A superb and rare photo, made from what we believe is the original negative, of the very first constructed (!!) , new and ever so impressive 1965 Ford Shelby GT 350 Mustang, photographed for its introduction or debut in the new model year 1965. According the spec. sheet that came with the negative, this image was made at the Shelby American Los Angeles Airport Facility in California, USA.
The Shelby Mustang is a high performance variant of the Ford Mustang built from 1965 through 1970. Following the introduction of the Fifth-generation Ford Mustang the Shelby nameplate was revived in 2007 for new high performance versions of the Mustang. The 1965 and 1956 GT350 and GT500 are properly not called "Cobras", which was the Ford-powered AC-based two-seat sports car also produced by Carroll Shelby during the same period. The confusion arises from the optional "Cobra" valve covers on many GT350s, part of a marketing tie-in by Shelby. All 1965-66 cars featured the "K" code 271 hp 289, modified to produce 306 hp. 1965-66 GT350s were delivered from Ford's San Jose assembly plant as "bodies in white" for modification by Carroll Shelby's operation, originally in Venice Beach and later at Los Angeles International Airport. All but one 1965 GT350s were painted Wimbledon White with Guardsman Blue rocker stripes. The one exception was blue with white stripes. Contrary to popular belief, very few GT350s were delivered with the optional "Le Mans" hood, roof, and trunk stripes, an option which was usually installed by the dealer. Today it's difficult to find a GT350 not so equipped. 1965 cars had the battery relocated to the trunk, featured overrider traction bars, relocated A-arms, and other modifications. 1966 saw the introduction of non-white colors — including blue, red, green and black. Other changes include special quarter-panel windows replacing the factory extractor vents, functional brake scoops on each side and optional automatic transmissions, as well as the addition of an optional Paxton supercharger. The battery was no longer relocated to the trunk for 1966, and the over-rider traction bars were discontinued. A fold-down rear seat was now standard. Where early 1965 cars had black engine blocks, 1966 and later cars had the 289 engine painted blue. The first 252 GT-350s for 1966 began as 1965 Mustang K-Code Fastbacks. Often these first 252 1966 GT-350s are referred to as "carry-over" cars, but this is not the case. These 252 1965 Model Mustangs were specifically ordered by Shelby American for conversion into 1966 GT-350 Mustangs. They were not "left over" from the 1965 production, at all. They had the 1965 Ford Mustang Bodies and 1965 Ford Mustang serial numbers under their Shelby serial numbers. They mostly had 1965 features including standard Koni shock absorbers and engines painted black. Blue engines did not appear in 1966 until after these first 252 GT-350s were produced. 1966 production was 1373 fastbacks, including two prototypes and four drag cars, and 252 early production models with Ford Mustang 1965 bodies. 1001 Hertz fastbacks were produced, including two prototypes. Four convertibles were also produced, for a total of 2378 units for 1966. A small number (how many remains unclear) of '66s were fitted with Paxton superchargers, but not the No-Spin limited slip differential, with an option price of US$670; the engine was rated at 440 hp (330 kW). Shelby struck a deal with the Hertz Corporation to produce a special line of GT350s for rent which were subsequently sold to the public after their rental-car lives were finished. These "GT350H" cars are sought-after today, with some examples selling for more than $200,000. Shelby produced 1000 of these cars. Most Hertz cars featured gold LeMans stripes and rocker panel stripes. Some were white with blue stripes. Early Hertz cars were available with four-speed manual transmissions until so many cars were returned from rental with burned and broken clutch assemblies that all of the later cars shipped to Hertz were equipped with an automatic transmission. There are stories, possibly apocryphal, that many were rented to use as production class cars at SCCA events, returned with different engines, holes where roll bars had been welded in, etc., etc. 1965-66 GT350s were successful racers, and had many production-class victories. 1966 production numbers: GT350 — 2,378 units (four were special order convertibles for Carroll Shelby, the rumor is that six were made, but only four VINs have been discovered). For 1967, the GT 350 carried over the "K" code high performance 289 with a COBRA aluminum hi-rise. The GT 500 was added to the lineup, equipped with the 428 Police Interceptor. These later cars carried over few of the performance modifications of the 1965-66 GT350s, although they did feature more cosmetic changes. In September 1967, production was moved to the A.O. Smith Company of Ionia, Michigan, under Ford control. Shelby had very little involvement after this time. As Shelby's two-seat Cobra sports car production ended in 1967, the Cobra name was applied to Shelby Mustangs for the first time in 1968. In February 1968, the GT500KR "King of the Road" debuted; under the hood was a 428 cubic-inch Cobra Jet V8 which was conservatively rated at 335 horsepower (250 kW).
The Ford Mustang made its first public appearance on a racetrack little more than a month after its April 17 introduction, as pace car for the 1964 Indianapolis 500. The same year, Mustangs achieved the first of many notable competition successes, winning first and second in class in the Tour de France international rally. The car’s American competition debut, also in 1964, was in drag racing, where private individuals and dealer-sponsored teams campaigned Mustangs powered by 427 cu. in. V8s. In late 1964, Ford contracted Holman & Moody to prepare ten 427-powered Mustangs to contest the National Hot Rod Association's (NHRA) A/Factory Experimental class in the 1965 drag racing season. Five of these special Mustangs made their competition debut at the 1965 NHRA Winternationals, where they qualified in the Factory Stock Eliminator class. The car driven by Bill Lawton won the class. A decade later Bob Glidden won the Mustang’s first NHRA Pro Stock title. Early Mustangs also proved successful in road racing. The GT 350 R, the race version of the Shelby GT 350, won five of the Sports Car Club of America's (SCCA) six divisions in 1965. Drivers were Jerry Titus, Bob Johnson and Mark Donohue, and Titus won the (SCCA) B-Production national championship. GT 350s won the B-Production title again in 1966 and 1967. They also won the 1966 manufacturers’ championship in the inaugural SCCA Trans-Am series, and repeated the win the following year. In 1969, modified versions of the 428 Mach 1, Boss 429 and Boss 302 took 295 United States Auto Club-certified records at Bonneville Salt Flats. The outing included a 24-hour run on a 10-mile (16 km) course at an average speed of 157 miles per hour (253 km/h). Drivers were Mickey Thompson, Danny Ongais, Ray Brock and Bob Ottum. Boss 429 engines powered Ford Torinos in 1969 and 1970 NASCAR racing. In 1970 the Mustang won the manufacturers’ championship in the Trans-Am series once again, with Parnelli Jones and George Follmer driving. Jones won the drivers’ title. Two years later Dick Trickle won 67 short-track feature races, a national record for wins in a single season. In 1975 Ron Smaldone's Mustang became the first-ever American car to win the Showroom Stock national championship in SCCA road racing. Mustangs also competed in the IMSA GTO class, with wins in 1984 and 1985. In 1985 John Jones also won the 1985 GTO drivers’ championship; Wally Dallenbach Jr., John Jones and Doc Bundy won the GTO class at the Daytona 24 Hours; and Ford won its first manufacturers’ championship in road racing since 1970. Three class wins went to Lynn St. James, the first woman to win in the series. 1986 brought eight more GTO wins and another manufacturers’ title. Scott Pruett won the drivers’ championship. The GT Endurance Championship also went to Ford. In drag racing Rickie Smith’s Motorcraft Mustang won the International Hot Rod Association Pro Stock world championship. In 1987 Saleen Autosport Mustangs driven by Steve Saleen and Rick Titus won the SCCA Escort Endurance SSGT championship, and in International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) racing a Mustang again won the GTO class in the Daytona 24 hours. In 1989, its silver anniversary year, the Mustang won Ford its first Trans-Am manufacturers’ title since 1970, with Lynn St. James winning the drivers’ championship. In 1997, Tommy Kendall’s Roush-prepared Mustang won a record 11 consecutive races in Trans-Am to secure his third straight driver’s championship. In 2002 John Force broke his own NHRA drag racing record by winning his 12th national championship in his Ford Mustang Funny Car, Force beat that record again in 2006, becoming the first ever 14-time champion, again, driving a Mustang. Currently Mustangs compete in several racing series, including the Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup and the KONI Challenge, where it won the manufacturer's title in 2005 & 2008, and theCanada Drift, Formula Drift and D1 Grand Prix series. They are highly competitive in the SCCA Speed World Challenge GT Series. As reported by Jayski.com, the Ford Mustang will be Ford's Car of Tomorrow for the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2010, opening a new chapter in both Mustang's history and Ford's history.
