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Gt350 Tail Light Question


OaktownACE

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I was at the Pebble Beach Tour d'elegance and I saw a 65 or 66 gt350 but the tail lights looked like a 67-68. When did Shelby put in the bar of lights and if not in the 65-66 why was this car in the tour and concourse?

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If I recall correctly, there was one “experimental” 1965 or 66 Shelby GT350 vehicle that was fitted with 65 T bird lights for a mock up but it never made it in to production because of costs and the T Bird Light assembly was heavier than the standard Mustang light assemblies. The 65/66 Shelby's were more oriented towards shedding weight where possible than the 67-68 Shelby's. If this vehicle indeed survived "as is" with the T Bird Lights and was sold to the public at some point, then it could pass as "all original" for the Concourse. Perhaps that is the one you were looking at. Maybe someone at Shelby or someone on Team Shelby can shed some further light on this vehicle?

 

Further info/Update: Chassis Number: SFM5010. This 1965 Shelby Mustang GT350 'Supercharged' is a factory prototype which was delivered to Shelby America on December 18th of 1964. It is the only 1965 Shelby Mustang GT350 prototype to be fitted with a Paxton/McCulloch supercharger. This was offered as an option in 1966. The car is equipped with Thunderbird tail lamps, which was done for show purposes. Other unique features include hand painted side stripes and GT350 logos, 16-inch Cobra-type steering wheel, white painted ram air plenum hood, and stainless-steel braided oil pressure lines. Sold for $418,000 at 2010 Gooding & Company.

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Obviously not stock, but those de'elegance type events use the French judging system, it is all about cleanliness, glitz, glamor, mile deep paint , style over substance, and luxurious interiors, not about factory delivered correct. I'm sure it was there because they needed some examples for the 50th Anniversary of the Shelby GT350.

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The OP didn’t provide a picture of the car he saw, However, if the car that the OP saw at the Concourse was Chassis SFM5010(and it probably was this car) then the T Bird Taillights are considered STOCK for this particular car because that is the way this particular Shelby left the Shelby factory when it was sold to the public and it is well documented. Its provenance and original condition with T Bird Taillights is well supported and documented from numerous sources. SFM5010 was also featured in the movie Redline 7000 starring James Caan. In the movie the car appears to still have the standard Mustang Taillights because the movie was filmed in early 1965 and not released until November of 1965. (The T Bird Lights were fitted in May of 1965 before the car was ever sold to the public). If you want to see the movie (and the car) it is available online. Red Line 7000 also has a Shelby Daytona Coupe in it and some other interesting cars from that period.

 

Here is the DETAILED history on Shelby GT350 Supercharged with T Bird Tail Lights Chassis #SFM5010:

 

Auction Description Excerpt.

“Advanced Prototype” 5010, only the tenth Shelby Mustang to be built, was delivered to Shelby-American on December 18, 1964, and Shelby’s extensive performance modifications were completed by January 25, 1965. Chassis 5010 was then sent to the engine department to be supercharged, thereby serving as the lone prototype test bed for the Paxton/McCullogh supercharger, which was offered as an option on later production cars. In May 1965, this Shelby was sent to Bill Stroppe to be fitted with its distinctive 1965 Thunderbird tail lamp units while still in its term of research and development service, a fact supported by the minutes of a Shelby American meeting. Throughout its time at the factory, the specially equipped prototype was used by Shelby-American for publicity and show purposes as was done with a handful of the earliest examples. It is the only 1965 GT350 prototype to be equipped with a Paxton/McCulloch supercharger – a feature later offered by Shelby-American as an option for the GT350 range.

As the tenth car off the line, 5010 pre-dated the familiar Shelby serial number sequence that began with “5S” for the 1965 street-prepared cars. The first 31 cars did not have the “S” in their Shelby-American numbers, hence this car is known as SFM5010. Also interesting to note, the earliest cars had their familiar blue rocker stripes and GT 350 lettering hand painted instead of the production pressure-sensitive decal strip. This GT 350 was also used to develop many of the modifications that were integrated into the 1966 GT350s, including the Shelby/Cragar road wheels, folding rear seat and functional brake cooling ducts.

