History of the First
1965 GT350; 5S003
1965 GT350 Mustang
"By the Numbers"
Other 1965 GT350
About Us (Updated: 7/13/21)
This web site is not about "us", but about YOU. It is a way of using the power of the Internet to pool together information and knowledge about the 1965 GT350 Mustangs. We have gathered some of the most recognizable names of people knowledgeable on the 1965 GT350's to compile their thoughts in one format. Most of these people have been actively involved in these cars for the past 20 years, on an almost daily basis. A few were present at the GT350's initial development, you just can't get any better than that!
Perhaps my favorite part of putting this web site together was the chance to spend some time with the Shelby American employees. The insights these people have is something you do not get the chance to read very often in automotive magazines or other publications. This is where the true history of the GT350 comes from, something that is unfortunately not covered in most articles.
I would like to thank Chuck Cantwell (the 1965 GT350 Project Engineer) who has spent literally hours talking to us about the development of the GT350. While I have difficulty remembering what I did last week, Chuck is able to remember the finest of details of what he did almost 40 years ago. Chuck has spent a lot of his personal time reviewing the "history" section of this web site, it is all the better due to his efforts. To Peter Brock, whom I have a hard time trying to come up with a title for, perhaps because it is not possible, you choose: driving school instructor, creator of the Daytona Coupe Cobra, GT350 co-designer, producer of some of the factory posters, ads and literature as well as developing the image for the team race cars. Thanks for your insights on 5S003. We look forward to the day we can learn more.
An area, which I am starting to begin to work on, is the documentation of stories from the Shelby American employees, including the ones who were putting these cars together at the factory. It is important that their thoughts are not lost to time. I have included a few of their stories relating to the 1965 GT350's on this web site.
We have the support of SAAC, the national Shelby club, for this project, which is instrumental. The main goal of this web site was to uncover as much information on the development of 5S003, the first street GT350 built as we could, while at the same time being as factual as possible. Two people within SAAC that have been extremely helpful in this endeavor are Howard Pardee and Rick Kopec. I have had the pleasure of working with and talking to these two people for almost 30 years now. Several hours of phone conversations with Pardee have allowed me to fine-tune virtually every area of this web site. Pardee possesses the factory records for everything that has been found pertaining to the 1965-1966 GT350's, thus giving insights to which no one else has at their fingertips. Thankfully, Pardee has not put caller-ID on his phone........yet. He has been there constantly since this project was proposed.
As if he does not already have enough things going on, Kopec has agreed to proofread the "history" section, to save it, IF he can. There are few people that have the ability to write articles pertaining to automobiles like Kopec and when it comes to the Shelby American products, with his vast knowledge, I feel he is the best. The photos inserted in the "history section" are from the SAAC archives. As of February 10, 2004, the "history of the 1965 GT350" text has been Kopecified only once so far, but it will be improved upon in the future.
A couple Washington Shelby American Automobile Club (WASAAC) members were helpful in what you will be viewing shortly. Bill Visee has helped in the real technical aspects of this web site. Dick Roush has followed these cars in the Seattle area since the early 1970's, I still contend few people know what Roush has gathered from looking at these cars so closely when the GT350's were just a few years old. It takes a book as thick as SAAC's world registry for what Roush already gathered from his past experiences. I will always be the student. The idea of having this web site would only be a passing thought if it was not for Dave McDonald (6S1757). All the text I wrote would have made it no further than my computer word pad or scratch paper without McDonald's help. If you enjoy the collection of information pertaining to the 1965 GT350's here, it is McDonald that put it all together. I'll always be indebted for these club members help.
I have been asked why the web site does not have "Shelby" in the title. In 1964, this new project was initially termed the "Mustang Cobra" at Shelby American. Other possible names that were tossed around were "Skunk"...It goes like stink! and the "Cobra Mustang Grand Sport". Carroll Shelby later settled on GT350 Mustang and as they say, the rest was history. The name "Shelby" never appeared anywhere on the car, which first occurred in 1967. Almost all the factory literature and magazine road tests referred to the car as the Mustang GT350. It was not until mid-1966, the term "Shelby Mustang" started to stick, and by 1967, the two were inseparable, but for 1965, it was simply referred to as the 1965 GT350 Mustang, hence, www.1965gt350mustang.com.
Finally, the basic groundwork for this web site has now been set, it will probably always be in a state of progression. As we gather data, areas will be changed or modified as needed. Your participation is welcome and appreciated so now it's time to hear from you - whether it has to do with areas you feel should be explored, things you feel are wrong, or items, thoughts, photos, you would like contribute, we are here. In order to make this project grow, we need your thoughts and experiences. Rather than having this written in a book form, we can change or modify ideas as they are contributed in a relatively short time. Learn and enjoy!
Thanks Chuck, Peter, Carroll and Ken,