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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Shelby, Part 2: M2 Machines 1:24 1966 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350S



If I was to find a good large-scale first-generation Mustang for my collection, it would be a fastback in green with mag wheels just like the Mustang in the movie "Bullitt".  After a few failed attempts, I found the perfect one, with a few more cool features:  The Shelby GT350S Mustang.






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One rare GT350

In 1965 Carol Shelby came to Ford to not only use Ford engines in AC Ace roadsters, but also help turn a secretary's car into a bonafide track machine.  In the end he created the 1965 Shelby GT500.  In that year, all GT350's are Wimbeldon White with blue stripes, rear seat delete, rear vent covers over the rear side windows, fiberglass hood, and special track-focused R models.  In 1966 the GT350 was designed more for the street with more colors offered, rear seats, rear side windows, and a very limited power enhancement.  First, the engine is the 289 CID V8 with hi-rise intake, Cobra valve covers, and dual rear exhaust.  If you're the one of 11 who were lucky got the Paxton supercharger, which is a compact round unit attached with the drive belts to add more power; only one has the GT350S stripes on the sides in Ivy Green.  Other modifications include relocated front A-arm suspension, optional limited-slip differential, and 5-spoke wheels with Goodyear white letter tires.  The 1965-66 was considered the lightest and best-handing Shelby of that era as future Shelby Mustangs would move more toward heavier GT cruisers.  Only a prototype with a supercharger was considered in 1968, along with one that had independent rear suspension, but both were cancelled at the last minute.  It wasn't until 2007 that the Shelby Mustang got a supercharger full-time.






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One fantastic M2 Mustang

This casting looks great, after I cleaned up the white haze with water and a polishing cloth.  The Dark Green with side white stripes look good and accurate.  The front has the detailed round headlights, chrome grille surround with mesh grille and pony logo, chrome bumper, and signal lights.  The hood feels light and features the functioning hood scoop and chrome hood pins.  The side scoops are good, if a bit loose, chrome trim on windows, and 5-spoke wheels with Goodyear lettering that doesn't look cheap, though the wheels could benefit from snug attachment with the central screw since some models have more play in the wheels than the others.  The spokes have a white look and front disc brakes, but the calipers do not float.  The rear has the chrome gascap with Shelby snake, chrome trim around the tri-taillights, and the chrome bumpers, though missing is the reverse lamps below the bumper.




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The interior has seating for four with detailed door panels, chrome handle cranks, shifter with T-handle, twin-plane dashboard with silver gauges, 3-spoke wheel with wooden hand grip, radio, and only for Supercharged models a dash-mounted tachometer even though there are no numbers on the gauge.  The interior is basic, but has all of the right details.  The trunk opens up to show off a full-size spare, but how will you manage to get it out of that narrow slot is a different story.





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The hood opens up to reveal a detailed motor with the Cobra valve covers, the hi-rise intake, blue engine block, strut braces, distributor and spark plug wires, battery, drive belts, fan, and front radiator with dual horns, all in 3D form.  Then again everything's not perfect as the brake booster and master cylinder is missing from the firewall and the drive belt does not reach the supercharger; a major oversight!  Finally the base below shows off even more details:  The lower part of the engine has the detailed orange oil filter and oil pan that flows down to cooling fin pan, while the transmission carries on with the blue color of the engine block.   The front has the detailed lower control arms, though the steering radius does not move much and looks disconnected from the steering wheel (can you say slow turn-in?).  While out back shows the detailed rear axle (which is from a Ford Galaxie 500XL) with leaf springs, gas tank, and dual exhaust that has a nice goldish tint to the silver.



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Compared to the M2 '59 GMC 4x4 and '69 Camaro's (i'll review those at a later date), this Shelby Mustang is by far the best and almost accurate version of a M2 1:24 scale model, and looks right at home with the two other Shelby's in 1:24.







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