Shelby GT350 Mustero? 1966 Ford Mustang Pickup

While the Ford Mustang was a huge success when it first came out, Ford wanted to make certain it also would have a performance reputation. For that, they brought in Carroll Shelby to add his magic and the GT350 was born. There is no indication that his firm came up with a “Mustero” version of the car – half Mustang, half Ranchero – but this car looks as though one may have been built. After 40 years of storage – and without an engine – this 1966 Mustang conversion is in Cary, Illinois, and available here on Facebook Marketplace. No price has been set. The seller is taking offers. Thanks, Paul Smith, for the tip!

Performance king Carroll Shelby worked with Ford between 1965-73, creating a Mustang that would be a sports car of sorts with a winning performance image. For 1965-66, there was the GT350 with a 289 Hi-Performance V8 that put out 271 hp. The GT500 was added in 1967 after the Mustang’s engine compartment was enlarged enough to hold a big-block V8. If you dig through various online sources, you find records on the various cars that Shelby built for Ford, but nothing about a Ranchero conversion.

On the other hand, there was a Los Angeles-based Ford dealer that built 50 Mustang/Rancheros – with Ford’s blessing – that they marketed as the “Mustero”. This was a natural conversion as both the Mustang and Ranchero were both based on the Falcon platform. Rather than just add a pickup bed to the Mustang, they instead modified the roof by moving it forward a few feet and then created a bed where the backseat and trunk were before. A vinyl tonneau cover was added to maintain the Mustang’s streamlined look. These were expensive vehicles to buy at more than $9,000 a copy. A photo of one of these is provided here for comparison (the one in yellow).

Given the difference in how the roofline was treated, the seller’s treasure doesn’t look like one of these Beverly Hills conversions. Instead, it has Carroll Shelby badging and script all over the place, including the wheel caps, suggesting that Shelby’s crew built this car/truck. The seller recently found it as part of an estate sale after being stored for 40 years. If it started life as a GT350, the special 289 motor is long gone, though an automatic transmission is still there (weren’t the Shelby’s all 4-speeds?).

The body looks good from what we can see, although the paint is chipping in front, and it looks as though the rear bumper may have been pushed in. This unit looks to have been a work truck as the inside of the bed is all scratched up. We aren’t treated to any photos of the interior, engine bay, or undercarriage, which may or may not have helped determine how this “Mustero” came to be. The seller is entertaining offers and a possible trade.

What’s a vehicle like this worth? If this could be documented as a genuine Carroll Shelby one-off, maybe it’s worth a small fortune. But if someone just cut up a ’66 Mustang and did a conversion of their own using Shelby’s imagery everywhere, it’s maybe worth very little.

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Comments

  1. Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

    ‘Scuse me; Shelby Carroll? In Yoda-speak?

    Like 5
    • Russ Dixon Russ Dixon Staff

      Brain working backwards today. Fixed!

      Like 4
  2. RayT Member

    A VIN would almost certainly clear up any questions regarding this cut-up “Stang’s provenance. If It was ever a Shelby product, it would be listed in innumerable reference books.

    Somehow, I doubt it. The “GT 350” conversion looks home-made to me, as does the pickup bed/roof shortening. The “Cobra” license plate frames are surely worth something, though….

    Like 6
    • Steve R

      The frame is worth $30.00 with free shipping, according to eBay.

      Steve R

      Like 10
  3. CCFisher

    If it’s a Shelby, it should have a Shelby American ID plate riveted to the inner fender with a Shelby serial number. My opinion? There’s no way Shelby made this. Nothing Carroll Shelby ever did stayed under the radar, because that’s the way he wanted it.

    Like 5
  4. Sam61

    Mus-turd. I would have ruined a fastback and kept the buttresses for a mustero.

    Like 5
  5. stu

    This masterpiece was a disaster from the start…love the mustang but this is just a pile of crap…

    Like 6
  6. Gord

    And if it had started life as a Shelby it would be a K code serial number.

    Like 3
  7. 454RAT Member

    If real, it would be ”provable” and probably neat and worth something. If built behind the barn by Joe-Bob and Billy-Bob; still worth something for whatever parts are salvageable.

