The Shelby Mustang line had been created by Cobra builder and 1959 Le Mans winner Carroll Shelby in 1965 to give Ford a rival to the GM Corvette and provide the already hugely successful Mustang with a stronger performance image. Ford involvement in the Shelby programme increased in 1968, as the lease on Shelby’s Venice facility expired and the production was transferred to the A.O. Smith Company in Ionia, Michigan. The ’68 Shelby Mustangs were broadly similar to the 1967 models, with a redesigned front end and new tail lights. Shelby Automotive – and offshoot of Shelby American – contracted Smith to make and install special Shelby items. A new glass fibre bonnet top with twin wide air scoops across the front and louvers at the back was fitted along with a larger grille, again of glass fibre. The 1968 Shelby GT-350 was powered by Ford’s new 250-bhp 302 cu in (5-litre) V8 with hydraulic valve lifters and high-volume intake manifold with a 600-cfm Holley four-barrel carburettor and ‘Cobra-powered by Ford’ aluminium valve covers and ‘Cobra’ aluminium air cleaner.
The car offered here is fitted with the optional ‘Select-o-Matic’ automatic transmission and was subject to a three year restoration by the previous owner, who acquired the car around 2001. Purchased by the current owner over 12 years ago, this car has former part of a Private Swiss collection and has been subject to a regular programme of maintenance and use.