This identification / buyers guide has been written for those interested in the 1965 Ford Mustang Shelby GT 350. The 1965 Shelby GT 350 represents one of Americas most desirable muscle cars, and being the first Shelby Mustang it is extremely rare, with very low production numbers. Many features of the GT 350 can however be easily replicated on a standard mustang fastback of the same year, and it is important that as a potential purchaser or restorer that you accurately identify the vehicle.

This guide provides a full scope of identification criteria for the Shelby GT 350, including external and interior features to look for, through to correct chassis and engine number details to review.

A few statistics for the GT 350 are outlined below:

Number Produced: 562 (3 prototypes, 515 street production cars, 35 competition models, 9 drag cars)

Period of Manufacture: 1965

Please note, this page has been drafted as a guide only, and should not be relied on without seeking further professional advice. Should you have further information you would like to see added to this page, please click the "Contact Author" button at the top right, and like our Facebook Page to support this site!

1. Exterior Features - 1965 Ford Mustang Shelby GT 350

The following external features should be present on a genuine 1965 Shelby GT 350, and make a good starting point for identification of an original vehicle:

General Body Features:

  • Rear quarter air extraction vents.
  • Central bonnet vent.
  • Body available in fastback 2 seater only.
  • Fiberglass bonnets/hoods with steel frames, and full fibreglass hoods were installed, depending on the year (see this Link for further information).
  • Hood/bonnet had pin-lock hold downs



Badging & Decals:

  • Cobra G.T. 350 logo on the gas cap.
  • Cobra badge on front LHS grille.
  • G.T. 350 side stripes.
  • Two racing stripes running down the centre of the car. These were optional and many did not come with these stripes in 1965.
  • Square G.T. 350 badge on rear of car, next to RHS tail light (same as 66 model badge).



  • 5.5 x 15" heavy duty steel rims (standard).
  • 6 x 15" Crager Chromed wheels (optional).
  • See images for better description.
2. Interior Features - 1965 Ford Mustang Shelby GT 350

The 1965 Mustang Shelby GT 350 had the following original interior features as listed below:

  • All interior trim was black vinyl for GT 350 cars, including roof lining.
  • Lap seat belts.
  • Shelby American, Inc. door sill plates.
  • Black carpets.
  • Shelby floor mats (option).
  • Standard front mustang seats - rear seat was replaced with a fiberglass deck for a spare tire mount. All 1965 GT 350's were 2 seater cars.
  • A Falcon dashboard / instruments were used, modified with a pod mounted near the middle of the dash for the tachometer and oil pressure (see images).
  • Deep dish, wood rimmed steering wheel with a Cobra snake emblem in the center.
  • The horn button became a toggle switch on the dash.
  • Rear quarter air extraction vents.
3. Original Paint and Interior Colours / Codes - 1965 Ford Mustang Shelby GT 350

The 1965 Shelby GT 350 was only available in one colour:

  • Wimbledon White (Code: M / Ford Code: M1619 / Ditzler Code: 8378)


This colour came with blue GT 350 side stripes, and optional Le Mans stripes over the whole car. A few examples of the colour are given in the images.

4. Chassis Number - 1965 Ford Mustang Shelby GT 350

The Ford Mustang Shelby G.T. 350 will have two relevant chassis numbers, one being a Shelby VIN, and one a Ford VIN. Their form and location are outlined below.

Shelby VIN/Serial/Chassis number:

The correct VIN for a 65 GT350 will be in the following format: SFM5SXXX

S = Shelby / F = Ford / M = Mustang / =Model Year 1965 / S = Street / XXX= The consecutive production number.


Location of numbers on vehicle:

  1. Chassis number stamped into the manufacturers plate. This is located in the engine bay, on the LHS inner fender panel. It is installed over the Ford VIN/chassis number. You will see a small cut out of the fender edge where the plate sits (see image).
  2. Chassis number stamped into the front passenger side inner front fender panel, in the engine bay. It is located about half way between the front of the car and the firewall. The number here must of course match the number on the abovementioned chassis plate.

Note, door data plates were not installed in the Shelby GT350, as was the case with several other mustang models.


Ford VIN/Serial/Chassis number:

The correct Ford VIN for a 65 GT350 Fastback will be in the following format:5R09K XXXXXX

5 = Model year 1965 / R = Assembly Plant (San Jose) / 09 = Body Code (2-door fastback) or 09 (for convertible) / K = Engine Code (289/271hp) / XXXXXX = Individual Ford production number specific to that car.


Locations on body:

  1. As per the Shelby ID plate location, the Ford VIN is stamped into the driver's side inner fender panel, underneath where the Shelby VIN plate is riveted to the inner guard.
  2. The second location is on the driver’s side inner fender panel, on the edge of the shock absorber tower. The mudguards will need to be removed to view this.
5. Engine Number - 1965 Ford Mustang Shelby GT 350

The Ford Mustang chassis number was also printed on the engine block of the car, making it particularly handy for those who want to confirm whether a car has its original engine.

The VIN stamping on the engine block is located on the passenger side of the block, at the front, beneath the front exhaust port. You will see the VIN stamped just near the edge of the block. See images for further details. As noted, if the engine is indeed original, the stamped number should match that of the Ford VIN per the stamping locations outlined in number 4 above.

As previously detailed above, the correct Ford VIN for a 1965 GT 350 will be in the following format: 5R09K XXXXXX

  • 5 - Model year 1965
  • R - Assembly Plant (San Jose)
  • 09 - Body Code (2-door fastback) or 09 for convertible
  • K - Engine Code (289/271hp)
  • XXXXXX – Individual Ford production number specific to that car.


Note - 1966 model blue block is used in the images for example purposes only. The 1965 GT 350 cars had black engine blocks as standard.

6. Mechanical Features - 1965 Ford Mustang Shelby GT 350

An original GT 350 should have the following mechanical features:

  • Engine: Hi-Po 289 / 4,739cc small block V-8. Engine had Cobra hi-rise intake manifold. 1965 cars had a black engine block.
  • Carburetter: Holley center-pivot float 4-barrell carburetor with chrome air cleaner.
  • Rocker covers: Finned aluminum Cobra rocker covers.
  • Sump: Deep sump with cast aluminum finned shelby oil pan.
  • Bracing: A special export brace installed under the hood running from the shock towers to the firewall to strengthen the front end. Further, a Monte Carlo bar was added for strength to the front end and to keep the shock towers from flexing.
  • Differential: Ford 9" Detroit locker differential with standard ratio 3.89:1. This heavy duty, "no-spin," limited-slip rear end was made by Detroit Automotive Products.
  • Transmission: The GT 350 came with Borg Warner T-10 manual transmission as standard, with an aluminium casing and close ratio gears.
  • Suspension/shocks: The G.T. 350 came with Koni adjustable shock absorbers. The only difference between the street GT 350's suspension and the racing version was a stiffer adjustment on the Koni shocks.
  • Tyres: Special Goodyear Blue Dot hi-speed 130 MPH tires were mounted on white, 15 X 5 1/2 steel rims. The tires were 7.75 X 15 and were rated at 130 MPH.
  • Kelsey-Hayes front disc brakes. Drumb brakes on the rear.
  • Traction Bars: Early cars before number 800 received over-ride traction bars.
  • Exhaust: Light weight, tubular Tri-Y exhaust headers made for the GT 350 by Cyclone & Belanger fed straight-through pipes and low restriction mufflers.