    Like 3
  8. Ralph

    Actually I remember a couple of guys I worked with who had worked for Shelby. This was 1975, L.A. According to the story this model (not the same car as this) was built to try and convince FORD to do another Mustang body style, or get Shelby a contract to build hi po Rancheros.
    The one thing Shelby never had enough of was money. When it came to squeezing out a few more bucks, FORD seemed to have deep pockets then.
    The donor Mustang was supposed to have been damaged coming off the hauler. The story goes Shelby ended up with it at no cost, and the rest is history.
    After seeing the weird crap he built for MOPAR, I tend to find that story believable. YMMV

    Like 4
  9. mstang

    Sorry couldn’t let it pass by – the Shelby version of the HiPo 289 was 306 hp. The Ford stock version was 271 hp.
    Also Shelby did offer Automatic in 1966 (and from ’67 to ’70) and all the Hertz Shelbys were Automatic except for the first few.

    Like 1
  10. Danny V. Johnson

    If that’s really a GT350 “Mustero, it isn’t the only one out there.
    https://in.pinterest.com/pin/335799715939221246/
    There was a green one at Goodwood a few years ago.

    The Shelby American shop, when it was on Imperial Hwy. near LAX, had a Falcon wagon, converted to a panel (sedan delivery) and a Falcon Ranchero, both with Shelby Mustang components, as parts chasers.

    Like 4
  11. Howie Mueler

    No interior or under the hood photos.

    Like 3
  12. MikeB

    OMG could he have loaded any more Shelby stuff on that poor thing ? However, I really kind of like that yellow version, I could see that in my garage!!

    Like 5
  13. Patrick Anderson

    In the early ‘80’s a kit was sold to facilitate this conversion.

    Like 1
  14. David Bailey

    Hey, wait a minute. Weren’t several ’66 GT 350 H’s automatics?…

    Like 3
  15. MikeB

    Yes, most of the Hertz cars were auto. Iirc most were green with gold stripes.

    Like 4
  16. JagManBill

    never seen a green/gold one. Black/gold, White/gold and red/white were the predominant “H”s. And if I remember my H history, all were automatics. A friend has a black/gold H thats an automatic and has raced it vintage/historic here in RMVR for over 35 years.

    Like 3
    • MikeB

      You are correct Bill, only 50 were green, most were black. Unfortunately the only one I ever saw was a green one LOL. When you are 80 your memory is often a bit off.

      Like 5
  17. Sfm5

    Its as fake as a $3 bill. As for the “Musteros”, Ford licensed Beverly Hills Motors to build 50 if them. Due to the $7k+ price tag only a small number were actually built ( you could buy a Shelby or Corvette for less). Beverly Hills Motors were the same company that Carroll Shelby licensed to build 6 more “continuation” 1966 GT350 convertibles, long after the original 4 were built by Shelby. The car in this article has nothing to do with Shelby.

    Like 1
  18. MorganW MorganW Member

    Thanks for the laugh!

    Like 2
  19. ERIK

    So many forget how many Mustangs were around that “Frankensteining” was done to tons of Mustangs. For the past 30 years about 5 miles away from my house there has been a ’67 Mustang that was put on a 4×4 chassis at some point in the 1980s or earlier but has sat in the weeds for at least 30 years (hard to believe 1991 was that long ago!). Such actions done to Mustangs were no different than what many did due to the multitude of VW Beetles once on the road. Why do you think nearly every part is still made and sold to build or rebuild a Mustang or a Beetle? 1960s Mustangs being so plentiful in their time (and remained still plentiful for decades after and to some extent even still so today but everyone treating them like rare gold) is akin to Chevy Cavaliers, Honda Civics, and Toyota Corollas of their time. Look at some of the sh*t people do to 10 year old Mustangs, Challengers, and Camaros today. Do you think in 50 years people are going to wonder “What were they thinking?”. Guess we won’t be around then to know.

    Like 3
  20. Steveo

    If only there were a way to buy all the Shelby bits and tart up a Mustang to look like this…

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