This Identification / buyers guide has been written for those interested in identifying a genuine 1966 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350. The 1966 Shelby GT350 represents one of Americas most desirable muscle cars, and is extremely rare. Features of the GT350 can however be easily replicated on a standard mustang fastback or convertible from the same year, and it is important that as a potential buyer or restorer that you accurately identify the vehicle.
This guide provides a full scope of identification criteria for the Shelby GT350, including external and interior features to look for, as well as correct chassis and engine number details to review.
A few statistics for the GT350 are outlined below:
Number Produced: 2,380 total (1,370 standard fastbacks, 6 convertibles, 1000 Hertz fastbacks, 6 race cars) + 11 supercharged GT3540s apparently?
Period of Manufacture: August 1966
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The following external features should be present on a genuine 1966 Shelby GT350, and make a good starting point for identification of an original vehicle:
General Body Features:
Badging & Decals:
Wheels: (Several wheel styles were available, as shown in images)
The 1966 Mustang Shelby GT 350 had the following original interior features as listed below. Many of the interior features of this car are in fact the same as the standard 1966 Mustang fastback, with several unique exceptions. Note, items such as the rear foilding seats do not apply to the GT 350 convertible.
The Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 were available in the following five paint colours / codes:
Note - Most of the G.T. 350H Hertz cars received black paint with gold stripes.
All 1966 GT 350 engine blocks were painted the Ford standard dark blue, as opposed to black on the 65 model.
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 GT350 will be in the following format: SFM6SXXX
S = Shelby / F = Ford / M = Mustang / 6 = Model Year 1966 / S = Street / XXX = The consecutive production number (begins at 001 and ends at 2380 for the Shelby GT 350).
Location of numbers on vehicle:
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 GT350 Fastback will be in the following format: 6R09K XXXXXX
6 = Model year 1966 / 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:
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 GT350 Fastback will be in the following format: 6R09K XXXXXX
An original GT 350 should have the following mechanical features:
Engine: 4,739cc cast iron block.
Transmission: The GT 350 came with Borg Warner T-10 transmission as standard, with an aluminium casing and close ratio gears. An option on the 1966 GT 350 was the C-4 high performance automatic gearbox.
Carburetter: The GT 350 was fitted with a single barrel Holley type R-3259. The Manual transmission cars have a 715 cubic feet/minute carby, whilst Automatic cars had a 600 cubic feet/minute carby.
Traction Bars: Early cars before #800 received over-ride traction bars. These were the same as the 1965 cars. Later cars received under-ride traction bars.
Rocker Covers: Early cars received hollow letter style writing on the Cobra rocker covers, whilst Later cars got solid letter with black ripple finish.
Suspension/shocks: The G.T. 350 came with Koni adjustable shock absorbers as standard up to car number 252. Suspension was dealer installed after that, and varied. Several early cars received lowered A-Arms
Super Charger: The GT 350 came with an optional factory installed Paxton supercharger
Rear Differential: The GT 350 standard ratio was 3.89:1