302ci OHV V8
Holley 4-Barrel Carburetor
250bhp at 5,000rpm
4-Speed C-4 Automatic Transmission
Coil Spring Front Suspension, Semi-Elliptic Rear Leaf Springs
Power-Assisted Front Disc with Rear Drum Brakes
*Delivered new to Tampa, Florida
*A well optioned example
*Documented by a copy of the original invoice and Marti Report
*Entered into the Shelby Registry
THE SHELBY GT350
Starting with the 1968 model year, the Shelby Mustang program had some major changes. In addition to convertible models being offered, the GT350 now received the newly released larger displacement 302 cubic inch small-block, and even though the horsepower rating was than the previous GT350's, it was still a potent machine with a 600 cfm Holley V8 atop a Cobra aluminum intake manifold. Add to that the oval aluminum air-filter and those Cobra emblazoned valve covers and it was game-on. Production of the basic Mustangs destined for the Shelby program switched from the San Jose, California plant to Metuchen, New Jersey. From there the partially completed cars were shipped to the A. O. Smith company in Southfield, Michigan. There the fiberglass hood, unique fascia and special taillights, plus other Shelby exclusive parts such as console, gauges and badging plus special options, were added according to the customer's orders.
Also new this year was the serial number or VIN system issued to Shelby Mustangs. Up to 1967, Shelby created their own serial number system, deleting or masking the original Ford numbers. For 1968, Shelby Mustangs retained their Ford issued VIN, at the very start of the model year plus a Shelby derived VIN that included year, model, body style, engine and transmission. This complicated system was applied to around 150 early units. Most 1968 Shelby Mustangs retained their Ford issued VIN, followed by a Shelby specific VIN consisting of simply five digits. Serial numbers were issued at the factory when the orders were received. When a group of orders arrived at Metuchen from a dealer or a district sales office, the unit sequence numbers were issued in consecutive order at that point. Shelby orders usually arrived at the Metuchen plant in batches of anywhere from 20-25 to up to 150 cars at a time, and as a result, Ford would issue VINs to these cars in the order they were processed. After the serial numbers were issued, the orders were sent to production scheduling to determine when each car would actually be assembled. From that point on, consecutive numbers were separated and rarely ever kept together. It wasn't uncommon for higher unit numbers to be produced out of order, often with no rhyme or reason.
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
On February 7, 1968, an order was placed by Bill Currie Ford in Tampa, Florida for this Shelby GT350. According to a copy of the original Shelby America invoice, this GT350 was ordered in Acapulco Blue over Black vinyl with a white convertible top and a number of options including Select-O-Matic [C-4 automatic] transmission, Tilt-Pop steering wheel, AM push button radio, three-point front seat belts, and power steering and brakes. The total, including transportation charges, came to $4,746.15. Swiftly dispatched to Ford and Shelby, the car was scheduled to be built on March 12 but was actually completed a week early on the fifth.
One of only 231 GT350s to be finished in Acapulco Blue in 1968, it appears this Shelby would spend much of its life in the Sunshine State into which it was first delivered. From the 1990s through 2015, the GT350 resided in a West Palm Beach, Florida museum. The GT350 would later make its way up to Pennsylvania before finding its way to the current owner.
Restored at some point in the original colors, the car shows well today and would make a fine addition to any collection. Documented by the aforementioned copy of its original invoice and a Marti Report documenting its original build history, the opportunity to acquire this fine GT350 is not to be missed.