Shelby GT350 Fastback 1970

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GT350 Fastback 1970





The GTs lost their Cobra tag for 1969 and once again were marketed simply as Shelby GT 350 and Shelby GT 500. The GT 350 and GT 500 for the 1969 model year received an extensive face lift, the body alone increasing in length by 4 inches (100 mm). Ford was involved with design and style decisions, with Shelby having little input. The GT 350 was now equipped with a 351 cubic-inch V8. Carroll Shelby terminated his agreement with Ford in the summer of 1969.

The updated GT350 of 1969 introduced a number of stylistic and mechanical changes and, like any good car, a touch of drama. The GT350’s new engine was a Windsor 351-cubic inch V-8, registering 290 brake horsepower. Cosmetic changes included a new grille, hood, side ducts to help cool the engine and rear brakes, and an overall body length that grew by four inches.

Ford handled the redesign work of the 1969 GT350 themselves, giving Carroll Shelby little input. As a result, Shelby pulled his contract with Ford in the summer of 1969. With this in mind, Ford wanted to keep consumer interest in the GT350 alive, leading to some corporate mischief. Ford sent the 788 unsold 1969 Shelbys to Kar Kraft, the aftermarket shop that assembled the Boss 429 in Dearborn, Michigan, to outfit them with hood stripes and a chin spoiler. Ford made these modifications in 1969 in order to avoid an upcoming federal law that required the installation of an anti-theft locking steering column in 1970. Upon leaving factory grounds for a third time, these unsold 1969 Shelbys were given new VIN numbers and data plates for 1970, since the FBI destroyed the 1969 data plates.

The GT 500 always retained its unique identity, and for 1969, it featured a longer fiberglass front end, a unique grille, updated taillights and revised exhaust outlets, plus an aggressive hood with five functional NACA-style air scoops. Front and rear air scoops ducted cool air to the brakes, and inside, a roll bar, inertia-reel racing harnesses, luxurious amenities and special trim maintained the performance-oriented, limited-production character of the GT 500. While the 1969 GT 500 is quite rare with 3,150 produced, the GT 500 Convertible is much more so, with just 335 built.

As a 1970 model, this Shelby is the last of a breed. The first was the 1965 GT350 fastback, built to homologate a two-seater sports car for SCCA B-production road racing. Yes, Shelby toned down the racing mission year by year, but he still put out an extraordinary high-performance car every year. The last iteration was the 1969/70 series. Model year production for the ’69 started in November 1968, very late to get the ’69 model to market. Already in September of 1969 Carroll Shelby himself had announced Mustang production would cease at the end of the ’69 model year.

But alas, with the shortened model year, Shelby-American had ’69 GT350s and GT500s remaining unsold on dealer lots. The decision was to update the cars to 1970 models, starting with the VIN. The FBI oversaw the destruction of the 1969 VIN plates and installation of new 1970 plates – the aluminum tabs on top of the dash. Shelby-American also replaced the door data trim plates with adhesive-backed stickers.

Next, to differentiate the 1970 models from the 1969s, Shelby-American came up with a plan. They added a pair of black hood stripes and a Boss 302 black chin spoiler. The 1969s were now 1970s. The difference is readily apparent on the first glance. 

Sold for: 189750 USD
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