Bold School: 1965 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

Americans in the 1960's didn’t want to live in the cities; they wanted to live in the suburbs, so developers made all these little towns on grids. This meant 90 degree turns everywhere you went. Thus, American cars from that era never had to do anything other than go very fast in a straight line. And they were all about excess. Domestic manufacturers thought, “Let’s take the regular car grandma would buy, put a huge V8 in it, some pizza cutters up front, big slicks in the back and turn it into it into a drag car.” Enter the Ford Mustang. Now, you could’ve bought the six-cylinder version of this; that’s what the hairdressers drove. But the V8 meant you were a bank robber. When you drive a 1960’s Mustang, you truly feel like Steve McQueen, which is why we got one for our Classic Car Club garage. I traded a guy a membership for ours, which already had a fair amount of work put into it. What a beauty we got. It’s the quintessential ‘Stang. It’s got a 302 V8 motor in it, the same motor that originally came in the 302 Boss. It had normal aftermarket headers, so we had to really think about how to do the line from the stick shift to where the transmission actually changes gears, since it was no longer a straight shot. Most people would bend it and the clutch would feel smushy and I hated that. So I had my wife’s dad and brother (both pro drag racers) create a one-of-a-kind pulley system to make it all fit. They tuned it perfectly and it shifts really well as a result. I’ve kept tweaking it over the years. We put in a smaller ratio steering rack in it, so to make a left, I’d just have to do a quarter turn on the wheel instead of one and a half times. It still has extremely vague steering, though. It’s like walking my dog. I might want to make a left at the corner but my dog is still going to try to go straight. And I’ve got to fight every time. We also put new brakes in it, because vintage rides can’t stop as quick as a modern car. Lastly, we put in a nice, big radiator because it used to always overheat. But those are the quirks that I love about older rides. I like that nothing works. For example, air conditioning technology in 1965 was heinous, so you just know that it’s going to be really hot in the summer and very cold in the winter and that the windshields are going to fog up, no matter what. You know that if you leave the interior lights on for 45 minutes, you’re not going to have any battery left. I even like feeling that if I crash, I know I’m going to get shuttled to the hospital because it’s not particularly safe. I also like that it’s light and that it jumps because it’s not held back by anything. There are no computers; nothing stepping in trying to determine what I want to do or should be doing differently. It’s all up to me. I like you can break the wheels loose in every gear because it has that torque without the weight sacrificing it. Mostly, I enjoy that anyone who looks at it knows how badass it is. It has racing stripes and it’s done everything right to earn them. Among the most badass facets is the fact that if I gun it down a quiet NYC street, it’s so loud that it’ll set off every car alarm on the block. THE BASICS Make: Ford Model: Mustang Year: 1965 Engine: 4.7L V8 Horsepower: 306 Car Type: Classic, Muscle Car See more of the 1965 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 here