All-Original 1965 Shelby GT350 Sells for $522,500, Sets Record for Non-R Cars

With only 572 units built, the 1965 Shelby GT350 is not only the first-year iteration of the beefed-up Mustang but also one of the most expensive Fords ever auctioned. This particular model, an all-original pony car, changed hands for $522,500, including fees.
1965 Ford Shelby Mustang GT350 13 photos
Photo: Mecum Auctions
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Is it the most expensive Shelby GT350 ever sold? No, it is not! In fact, no fewer than six 1965 rigs went under the hammer for more than that as of September 2023. But they're all factory competition models or prototypes, which makes this example the most valuable regular-production 1965 GT350.

The world's most expensive 1965 GT350 is one of only 34 R-spec cars and the first such prototype ever made. Used as an engineering test mule and a Shelby American team car, it crossed the block for a whopping $3.85 million (including fees) in 2020. And it's also the most expensive Mustang ever auctioned, having fetched about $100K more than the 1968 Ford Mustang "Bullitt" hero car.

The next five priciest GT350s ever sold are also of the R-spec variety. And they changed hands for sums between $720,000 to $990,000 in recent years. Shelby also built one prototype fitted with a Paxton supercharger, and that car found a new home for $572,000. All told, this 1965 GT350 is only the seventh most expensive rig of its kind, but it's still the proud owner of a record price tag.

So what makes this 1965 Mustang a half-million classic beyond the fact that it's rare? Well, it's an all-original gem with numbers-matching everything. Even though it's been repainted in the late 1970s, the GT350 still sports its original sheet metal and steel-reinforced fiberglass hood. The latter hides a numbers-matching 289-cubic-inch (4.7-liter) HiPo V8. The naturally aspirated mill mates with its original T10 four-speed manual.

The fastback still features the original aluminum Shelby VIN and the three Ford hidden stamps. It has a known history listed in the Shelby Registry. It comes with a ton of documentation, including original manuals and invoices. The side-exiting exhaust pipes, Cragar wheels, and Le Mans stripes are all factory options.

But wait, there's more. This GT350 still retains all of its original Shelby-installed components beyond the engine and the transmission. The list includes rear axle limiting cables, over-rider traction bars, driveshaft safety loop, aluminum-finned T-style oil pan, 3.89 rear end, and Koni shocks. The interior is also as original as they get, down to the seat belts, oil pressure gauge, and Motolita steering wheel. Needless to say, you're looking at one of the most original 1965 Mustangs out there.

The GT350 went under the hammer at Mecum's Dallas 2023 auction. It was the most expensive classic and the second-most expensive vehicle of any era, toppled only by a 2020 McLaren Speedtail. The event also saw a 1968 GT500 Convertible change hands for $220,000 and a 1966 GT350 sell for $181,500.

Here are the ten most expensive classics auctioned off at Mecum's Dallas 2023:

1. 1965 Shelby GT350 Fastback - $522,500
2. 1958 Chevrolet Corvette custom - $346,500
3. 1968 Ford Mustang "Eleanor" tribute - $330,000
4. 1967 Chevrolet Corvette - $300,000
5. 1963 Chevrolet Corvette restomod - $286,000
6. 1963 Chevrolet Corvette - $230,000
7. 1968 Shelby GT500 Convertible - $220,000
8. 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle SS restomod - $214,500
9. 1970 Dodge Coronet R/T Convertible - $200,000
10. 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible - $192,500

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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