It is widely accepted, given the physical evidence found in numerous places on the car, that 5010 was the promotional car rented to Paramount Studios for use in the James Caan Stock Car racing film Red Line 7000 in early 1965. The unique GT350 served as the daily driver for James Caan’s character and is prominently featured in a night scene where it can be seen drifting through the corners of Ascot Speedway in Los Angeles. The appearance of the GT350 in the film gained Shelby some early, well-placed exposure to many potential customers and racing fans.

The SAAC report further states that the car retains its original drivetrain and appears to be in unrestored condition with all its original and distinctive optional equipment present and intact. The provenance of the car is supported by documentation including the SAAC report compiled by 1965 Shelby Registrar Howard C. Pardee, dated January 24, 2007. Further documentation confirms that the Shelby and Ford serial numbers found on the car match those which are on file with Shelby-American. Today, this one-off GT350 shows less than 50,000 original miles and, with the exception of fresh paint, remains an exceptionally original and beautifully preserved example.

There are dozens of pictures of this car on the web that show its T Bird Taillights. Just search "1965 Shelby GT350 SFM5010".

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Sorry no photos as I was dragging my 3 and 5 year old boys around and was being eyed like a pariah for being anywhere near the cars by all the minders during the Tour d'elegance.

 

It must have been the above car. I think my wife took pictures of the boys and I wearing our Shelby shirts in front of the car but I don't have shots of the rear. I can't remember if the hood was open.

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That rear looks big for a 65. Maybe it's just distorted from the picture.

Nope, that's a 1965 Mustang Fastback. Looks like there is Cop or a Guard standing beside it. The GT40 is the Convertible Prototype.

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If I recall correctly, there was one “experimental” 1965 or 66 Shelby GT350 vehicle that was fitted with 65 T bird lights for a mock up but it never made it in to production because of costs and the T Bird Light assembly was heavier than the standard Mustang light assemblies. The 65/66 Shelby's were more oriented towards shedding weight where possible than the 67-68 Shelby's. If this vehicle indeed survived "as is" with the T Bird Lights and was sold to the public at some point, then it could pass as "all original" for the Concourse. Perhaps that is the one you were looking at. Maybe someone at Shelby or someone on Team Shelby can shed some further light on this vehicle?

 

Further info/Update: Chassis Number: SFM5010. This 1965 Shelby Mustang GT350 'Supercharged' is a factory prototype which was delivered to Shelby America on December 18th of 1964. It is the only 1965 Shelby Mustang GT350 prototype to be fitted with a Paxton/McCulloch supercharger. This was offered as an option in 1966. The car is equipped with Thunderbird tail lamps, which was done for show purposes. Other unique features include hand painted side stripes and GT350 logos, 16-inch Cobra-type steering wheel, white painted ram air plenum hood, and stainless-steel braided oil pressure lines. Sold for $418,000 at 2010 Gooding & Company.

 

I believe you are correct. Sorry, I do not have any proof, but I will say I have read and seen pictures of this car explaining what you said above. Kind of like a 66 GT350 out there that had an experimental rear spoiler that resembles what the 67 Shelby's have. There was only 1of 1.

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Thanks Den.

 

While we cant be sure which car the OP actually saw, but again, if it was SFM5010, then yes the T Bird Lights were on it when it was sold to the public by Shelby American. That vehicle is unrestored and in its Shelby Factory original condition. Someone else mentioned that SFM5010 was at the show so most likely that is the car the OP saw. It is a significant and interesting piece of Shelby History. If I had the chance to buy any 1965 GT350 I would buy SFM5010 over any GT350 of that model year due to its 1 of 1 uniqueness.

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