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Out to Pasture: 1965 Shelby GT350 Barn Find

1965 Shelby Gt350 Barn Find

UPDATE 1/21/11 – Sold for the fitting amount of $350k.

This could be one of the best muscle car barn finds to come to market so far this year. We can’t think of too many things better than finding an original 1965 Shelby GT350. This one had been in the possession of the original owner since new all the way up until 2009. It is in amazing condition and has only covered 44k miles. If you are interested, this pony is going on the auction block in a few days. It will be offered by Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, Arizona this January 15th-22nd.

1965 Shelby Gt350 Barn Find Rear

This pony’s paint is all original and the Le Mans stripes show some nice patina.  Very few of these cars actually came from the dealer with the stripes and we cant help but wonder if this was one of those cars. 1965 was the first year for the GT350 and by many is considered the best. These cars were stripped out and provided the closest thing to a Mustang race car you could get without building your own.

1965 Shelby Gt350 Barn Find Interior

Inside things look showroom fresh. You can see the Shelby steering wheel with the shift stick poking out of the four speed transmission on the floor. Things look relatively tame here, but the photo doesn’t show the roll bar and spare tire where the rear seat used to be. This thing was meant to race and most did. This one looks to have escaped the abuse that most race cars experience. It is good to see what these cars looked like when excited new owners picked them up from the dealer.

1965 Shelby Gt350 Barn Find 289 Engine

Here is the jewel of this Fastback. The K-Code 289 which was modified by Shelby to generate 306 horsepower. Everything here is numbers matching and the engine has obviously been gone through to make it drivable so the next owner can enjoy it. The GT350 also featured upgraded axles out back to help lay down all that power and better brakes to slow things down.

1965 Shelby Gt350 Barn Find Side

We are just amazed at all the survivor cars that are still being dug out and brought to auction every few months. We have no doubt that this example will bring crazy money at auction. The real winner here was the person who bought the car from the original owner back in 2009. It would be great to be able to buy this car, but part of the excitement of a barn find is making the discovery and getting it for a realistic price. At least this one includes a few photos documenting the find, but it is still not the same experience. Keep looking because you never know what you might find out there.


  1. Gerry

    Is it just me, or does the driver’s door look like it’s been repainted? Still, what a find!

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  2. Paul

    Really nice looking survivor. I’d love to have this Shelby, but I’m sure I could never afford it! My ’06 Mustang V6 (with mod’s) is most likely faster, but it’s still not a GT350.

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  3. jt68

    Ya, from the second pic the paint looks different, but maybe after time the door fades differently, i could be wrong, are shelby front clips fiberglass, that could make it look different too.

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  4. Bill Shaw

    I wouldn’t classify this as a “barn” find. There are literally tons of professionally restored cars out there and this is one of them.

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  5. Jeff V.
  6. Jeff V.

    If this is a restoration they forgot the mustang emblem in the grill.

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  7. jt68

    Professionally restored, doubtful, i car that is taken care of all of its life and lived in a semi rain/rust free barn can look great 30 plus years later

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  8. Barn Finds

    Bill, I know it is hard to believe, but the auction house is claiming that the paint and interior on this car are all original. You can see flaws if you look closely in the photos. Looks like they refreshed the engine and did a major detailing.

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  9. David

    The hood is fiberglass and there was no horse “belt buckle” in the grill, just an emblem like the one on the fender of a smaller horse and the red, white and blue bars off to the side……..

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  10. the other guy

    Sounded good until mention of “upgraded rear end and brakes” – which dilute the value of what it is represented to be.

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  11. Barn Finds

    the other guy, we meant that they were upgraded from the factory. This car has not been modified. It is exactly how it came from Shelby.

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  12. p

    Wheels are nice, bad part its a Ford

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  13. Larry

    Car looks great, but if the hood is fiberglass why does it have surface rust on the underside (see engine picture). No barns were I live :-)

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  14. Mark

    good point, I think they switched back to steel hoods in 66, 65 should be fiberglass hood

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  15. David

    sure looks like rust. I know they certainly had a separation problem but I’m not sure if they used a steel frame with the fiberglass. Funny, don’t see rust on the fenders except the bolts….

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  16. David

    just did a little research, they did use a steel frame with the fiberglass hood….

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  17. Foxy

    @ Bill Shaw, if this is a pro restoration, they sure done a bad job. the blue stripe is faded bad, or is that a trick of the pro’s. I would say it came out of the barn in 09 and was just made drivable. I don’t see anything that tells me it was restored .

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  18. David

    JeffV, thank you for a great link!

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  19. mikey

    I do indeed like these. For those that have not owned a K code Ford, they are a hoot. That little 289 goes like stink and begs too be wound out.’65’s sell for a boat load of money as they as they are the purest of the vision. Just the sound of those solid lifters ……………….

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  20. Jeff V.

    Wasn’t the Hertz rent-a-racer 65′ GT350’s?

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  21. dino7

    And because it’s being offered at Barrett Jackson, somebody will pay 3-4x what the car is really worth. Thanks B-J for screwing it up for those of us that can truly appreciate these cars but aren’t millionaires….therefore we can only drool and spout off every single detail about this car (such as what the 350 reportedly stood for in the name of the car).

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  22. dino7

    Jeff:There were Hertz “rent-a-racers” fastback GT-350H models in 1966. Approximately 1000 were made, 90% were automatics. For the 40th anniversary in 2006 Ford made 500 GT-H fastbacks followed by a convertible GT-H in 2007. Both were available for rent through Hertz.

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  23. David

    Dino, the shop was 350 feet long?…..

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  24. Paul

    I believe the 350 came about when Shelby was guesstimating the distance to a neighboring building.

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  25. dan farrell

    I toured Shelby American in 1965 and all the GT 350’s I saw that day had the trademark blue stripes on white cars.

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  26. Richard

    Shelby never understood the fuss about making up a name for a car. As he’s said before, “if it’s a good car, the name won’t matter, and if it’s a bad car, the name won’t save it”. To that end, when the argument over what to name the car dragged on, an exasperated Shelby asked what the distance was between the office and the body shop (if I’m not mistaken) and when it was guessed to be “about 350 ft”, he claimed “we’re calling this thing GT-350, can we please move on now?” or words to that effect. Then, a few years later, when it came time to name the new big-block Shelby, they named it GT-500 simply because it made the car SOUND bigger than anybody else’s…..can’t argue with THAT reasoning!

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  27. tom

    Just sold on BJ for $350k

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  28. mike

    dont look like restored rust under hood on bolt heads

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  29. Daryl Roe Daryl Roe Member

    I remember the day this car was unearthed in Fresno CA. The original owner Ken bought the car in LA and quickly received his first speeding ticking northbound heading over the grapevine.lol One of the most notable things to me was that the engine bay was painted wimbleton white. I thought it was an odd custom thing but was told that it was white from the day he drove it home. with 44K miles I believe him. Sadly the engine bay was painted black as they thought it would detract value at auction or open up to many questions. I remember being sad about that. another story. Ken was an engine builder locally, and a very good one. at one point Ken took the manifold and carbs, the valve covers off the engine to work on it in the car. As they sat there to undesirable miscreates broke in to his garage and gone forever were the parts that were laying near the car. A few days later some guys walked in to Kens shop that was known to be in to shelbys. They offered to sell ken back his original parts. As Ken stalled them the police were called and Ken got his parts back….life has a way of working out sometimes.. Anyway.I love this car and got to opportunity to befriend the next owner before he sold it within the first year of ownership to the current owner.

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