Today’s car is 1965 Mustang Original Venice Crew (OVC) Competition Model (C/M) (Shelby GT350R) replica. I photographed this car at the 18th Annual Tony Sousa Memorial Show hosted by the LA Shelby American Automobile Club (LASAAC) held at The Zimmerman Automobile Driving Museum located in El Segundo, CA. This year they are hosting the Shelby American Employee Reunion. dozens of former employees of Shelby American Inc. returned to El Segundo, from across the country to share their stories and memories. I was invited to the event by my friend Doyle Gammel. Doyle and his father Roy fit into that category through their association through Moon Equipment Co then owned by Dean Moon. Yes, Moon Eyes! Doyle was a shop grunt and mechanic and his father was the crew chief and engine builder supporting Shelby through Moon. While at the event I was fortunate to meet such automotive icons as Peter Brock and Jim Marietta. Wow.
The 1965 Original OVC Shelby G.T. 350R Story
Founder and CEO Jim Marietta along with Peter Brock and Ted Sutton, the original Shelby American crew, are back together to build 36 one of a kind Mustangs GT350s the way they wanted to build them originally, but couldn’t due to the time, expense and other production constraints. Only 36 of the continuation OVC C/Ms will be built and are licensed by both Carroll Shelby Licensing and the Ford Motor Company. Each of the OVC C/M are built at the Shelby facility in SoCal, just as Carroll and the OVC team did in 1965. The shop hallmarks a “desk” for Carroll and one of his famous Stetsons.
This Mustang has been developed with the experimental Ford Advanced Vehicle independent rear suspension originally intended for the orginal G.T. 35o and includes several aerodynamic, aero, enhancements designed by Shelby American designer Peter Brock. They include a redesigned front valance, refined Plexiglas rear window and Plexiglas quarter windows.
The OVC are offering production versions of the popular 1965 Shelby GT350 OVC C/M sports car. Built from a restored non-k-code 1965 Mustang starting at $399,000 or the K-Code C/M starting at $499,000. These cars can be considered a bargain when an original 1965 Mustang GT350R in excellent shape is valued at $1,100,000 by Hagerty today.
A story and memory from Doyle Gammel
On this one paticular morning Shelby was suppose come in to the Moon facility and test drive the first car after Roy had finished magic,building the 260 cu in high performance engine. The car was running perfectly. Dean came in early that morning and said to Doyle let’s check the car out. They took it out behind the shop on Norwalk Blvd, in the then oil fields, and drove it around the oil wells. Dean sitting on a milk crate and Doyle on the belly pan. When they returned Carroll had been waiting in the office for about 15 minutes. Carrol was fuming because he wanted to be the first person to drive the first Cobra. Doyle said he had never see Carroll so mad. Dean laughed at him and they walked off to office already on to their next battle. The battle, what color to paint the car. Dean was adamant that nothing left his shop unless it was painted yellow and Carroll would not hear of it. They eventually came to a compromise the the car was painted Pearl White. 🤷
This car 98i is finished in Wimbledon white with Guardsman blue stripe paint scheme and race bred black interior. Powered by a 455 hp, 331 cu in, aluminum V8 engine, with Holley carburetor, MSD ignition and is mated to a T-10 Borg Warner style 4 speed transmission with 3.89:1 rear axle. It has independent front suspension with coil springs with repositioned upper A-arms and Koni shocks and competition prepared lower A-arms and spindles. The rear suspension is the original Independent rear suspension that Shelby American tested over 50 years ago. Slowing this beauty down are Kelsey Hayes disc brakes in all 4-corners. Riding on Torque Thrust wheels wrapped in Goodyear competition tires. If you are wondering why the car has wind testing tufts hanging from it. It is because it just came back from the first time the Mustang GT350 has been wind tested.
The total 0f 562 1965 Shelby G.T. 350 rolled out of the Shelby’s shop in Venice, CA of which 34 were G.T. 350Rs built specifically for racing The MSRP for a GT350 was $4547.00. It had a published top speed of 137 mph with a 0-60 mph time of 6.7 seconds.
What a great concept to build limited production licensed replica that is built better than the original as it incorporates how OVC would have built it without the production constraints at the time. This car is a great example of what can be done when the OVC decided to build the car they wanted to build in 1965 and the included the Shelby Racing Team’s lessons learned. These will be a great cars to take to Shelby events, Cars and Coffee events or for a trip to Willow Spring with the Shelby Club for one of their infamous Track Events. Thank for riding along, Frank