1965 Shelby GT350 R
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Rick Kopec #5R098 Press Release - "Drag Race Photo"
Each "R" model was especially hand built with similar but, unique features like: "everything delete" ( carpet, headliner, glass windows, door panels, original gas tank, bumpers etc). Windows were replaced by plexiglas and the rear window was vented for slip-stream. The front apron was replaced by a 'fish mouth' fiberglass opening which allowed fresh air to be ducted for the oil cooler, radiator and brakes. The quarter panel vents were riveted closed while the front fenders were flared. The rear bumper was initially painted white and then eventually eliminated entirely on some "R" Models. Shelby Mag Wheels were replaced by the American Racing Mags. Even the speedometer was replaced by a 0-160 m.p.h. version and the tach with an 8k unit. Special dash lights were installed to indicate alternator, high beam and turn signals below the instrument pod. Each car received. a roll bar, fire extinguisher and a special fiberglass seat(s). Our car has the Optional Passenger Seat w/ 5-point Racing Harness. The motor was 'Shelby-ized" by Shelby Americans wizards and each boasted 350-370 h.p. by the time it left the airplane hangar (factory). The engine looks 'spaced out' with huge oil breather stacks and a mammoth oil pan. The gas tank was replaced w/ a 34 gallon unit, which was fed by opening the trunk. Even the battery was moved , for weight transfer gain, to the trunk. Every "R" model was track tested at Willow Springs Ca. before delivery. Shelby even gave notice to all Corvette racers that "the only time a Corvette would see Victory Lane is if a Shelby GT 350 didn't show up". Hence the legend was born.
After initial production of the first factory team cars only 32 actual Shelby "R" competition models were built for corporate / public use. Each carries a special V.I.N. number and were not sold for street use. Despite the fact they only cost $5950 new not many "R" models were sold.
The moment you start the car....you know it's pure race bred. The sound is deafening. The exhaust and carbs compete for the most "db". You can tell Carroll Shelby meant business.
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