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GT350H Wannabe: 1966 Ford Mustang K-Code Fastback

Is taking a fine and rust-free true K-code Mustang Fastback and cloning a Shelby out of it an act of upgrading, or is it a downgrade of what could have been a lovely original car? That’s the question the prospective buyer of this 1966 Mustang Fastback needs to answer. The cost of being the new owner? Over $40K, because that’s what the bid sits at here on eBay, with the reserve not met and the auction still running for another week. If this floats your boat, you can jump in, then plan a trip to Conway, SC to retrieve your buy.

The ad makes no bones about it: this car is not a Shelby, and it never was (nor will be) one. But it looks like one, and in some ways, that’s unfortunate. Why? Because rather than be what it is, it’s trying to be something else, and that nagging, “Is it real?” question will never stop being asked at shows. Nor will people get to enjoy its born-with self, for that matter. Lessening the disappointment of this might be that this conversion was done when there wasn’t so much fuss about the non-Shelby Mustangs, even a K-code Fastback, which is indeed a rare find today, and shooting up in value with every auction. In the 1970s, when this car was created as a clone, even a fake Shelby had cache that a regular production Mustang did not. That’s when there were enough of the latter to make enthusiasts think they’d be coming out of garages and barns forever, a happening much more rare as we sit here nearly forty years later.

But let’s say you don’t regret this car’s presto-change-o remake. What are you getting? An engine that is apparently an original K-289, but not the one born in this chassis. A Tremec 5-speed. Smooth paint done in clearcoat with the GT350H (Hertz rental car) livery. All of the Shelby bits and pieces from brake ducts to plexiglass quarter windows to steering wheel, too. In other words, you’re getting a thoroughgoing re-creation of the car that Shelby made 1,000 copies of, a real rent-a-racer that, urban legend has it, sometimes returned with “a” 289 lodged between the fenders, but not necessarily “the” 289 that the car had left the lot with at the start of the weekend.

I like the seller’s lingo: “This car has been parading as a Shelby clone since the 1970s.” Exactly true. You have to decide if you want that, want the real thing (a tall order more expensive, of course), or would rather pass until a nice as-born ’66 Fastback comes to market. But if you buy this one, you’ll get a good driver, according to the seller, and a car that, by looking at the pictures, has been taken care of with toothbrush-intensity as far as the detailing goes, because it sure doesn’t show a speck of dust despite having gone 3,000 miles in its current owner’s care. At the very least, I’m on board for that, authenticity aside.

Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Too many purists, not enough enthusiasts. Folks have been modifying cars one way or the other since they were first created. As I remember, modifying a perfectly good Model T sedan to make a Roadster race car look-a-like didn’t over excite the minions too much. Why pick on this car? Good workmanship and attention to detail, one that you can drive and have some fun with. As I remember, having fun with cars is what it’s all about with the gear heads… like us.

    Like 61
  2. Howard A Member

    I agree with bob^, since most were trashed, I think it’s a great tribute. Just for the record, that WAS an urban legend about the motors. I read, Hertz had a strict rental policy, and were looked over pretty well upon return. James Garner in Grand Prix put a 350H through it’s paces in the movie, giving Jessica Walter a ride of her life, so the story goes. He did all his own driving in the movie including the Mustang part. $40gs? Oy,,, well, why not?

    Like 18
    • Cadmanls Member

      What’s the big deal, clone was a name now its tribute. Point is it’s a hobby folks. Not like someone took a real Shelby and turned it into K code car. Some cars are rare and maybe existent by good fortune but bottom line you bought it’s yours and if you do drive it then do what you darned well please. Cars were meant to be driven! I may not see the day but as the world is evolving this hobby will be done. Yeah put an electric motor and batteries in a 66 Shelby or Hemi Cuda. Wake up folks drive em while you can!! You want to modify them for your driving pleasure, then please do and don’t keep it in a bubble in a hanger or whatever.

      Like 25
  3. RayT Member

    If I had had the money back in ’66, this is the car I would have built. Without the Tremec (which didn’t exist back then) and the Shelby badges and stripes, but otherwise a virtually identical piece.

    Today, I applaud my good judgment. I loved the quarter windows, the hi-po 289, and the manual transmission. A different color — not a fan of black cars — and a set of Torq-Thrusts, and it’d be perfect.

    Can’t bad-rap a guy for doing his own version of what I wanted to do!

    Like 21
    • Gary

      You are spot on Ray, exactly as I would do it.

  4. pwtiger

    I’d love to have it, less than 1/2 what a real one would cost. Is that a Shelby tag on the inner fender? This got me thinking , did the original 350’s start out as a K car?

    Like 4
  5. Frank Sumatra

    Why not? As long as you avoid AARP-sponsored events, no one will have a clue what it his. I like it a lot. We had my youngest son’s goalie mask done up in the Hertz GT livery with some very subtle pinstripes and some nice metalflake in the gold striping.. As his team colors were black and gold, it was pretty cool.

    Like 6
  6. Charles Atlas

    How much hotter in temperature does a black painted car run?

    Like 4
    • Emilio

      I’m guessing 10-15°?

      Like 2
    • Rallye Member

      A lot!
      Many times I vintage road raced a black tin top (closed) front engine car in 2 hour enduros. Sometimes with the air temp above 90f and humid. My suit never got that heavy in anything else I ever drove.

      Like 2
  7. David Sawdey

    It’s his car,he can do what he likes with it. If you don’t like it,don’t bid on it. Sheeeesh! I personally love it. Being partial to Ford and Mopar,this is a beautiful car,and a wonderful tribute car. Wish I could buy it.

