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Mecum to auction rare 1965 Shelby GT350 Prototype

By - July 19, 2010 – 11:14 amNo Comment | 5,043 views

The 1965 Shelby American GT350 used as the engineering prototype for the 1966 models and driven by Ford factory stylist Charles McHose who created the 1967 GT350s, goes on the auction block next month in Monterrey for the first time in 40 years.

“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, which will feature the car on live television on Mecum Auctions’ “Muscle Cars and More” on Discovery’s HD Theater.

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. It may have also been the first time ever that a rear spoiler was incorporated into the design of an American production vehicle.

As a prototype, 5S319 was fitted with functional rear brake side scoops, side quarter windows, modified Shelby side stripes, under-ride traction bars and a trunk lid with spoiler. All of these new features were implemented on the ’66 models except for the rear spoiler that was introduced on the ’67 model.

The 5S319 is also fitted with a very rare 1966 Ford AM 8-Track radio, 1966 rear shelf (carpeted), 1967 Shelby wood steering wheel and a mid 60s Shelby Cobra medallion on the glove box door.

The Shelby America n Automobile Club (SAAC) verified the 5S319 as a 1965 Shelby GT350 and that it was, in fact, used as a factory engineering prototype for the 1966 Shelby GT350s, through historical records and vintage photos.

An original California “Black plate” car, GT350 #5S319 was purchased from a private collector by its present owner in 1980 and has been stored in a garage for the past 20 years. It 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.

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