1965 Shelby Mustang GT350
This blue striped beauty is number 517 of the 562 Shelby Mustang GT350s built in 1965. The smallest and lightest of the GT 350 models, the 2-seater fastback came with the ‘Cobra hi-riser’ K-Code 289ci, 306 hp V8 attached to a 4-speed manual transmission. As with all 1965 GT350s, 5S517 is painted Wimbledon White with Guardsman Blue rocker stripes. It has the optional Le Mans top stripes, also in Guardsman Blue.
Finished in July of 1965, 5S517 remained in Shelby American's possession until January of 1966 when the car was finally sent out into the world to find its first owner.
It found a home in the spring of 1966 with Fred H. Thompson of Jackson, MS. After a couple years of use Fred fancied a 1962 Corvette belonging to Ronnie MacDowell, also of Jackson, MS and traded the car straight across. MacDowell got the itch less than a year later, and 5S517 was swapped again, this time to Mississippi lawyer and racer Sam E. Scott for a 1967 Shelby GT350 #097.
Scott was a partner with Car and Driver editor William Jeanes in the legendary Southern good times racing team, Bolus & Snopes. Known for their lighthearted attitude towards professional racing, they were reported to have had a blimp called the Graf Bolus II that was always about to land at the local track; a steamboat called the Robert E. Snopes that was laden with beer, car parts, and a harpoon gun; and their team mascot, Dick Johnson, was a sorrel mule that had either escaped captivity or been kidnapped. Poster and stickers would be seen all around the tracks stating that Bolus & Snopes had lost their ass.
One of their most famous moments was at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1971 when they were running in the 9th hour and the car started to fail. They put out the pit board that said, 'IN - WASH.’ The car came in and they proceeded to wash the car in the pits until the end of the race, and then sent the sparkling car out for the final lap and the checkered flag.
While they were campaigning their famous former Hertz rental car, a 1966 Shelby GT350H (#6S1828) the racing engine began to give up the ghost. So it was decided in true Bolus and Snopes fashion to pull their ailing racing engine at the track and put in the motor from Scott’s street GT350. You guessed it, that day 5S517 gave up its motor in the name racing.
Scott eventually sold 5S517 to one of his crewmembers, Jamie Allen, in 1974. Shortly after Allen's purchase the car was featured in the 9/74 issue of Car and Driver, written by Bolus and Snopes owner, William Jeanes. Interestingly the photo of 5S517 on the road was taken from the back seat, which had been put in by the original owner.
Allen drove the car infrequently and eventually moved to France leaving the car in storage with Scott. After watching the car languish in storage for many years Scott repurchased the car in November of 1998, and enjoyed it once again until 2005. In July of 2005 Scott once again sold the GT350, and the new owners set about a complete restoration of 5S517 that was completed in 2006.
The result is immaculate. Immense attention was paid to the details and execution of the work. Such care was taken in the restoration that the car is presented with all the factory chalk marks, warning tags, and paint inspection stamps. It is a perfect balance of show winning execution, but not so overdone that it cannot be properly enjoyed where it belongs - on the open road.
5S517 was driven in the New England 1000 and ran flawlessly. Since restoration it has been serviced regularly and extremely well looked after. It has a Shelby Serial Number Verification, and has also been verified by Shelby expert Howard Pardee.
Since arriving at Canepa, 5S517 has received a thorough inspection and has been found to be an excellent car. This exquisite Shelby would be the centerpiece of any collection of significant cars.
The 1965 Mustang GT350 will always remain in the exclusive realm of Shelby automobiles, and as it passes its 50th birthday will undoubtedly prove to be an excellent investment.
"It was loud, rough, scary and as dependable as any car ever made. Never again would anything like it be produced for public consumption" Car and Driver, September 1974.