Budget 1969 Shelby GT350?

To the Mustang faithful, the name Shelby is like the Holy Grail – it conjures up trigger words like K-Code, KR, GT 500, GT 350, Cobra-Jet and so on. This exaltation has been bestowed on ’65 to ’68 Shelby Mustangs. The ’69 and ’70? Not so much so though those two years are starting to earn their collectability stripes. The question is why? Well, let’s see if we can find out by taking a closer look at a ’69 Shelby GT350, located in Fairhaven, Massachusetts and for sale here on eBay with a BIN of $45,000. Thanks to Patrick S. for the tip.

I did not know much about Shelby Mustangs until I happened upon a brand new ’68 convertible while walking home from school one day many years ago. The fact that this streetcar had a roll bar was just too cool to be true. I don’t remember whether it was a GT 350 or a 500 but I was hooked! From there, I read up on the entire Shelby Mustang creation and got an education on the three preceding years. These were my cars, I really wanted one, had to have one. And I actually got one, an AMT 1/25 model kit that cost about $1.67. Then the ’69 model came along and my enthusiasm throttled back. Why? It just didn’t seem completely right. I don’t know if it was the five hood air ducts or the center-exit exhaust or just the loss of the “ready to rumble” persona that the preceding models had.

Now under the hood, they still had the oomph, at least in the form of the GT 500 though the ’69 GT 350, like today’s subject car, gained 40 HP over its ’68 predecessor. The engine in this Shelby is a 351 CI Windsor V8, good for 290 HP. Maybe not as exotic as a 1965 306 HP 289 CI engine but plenty of power and torque to move out in style. This Shelby has a three-speed automatic transmission, less desirable than the four-speed manual, but still pretty common in a Shelby Mustang of the ’67-’68 era so not a big detraction. The seller doesn’t indicate whether the engine runs but does state that the transmission “appears to need a rebuilt” so that’s something to be concerned about.

The interior of this Mustang looks sharp! It’s basic Mustang but maybe a little more refined in Shelby form. It appears to have little wear and the seller states that it is original. No mention of floor integrity in the passenger compartment but the trunk floor looks iffy – there’s what appears to be a gooey looking fiberglass patch. Better look a little further.

The underside shows a less than ideal situation. The seller concedes that the torque boxes have rust and he’s being straight about that. The floor pans themselves look basically stout but those torque boxes are cause for concern!

The doors and quarter panels are showing some bubbling too so they’re really going to need a close inspection – when rust shows, there’s usually a bit hiding that’s not showing at least not showing yet. Additionally, the driver’s door as a shallow dent.

The seller states that this is “a beginner Shelby for a buyer with a budget.” I’m not sure how I feel about this example, it has some very nice traits, like the Shelby five-spoke wheels, but it has some obvious and not obvious or known issues. Somehow, $45K and “budget” don’t seem to go together in my mind. What do you all think? Is this a good price point for a ’69 Shelby Mustang GT 350 with the known problems or is it taking too much of a chance?

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Comments

  1. Tucker Callan

    Hmm. If you got it for 35, you would have to spend twice that to make it a quality car. So,, is a 100 Large, too much for a car of this pedigree?

    Like 7
  2. Todd

    Shelby – check
    Money pit – check
    Unless an experienced body man buys this you will be most certainly way up side down on this when restored.

    Like 5
  3. LARRY

    Just smear some mud on it

    Like 7
  4. Classic Steel

    I did the floor, torque box, channels and inner frame rails and let me tell you its work. I had prior welding experience too… One has to careful or your doors don’t align .
    I did it successfully but i was dealing with
    A 67 convertible and not a lower chain of the holy grail.

    I say run 🏃🏻‍♀️Or get your wallet out often…
    Then its an auto too 😒

    I like the 427 engine NOM KR shelby better by far ..

    Like 9
  5. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Looks like a lot of metal fabrication needed on this one so I’m thinking $45k is pretty optimistic. Granted, a desirable Mustang but there looks to be a lot of rust repair needed. The 351 Windsor does provide decent performance but doesn’t have the cachet of a big block Shelby. It’s also a little less desirable to many with an automatic trans.

    Even though I live in the rust-producing Northeast, my motto has always been “Never pay for rust.” It’s just too expensive to repair. It’s not too hard to find a clean used car but it’s pretty difficult to do up here when it comes to older cars, though not impossible. With patience, I’ve been lucky enough to find two original, low-mileage, rust-free vintage cars; one 47 years-old and the other 55 years-old. Don’t let them see snow and store them properly over the winter. That’s what us Yankees have to do to preserve our cars.

    I wish the seller luck with the sale even though I think potential buyers won’t want to pay that much for a rusty Shelby.

    Like 3
    • JBP

      A rusty car is one Thing, but if it already had rust repair, and is rusty again, or is bad made, so you are repairing a repair, or can cut the repair away, and start over again.. that realy sucks… not fun…

      Like 6
  6. Superdessucke

    Looks like it’s got Chinese springs from the ride height. I wonder what other corners they cut? Probably a lot of Pep Boys parts on there.

    Like 2
    • Ike Onick

      “Chinese Springs”?

  7. JBP

    for the Right Price, and the Right guy, this could be a cool winter Project..
    but over with cuttung Corners.. that it dosnt deserve, and i wouldnt drive more in it, before rust in torq boxes is fixt..

    Like 1
    • Ike Onick

      Many winters will pass Kemosabe before Mustang is ready to be ridden again

      Like 4
  8. Troy s

    Neat car but it doesn’t grab my attention like that ’68 GT500 with the early 427 and Centerline wheels the other day. Not that I wouldn’t want to cruise around in this more civilized ‘Stang.

    Like 1
  9. Jack Lalonde

    Get it on the road and drive it as is. Not everybody needs a show queen.

    Like 3
    • Johnny R

      Agreed Jack. The interior on this looks really good. Engines are straightforward. Underside work is what it is – work – but not the end of the world. Nice entry point for these years considering they are 70K and up. If I had the space I would jump on this but the 69-70 are my faves so it’s a no brainer for me not so much for others I guess.

      Like 2
      • Jack Lalonde

        Imagine all the attention this would just driving it with only the repairs needed. Probably have more fun also not being so worried about chipping or scratching it.

        Like 3

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