Mustang Theme Week continues today. This week we took a look at the History of the Mustang, featured the Top 3 Mustangs of All Time and featured the Mustang GT350 Convertible from the iconic baseball movie “Bull Durham.” Today we look at the 1965 Shelby GT350 vs. the 1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt.
In 1964 and 1965, the Ford Motor Company took its production models of two popular vehicles — the Fairlane and the Mustang — to higher levels by offering special souped-up versions designed for those with a need for speed.
Ford Fairlane Gets Horsepower Boost
In the early 1960s, Ford Motor Company found that successful drag racing results usually had a big effect on sales, and while buyers were drawn to the speedy stock models for sale, there was a select group that wanted even more. That led to the creation of the Fairlane Thunderbolt, which would replace the stock 406 engine with a 427 that provided 425 horsepower. Drop in a four-speed transmission and the combination lighter mid-sized car with a big block engine was tough to beat. Ford only built 100 of these cars in 1964, some of which were used by drag racing teams.
Shelby Takes Mustang to A Different Level
Carroll Shelby first made his name as a successful race car driver and then built his Cobra into one of the best racing cars available. But his success really took off when he was contracted by Ford Motor Company to create the GF350, which was commonly referred to as the Shelby Mustang. First, he took out the stock 289 motor and replaced it with a 350, then he beefed up the suspension, frame, transmission and tires to allow it to safely reach speeds up to 130 miles per hour. In 1965, there were 562 GT350 models manufactured. The GT350 Mustang special edition continued until 1970.
By limiting production of these two muscle cars, Ford has created a big demand from collectors of these two iconic vehicles. The Fairlane Thunderbolt could be had brand new in 1964 for $3,900, but because only 100 were built and many were used in drag racing, very few exist today. Even today, a 1964 Fairlane rebuilt to standard Thunderbolt specifications was listed for sale at nearly $70,000 Thunderbolt for sale. Similarly, the Shelby Mustang GT350 has become one of the most collectible and valuable stock vehicles around, even with more than five times the number produced and many more years of production, the GT350 still has values between $50,000 and $140,000 GT350 values.
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