The 1965 Mustang won the Tiffany Gold Medal for excellence in American design, the first automobile ever to do so. The Mustang was on the Car and Driver Ten Best list in 1983, 1987, 1988, 2005, and 2006. It won the Motor Trend Car of the Year award in 1974 and 1994. In 2005 it was runner-up to the Chrysler 300 for the North American Car of the Year award and was named Canadian Car of the Year.
Production of the Ford Mustang began in Dearborn, Michigan on March 9, 1964 and the car was introduced to the public on April 17, 1964 at the New York World's Fair. It is Ford's second oldest nameplate currently in production next to the F-Series pickup truck line. However the F-series pickup truck has undergone major nameplate changes over the years. The Mustang was Ford's most successful launch since the Model A. Executive stylist John Najjar, who was a fan of the World War II P-51 Mustang fighter plane, suggested the name. An alternative view was that the Mustang name was first suggested by Robert J. Eggert, Ford Division market research manager. Eggert, a breeder of quarterhorses, received a birthday present from his wife of the book, The Mustangs by J. Frank Dobie in 1960. Later, the book’s title gave him the idea of adding the “Mustang” name for Ford’s new concept car. As the person responsible for Ford’s research on potential names, Eggert added “Mustang” to the list to be tested by focus groups; “Mustang,” by a wide margin, ” came out on top under the heading: “Suitability as Name for the Special Car.” The Mustang created the "pony car" class of American automobile — sports car-like coupes with long hoods and short rear decks — and gave rise to competitors such as GM's Chevrolet Camaro, AMC's Javelin, and Chrysler's revamped Plymouth Barracuda. It also inspired coupés such as the Toyota Celica and Ford Capri, which were exported to America. Mustangs grew larger and heavier with each model year until, in response to the 1971-1973 models, fans of the original 1964 design wrote to Ford urging a return to its size and concept. Although some other pony cars have seen a revival, the Mustang is the only original pony car that has remained in production without interruption after four decades of development and revision. As Lee Iacocca's assistant general manager and chief engineer, Donald N. Frey was the head engineer for the Mustang project — supervising the overall development of the Mustang in a record 18 months — while Iacocca himself championed the project as Ford Division general manager. The Mustang prototype was a two-seat, mid-mounted engine roadster. This vehicle employed a Taunus (Ford Germany) V4 engine and was very similar in appearance to the much later Pontiac Fiero. It was claimed that the decision to abandon the 2 seat design was in part due to the low sales experienced with the 2 seat 1955 T-Bird. To broaden market appeal it was later remodeled as a four-seat car styled under the direction of Project Design Chief Joe Oros and his team of L. David Ash, Gale Halderman, and John Foster — in Ford's Lincoln–Mercury Division design studios, which produced the winning design in an intramural design contest instigated by Iacocca. Having set the design standards for the Mustang, Oros said: “I told the team that I wanted the car to appeal to women, but I wanted men to desire it, too," he said. "I wanted a Ferrari-like front end, the motif centered on the front – something heavy-looking like a Maserati, but, please, not a trident – and I wanted air intakes on the side to cool the rear brakes. I said it should be as sporty as possible and look like it was related to European design.” Oros added: “I then called a meeting with all the Ford studio designers. We talked about the sporty car for most of that afternoon, setting parameters for what it should look like -- and what it should not look like -- by making lists on a large pad, a technique I adapted from the management seminar. We taped the lists up all around the studio to keep ourselves on track. We also had photographs of all the previous sporty cars that had been done in the Corporate Advanced studio as a guide to themes or ideas that were tired or not acceptable to management. Within a week we had hammered out a new design. We cut templates and fitted them to the clay model that had been started. We cut right into it, adding or deleting clay to accommodate our new theme, so it wasn't like starting all over. But we knew Lincoln-Mercury would have two models. And Advanced would have five, some they had previously shown and modified, plus a couple extras. But we would only have one model because Ford studio had a production schedule for a good many facelifts and other projects. We couldn't afford the manpower, but we made up for lost time by working around the clock so our model would be ready for the management review.” To cut down the development cost and achieve a suggested retail price of US$ 2,368, the Mustang was based heavily on familiar yet simple components. Much of the chassis, suspension, and drivetrain components were derived from the Ford Falcon and Ford Fairlane (North American). Favorable publicity articles appeared in 2,600 newspapers the next morning, the day the car was "officially" revealed. A Mustang also appeared in the James Bond film Goldfinger in September 1964, the first time the car was used in a movie. Original sales forecasts projected less than 100,000 units for the first year, but in its first eighteen months, more than one million Mustangs were built. All of these vehicles were VIN-identified as 1965 models, but several changes were made at the traditional opening of the new model year (beginning August 1964), including the addition of back-up lights on some models, the introduction of alternators to replace generators, and an upgrade of the V-8 engine from 260 to 289 cubic-inch displacement. In the case of at least some six-cylinder Mustangs fitted with the 101 hp., 170 cu. in. Falcon engine, the rush into production included some unusual quirks, such as a horn ring bearing the 'Ford Falcon' logo beneath a trim ring emblazoned with 'Ford Mustang.' These characteristics made enough difference to warrant designation of the 121,538 earlier ones as "1964½" model-year Mustangs, a distinction that has endured with purists for the past 45 years and counting.
Ford was launched in a converted factory in 1903 with $28,000 in cash from twelve investors, most notably John Francis Dodge and Horace Elgin Dodge who would later found the Dodge Brothers Motor Vehicle Company. During its early years, the company produced just a few Model T's a day at its factory on Mack Avenue in Detroit, Michigan. Groups of two or three men worked on each car from components made to order by other companies. Henry Ford was 40 years old when he founded the Ford Motor Company, which would go on to become one of the largest and most profitable companies in the world, as well as being one of the few to survive the Great Depression. The largest family-controlled company in the world, the Ford Motor Company has been in continuous family control for over 100 years. Ford now encompasses many global brands, including Lincoln and Mercury of the US, Jaguar and Land Rover of the UK, and Volvo of Sweden. Ford also owns a one-third controlling interest in Mazda. Ford introduced methods for large-scale manufacturing of cars and large-scale management of an industrial workforce, especially elaborately engineered manufacturing sequences typified by moving assembly lines. Henry Ford's combination of highly efficient factories, highly paid workers, and low prices revolutionized manufacturing and came to be known around the world as Fordism by 1914.
The negative comes from the private automotive collection of one of Europe’s oldest Ford importerships that was in business since 1905. We took over the impressive literature collection from the retired last owner. It consisted of a vast collection of mostly very exclusive automotive literature of Ford and other famous brands in the automotive industry. There are a lot of old negatives, both on celluloid as glass plates, in the files we took over. We consider this material very historic. Interestingly, a part of the collection consists of racing images.
The photograph that the winner of this auction will receive is a very nice and very rare photo that reflects a wonderful era of Ford ‘s automotive history in a wonderful way. This is your rare chance to own this photo, therefore it is printed in a nice large format of ca. 8" x 8" (ca. 20 x 20 cm). It makes it perfectly suitable for framing.
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PLEASE NOTE: This is not a digital print (!), but a traditional photograph, which is processed through the traditional photographic process by a professional photo studio. Every negative is fully processed by hand, obtaining the best result possible. As most negatives are very old, several traditional photographic prints of each negative are made. Each has different settings (like varying brightness and contrast). Out of these, the best of the photographic prints is then selected, and shipped to the winner of this auction. This way the best result possible is obtained, and each photograph is absolutely unique and collectable! However, please keep in mind that this negative was made in the 1960’s and that it was taken with a camera and film from that era as well.