The early Mustang GT350 versions were often referred to as “Cobras,” which was the name of a two-seat sports coupe also produced by Shelby American. The Mustang Shelby GT350 even had the same Cobra emblem and paint scheme, and Cobra valve covers were available as an option.
Original Mustang Shelby GT350 FeaturesThe first Mustang Shelby GT350 models were equipped a K-Code 271 hp, 289-cubic-inch engine that was modified to deliver 306 hp. In the ensuing years, the GT350 became larger and heavier and included more comfort features to meet the demands of American car buyers.
By 1969, Carroll Shelby was no longer directly involved in design of the GT350. Despite offering a muscular 351-cubic-inch V-8 engine, the GT350 was now being marketed as more of a high-style version of the base Mustang, as opposed to a high-performance driving machine. The “Cobra” moniker had also disappeared by this time.
The 1969 Shelby GT350, however, remains as one of the more popular Mustang models and is ranked #43 on the Complex Rides list of the “The 100 Best Mustangs of All Time.” No Mustang Shelby GT350 models were produced for 1970, although unsold 1969 GT350s were given 1970 vehicle identification numbers.
The Shelby GT350 Anniversary EditionIn 2011, Shelby American unveiled a new Shelby GT350 to commemorate the 45th anniversary of its debut. The updated version was equipped with a supercharged 5.0L V-8 engine and numerous performance upgrades.
Shelby GT350 models featuring automatic transmissions could be converted to enable them to produce a power output of 440 hp, while manual transmissions models could be fitted with Ford racing superchargers allowing them to deliver a robust 525 hp.
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