1. 1966 Shelby GT350

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Lot Number
38
1966 Shelby GT350
The Pacific Grove Auction

ESTIMATE: $125,000 - $175,000
CHASSIS NO: SFM6S1159
• Single-owner GT350 since 1984
• Verified by SAAC GT350 Registrar, Howard Pardee
• Highly competitive and campaigned racecar; California road-registered
• History well-documented in the SAAC Shelby Registry
• Mechanicals and maintenance by the best names in California racing

289 cid Ford High-Performance solid-lifter V-8 engine, single Holley four-barrel carburetor, 450 HP (street tune)/500 HP (racing), four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs and anti-roll bar, live rear axle with leaf springs and traction bars, front disc and vented rear drum hydraulic brakes; wheelbase: 108"



FINALPACIFIC from MFI Media on Vimeo.




Purpose-built to homologate Ford’s wildly successful new Mustang for SCCA road-racing competition, Carroll Shelby’s original GT350 utterly dominated the opposition, particularly Chevrolet’s Corvette, to secure three straight SCCA B-Production National Championships in 1965 through 1967. On the street, the GT350 was quite a challenging race-inspired drive, thanks to its stiffly tuned chassis, high-effort competition brakes, cop-baiting dual exhaust, and squealing rear tires protesting at the mercy of the hard-core Detroit Locker rear end. Several revisions for 1966 successfully maintained the basic character of the GT350 while making it somewhat less demanding on its drivers and passengers. Still, the GT350’s all-conquering image and performance made it irresistible to many would-be racers.

Taking advantage of the greater production capacity offered by Shelby American’s move to larger production facilities by 1966, General Manager Peyton Cramer targeted the Hertz rental-car company as a potential fleet buyer for the GT350. Cramer rightly figured Hertz would be receptive, since it had just switched its rental fleet from Chevrolet to Ford. An initial order for 200 cars quickly grew to 1,000 – nearly 40 percent of total GT350 production for 1966. The Hertz program generated massive publicity for Shelby American and drew thousands of potential Ford buyers to dealer showrooms. In 1967, Hertz advertised its 1966 Shelby fleet for sale, with some sold directly from Hertz and a number sold via Ford dealers. Quite often, these as “Rent-A-Racer” GT350s were re-introduced to their spiritual home – the racetrack.

Numbered SFM6S1159, this original GT350H is documented in the Shelby Registry published by SAAC. Factory-finished in blue, it also received a radio unit installed at Carroll Shelby’s Hi-Performance Motors of El Segundo, California on March 1, 1966. Shipped to Metke Ford Motors Inc. of Bellevue, Washington on March 4, 1966 for dealer preparation prior to delivery to Hertz Rent-A-Car in Seattle, the car was invoiced at $3,514 plus $104.56 for chrome Magnum ‘500’ wheels, $45.45 for the radio, $39.58 for a power-brake booster, $20 pre-delivery charge, and $141.75 freight for a grand total of $3,865.34. Following retirement from the Hertz rental fleet, 6S1159 was purchased by Californian Ken Nelsen. He subsequently advertised it for sale in the March 1973 Cobra Club newsletter and one Mr. Johanis, also of California, purchased it and had it painted white with blue stripes. The consignor purchased the GT350 in 1984 and by 1989, the car was set up for vintage racing with an R-model front apron, fiberglass rear bumper, and the other necessary performance modifications and safety equipment for competition use. Dave Dralley performed suspension work in 1996. The GT350’s original 289 V-8 was rebuilt during the early 2000s by Michael Eisenberg’s respected MAECO Motorsports firm, and a subsequent engine rebuild, and maintenance work were performed by Steve Beck of Checkpoint Automotive.

The GT350 was raced under VARA and SVRA auspices about four times annually through 2015. Among its many entries over the years were the Palm Springs road races from 1989 through 1997, races at Pomona, California, where it took First Place in the B-Production 1 class, and various GT350/Trans Am races at SAAC conventions. Most recently, the consignor participated in a 38-car field of GT350s at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, which celebrated the landmark 50th Anniversary of the launch of the all-conquering Shelby GT350. Capable of being tuned for the street or the track, this 1966 Shelby GT350 is road-registered in California and occasionally street-driven, making it quite likely one of the world’s fastest street-legal GT350s.

1966 Shelby GT350
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