Shelby's iconic Mustang GT350

Ford created a new class of car almost overnight with the introduction of the Mustang sports coupe part way through the 1964 model year, catching the rest of the US car industry off guard. The Mustang is one of the most remarkable automotive success stories of modern times. Aimed at the affluent young, for whom a car was as much a lifestyle statement as means of transport, the Mustang succeeded brilliantly, achieving sales in excess of a quarter million by the end of '64. This remarkable debut was followed by a staggering 524,791 sales in 1965, earning Ford a fortune.

Legendary Texan racing driver Carroll Shelby's team had been campaigning Ford's Mustang 'pony car' with considerable success in North America, winning the SCCA's B-Production title three years running in the mid-1960s. Capitalising on his success, Shelby began manufacturing modified Mustangs, which were officially sanctioned and sold through selected Ford dealerships. The first Shelby Mustang - the GT350 - arrived in 1965 powered by a modified version of Ford's 4.7-litre V8 producing 306bhp, with options of a 340-360bhp unit in competition trim or 400bhp supercharged.

The running gear was up-rated appropriately to cope with the GT350's increased performance, though outwardly there was little to distinguish Shelby's GT350 from the standard product apart from a pair of broad 'racing' stripes down the body centreline. On the open road there was, of course, no comparison.

Bonhams will be offering this striking 1968 Shelby GT350 Fastback at their upcoming Scottsdale Auction on the 17th January. For more information on this and other vehicles at the sale, click on the link below. Photos courtesy of Bonhams.