, known affectionately in Shelby circles as “No. 257,” has been restored to SAAC Division 1 Class standards, the most difficult type of concours restoration to perform.

Long before anybody ever thought about a Shelby Mustang as a showpiece, however, the 1965 GT350 was earning a reputation as a track warrior, and SFM5S257 illustrates why. Performance hardware that stiffened the suspension includes Shelby American-installed KONI shocks, override traction bars, a beefier anti-roll bar, relocated A-arms, and a “Monte Carlo Bar” installed to tie the inner fenders together and reduce flexing.

Shelby’s special twists on the Ford Hi-Po 289 V8 included headers, glass pack mufflers, an aluminum hi-rise intake manifold and Holley carburetor. Special COBRA Powered by Ford valve covers and a Cobra oil pan dressed up the engine. Shelby American rated the engine at 306 horsepower.

Carroll Shelby was not shy in expressing his pride in his new creation. In his 1965 autobiography “The Cobra Story,” he wrote, “The minute you get in, turn the key and get into gear, you know you’re in a living, fire-breathing machine, and it’s beyond doubt one of the most exciting and easiest driving cars I have ever handled.”

This GT350, in particular, gives an all-business impression with its plain steel wheels, lack of Le Mans racing stripes and trunk-mounted battery as used in early cars. The fiberglass hood with functional scoop is secured with racing-style hood pins. Inside, the dash-mounted pod holds a tachometer and oil pressure gauge to better monitor the engine.

The car was given an absolutely meticulous restoration in 2019, elevating it to its current upper-tier status. The concours level was always the goal, and this car has the awards to prove it made it. In July 2021 at the SAAC-46 convention in Sonoma, California, this car was judged and earned a Concours Premier Award. It followed that up in October at the Indiana SAAC Fall Classic convention in French Lick, Indiana, where it won another Concours Premier Award. The Premier Award is the top award given to any Shelby judged at this level, putting “No. 257” in exclusive company. It is one of only seven 1965 GT350s to ever earn the award.

Clearly, the competitive focus of this Shelby has now shifted to the show field. But whether trackside or under the scrutiny of show judges, this is one GT350 that has winner written all over it.

For up-to-date information on this vehicle, visit here.

To register to bid at the 2022 Scottsdale Auction – a celebration of 50 years of The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions – click HERE


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By: Barrett-Jackson
Title: POLISHED PREDATOR: Originally Built To Dominate A Racetrack, This 1965 Shelby GT350 “No. 257” Now Dominates The Show Field As Well
Sourced From: www.barrett-jackson.com/Media/Home/Reader/1965-shelby-gt350-no-257-crossing-the-2022-scottsdale-auction-block/
Published Date: Tue, 28 Dec 2021 20:31:41 +0000