    Like 13
  8. Jay E. Member

    Just fib a bit and say it is real at shows. It won’t make any difference to 99% and they will still enjoy a really nice car. Make up a story about how your Dad new Carroll, its not like you are selling it. All it needs is a signed glove box to make it “real”. I like it, all the cache and not alot of coin. The stance it perfect..

    Like 4
  9. HC Member

    I agree with most all comments. This guy did a great job making the Mustang he wanted, and with great attention to details. I’d love to have this car. Also learned something new. I didn’t know the Shelbys had plexiglass rear qtr windows. Good find

    Like 5
  10. Fran

    Putting a Shelby tag on it even if repro is un cool

    Like 5
  11. smokeymotors

    Look it, I agree with the author every show, every person is going to ask is it real? but the easy answer IS take off all the shelby tags, replace them with some kind of other of your choice, the lower stripe can remain but change the GT 350 to something else! done nice car! actually could care less if it said shelby and save $50,000 ! sounds like a deal!

    Like 3
  12. J R Jones

    I owned a 1966 Shelby GT350 from 1967 to 1971 when I sold it to buy a Shelby BP race car. After decades the street car was restored and reworked to be a vintage race car for ~$35K. It was offered back to me but in a purist sense it would have cost $30K to make original again. It sold on BaT for $135K. Now original street Shelbys bring $150-$190K. The car was severely wrecked at Sebring this year with an estimated seven months to repair. Rich guys and dealers have driven up prices on the one hand. On the other hand some owners ignore the costs of modifying cars. At least my old car will go into the future as history and it is enjoyed until it becomes like a Rembrandt as a museum item.

    Like 3
    • Fran

      Was your car blue?

      • J R Jones

        Actually both cars were blue. The street car turned race car still is blue. The race car raced BP and GT1 in dark blue, but is on the west coast and I do not know the color now.
        jim

        Like 3
      • J R Jones

        The other

        Like 3
  13. Troy s

    The whole Shelby clone thing is just another approach to car crafting, easily could have just went the “street machine” route or any number of ways…worked 351 Cleveland, a Gas Ronda big block drag car sorta thing, the most boring way I can think of is factory dealer lot as pure as they come original. I like this ‘Stang and the 5 speed makes good sense, begin making up stories to tell Everyone who asks about your rare Shelby, lol.

    Like 4
  14. TED W.

    As Howard mentioned it looks like the car James Garner drove in Grand Prix, in 1966. Being a Corvette guy, this is probably the only other Mustang I like. I hope it gets a good home.😎👍🏻⚓️🔱🇺🇸

  15. rancher

    Small ‘Clone/Tribute’ decal somewhere on the car would answer the question.

    Like 3
  16. peter havriluk

    Mustangs were born as cheap throwaway toy cars. Ford figured out how to charge lots more for Falcons if they could wrap some fantasies around them. And it worked beautifully, and everybody was happy. Ford also managed to sell 1000 modofied K-Mustangs to a car rental company by using the reflected image from Shelby. So what’s one more K-Mustang dolled up to look lie another Modified Mustang? Have a ball. I think it’s neat, nearly sixty years on, somebody is still hot-rodding Mustangs! Gotta love it.

    Like 4
  17. Dannys Mustangs

    facts a 1966 fastback is worth 33 + Kmotor 10 case closed…. Dannys Mustangs.. p.s. all K mustangs most were the HEART of the shelbys 19656667) thanks Dannys Mustangs

    Like 2
  18. bikefixr

    48K…sorry, no. Clone, tribute, fake…all the same. Pretending to be something it’s not. Try ‘cloning’ a $100 Bill and see where it gets you. For this kind of money, faded carpets, non-original motor and trans, under hood is a disjointed mess of aftermarket and OE…sorry. Not for me. I would have left it as a nice K-code.

  19. Howie

    Why are so many people bent out of shape on this? Do they also complain about the AC Cobra kit cars? We you have a original and never drive it, a repro. lets you have fun on the streets.

    Like 8
  20. HC Member

    Although I like this Fastback I didn’t say I’d pay $40k plus for one that doesn’t have power disc brakes, power steering or factory AC. That won’t happen and those upgrades ain’t cheap.

    Like 1
  21. Fran

    Being a factory k code. That car got degraded perpetrated a fraud. Make a Shelby a Shelby and make a rare mustang a Mustang.

  22. Shuttle Guy

    It looks great! Let wonder just like we wonder about real or fake boobs. :)

    Like 5
  23. Fran

    Really fake boobs? You wonder???

    Like 2
  24. Steve Visek

    The advantage of ownership….you can do what you want with it. As long as you don’t try to defraud anyone when selling it, then so what?
    Personally, I’d look at it as having 4 different cars/experiences in one:
    1) First you can enjoy it as is and drive it until you tire of it.
    2) Then maybe turn it into a racer and enjoy vintage racing it for a few years.
    3) Then nut-and-bolt restore it back to perfect better-than-new and do the car show thing.
    4) And finally, once it’s an older restoration no longer winning the big trophies, use it as a fun ’66 K-code 2+2 driver like it was in the late ’60s before it became the Shelby GT350 clone it is today.
    Sounds like a win-win-win-win situation to me.

    Like 7
  25. Nick

    I had a real K Code a number of years ago. Same color as this one. Purchased from original owner in SF Cal.area. Car never in rain. Always garaged. Only problem was rear-end had to be rebuilt. (21k original miles). Still nave pictures of car in car-show and 2nd place trophy. Couldn’t get a smog certificate, everyone said it had been modified with all smog equipment removed. Got Highway Patrol involved. Car was exempt along with a certain Pontiac.

  26. Ike Onick

    Re-badge it as a “GT 175” Problem solved.

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