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1965 Shelby American GT350 Prototype Up for Grab at Mecum Monterey Auction!

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Luc Gagné
It's called « 5S319 ». It's unique and it's up for grab at the up-coming Mecum Monterey auction. This 1965 Shelby American GT350 was used as engineering prototype for the 1966 models. It was also driven by Ford factory stylist Charles McHose who would created the 1967 GT350s.

For the first time in 40 years, this original California "Black plate" car will be offered to collectors. This black license plate indicates the car remained in California since its original owner drove it off the dealer's lot!

In 1980, the present owner purchased this GT350 from a private collector. For the past 20 years, it was stored in a garage.

It's authentic!
GT350 #5S319 is listed in the Shelby Registry and is supported by over 30 years of documentation, including a period photograph of Charles McHose posing with the car in the 60's (shown among this story's photo galery).

The Shelby American Automobile Club (SAAC) also verified the 5S319 as a 1965 Shelby GT350 and confirms its pedigree.

A rare pony!
Shelby GT350s are rare, to say the least. Along with the GT500 that was launched in 1967, the GT350 was a heavily modified Ford Mustang designed to compete with the Chevrolet Corvette.

In 1965, Shelby American manufactured 562 GT350s: a few dozens race cars and a little over 500 street versions. In 1966, production reached 2,378 units in total.

"Early Shelby GT350s are one of the hottest tickets in the muscle car market today and cars with a verified Prototype status like 5S319 typically command a premium price," says Frank Mecum of Mecum Auctions.

Unique model

Charles McHose's biggest influence on the prototype is the unique rear spoiler that would become the most prominent distinguishing feature of the later model Shelby GT cars. Some say it could have been the first time ever that a rear spoiler was incorporated into the design of an American production vehicle.

Photo: Mecum Auctions
Luc Gagné
Luc Gagné
Automotive expert
  • More than 30 years of experience as an automotive journalist
  • Over 59 test drives in the past year
  • Attended over 150 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists