Every so often, a rare pony car surfaces for collectors. Case in point: This 1965 Shelby GT350R that’s currently up for auction on Bring a Trailer.
The legendary “R” variant was the beefier successor to the street-going GT350 built to firm up Ford’s presence on the racetrack. In fact, the GT350R cemented its place in motorsports history with three straight SCCA National B-Production Championship wins in ‘65, ’66 and ’67.
This particular model, which is one of just 36 turnkey competition cars built by Shelby American in ‘65, has exceptional provenance and pedigree, which explains why it’s now heading toward seven-figure territory on BaT.
Shortly after rolling off the line, Chassis 5R213 joined a 12-city tour to promote the marque’s racing achievements. In ‘66, the GT350R was one of a handful imported to Peru by gentleman drivers interested in partaking in rallies and endurance races. The four-wheeler returned stateside in ‘84, after which it underwent a major refurb. The car subsequently achieved a Triple Crown on the Shelby show circuit in 2017 and has appeared on numerous tours.
Today, the mint-condition Mustang features its original racing livery, with Wimbledon White with Guardsman Blue Le Mans stripes and side accents. It has a few distinctive features that prove it’s a competition model, too, including the fiberglass front apron with integrated brake-cooling intakes, flared fenders, a top-vented plexiglass rear window, pull-up plexiglass side windows and riveted aluminum sail panel block-off plates.
Inside, meanwhile, the racing-style interior sports a roll bar and fire extinguisher, along with black leather seats, a wood-rimmed steering wheel and period-correct gauges. The odometer shows 9,000 miles, with the true mileage unknown.
Under the hood there’s a fresh Ford 289 ci V-8 engine with rebuilt cylinder heads and timing assemblies, a Holley four-barrel carburetor and a Cobra high-rise intake manifold. Power is sent through a close-ratio Borg-Warner T-10 four-speed manual transmission with an aluminum case. The original V-8 is also included in the sale.
With four days left on the online auction, the vintage ride is sitting at $775,000 at the time of this writing. Considering the first Shelby GT350R sold for $3.85 million in 2020 to become the most expensive Mustang of all time, the current price could jump further still.
Giddy up, bidders.
Check out more photos below: