Drag Unit 1965 Shelby GT350 Surfaces as Vintage Low 12-Second Car

Despite what appears to be a world dominated by Dodge, it’s hard to imagine drag racing today without some kind of Mustang sitting in front of the Christmas tree. And it started all the way back in the early days of the moniker.
Drag Unit 1965 Shelby GT350 11 photos
Photo: Barrett-Jackson
Drag Unit 1965 Shelby GT350Drag Unit 1965 Shelby GT350Drag Unit 1965 Shelby GT350Drag Unit 1965 Shelby GT350Drag Unit 1965 Shelby GT350Drag Unit 1965 Shelby GT350Drag Unit 1965 Shelby GT350Drag Unit 1965 Shelby GT350Drag Unit 1965 Shelby GT350Drag Unit 1965 Shelby GT350
Seeing how the Mustang was getting significant opposition from competitor muscle cars in the 1960s, one of the companies that gave the model its full attention, Shelby, decided to have some of the GT350 models made drag ready in an effort to increase sales.

Together with a specialized tuning house called Performance Associates, a number of just eight Shelby GT350s from 1965 and 1966 were modified to NHRA Sport Stock and AHRA B/Sports requirements and became known as the Drag Units.

The car you’re looking at now is such a Drag Unit. It’s, in fact, the sixth GT350 modified by Performance Associates to make it suitable for rapidly going down the strip, and just surfaced on the lot of cars auction house Barrett-Jackson will be sending under the hammer in January in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Having stayed hidden for about 50 years, according to its seller, the car comes with quite a racing history. It saw action in 1966 and 1967 in the Sport Stock series in Sacramento, Fremont, and Carlsbad, and even set an NHRA class record back then, hitting 110.83 mph (178.36 kph) and ending the run in just 12.38 seconds.

After it was retired from official runs, it competed, from 1968 to 1971, in “a little clandestine street action.” It then went into storage, where it stayed until 2013, with just 6,455 miles (10,388 km) on the clock. Now it’s selling, “unrestored and as-raced.”

And as a twist of extra appeal, it’s worth noting that, despite it not being used for a long time, the GT350 was kept road-registered each year, and it’s going with original documentation, invoices and correspondence.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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