The high-end racing efforts executed by the partnership between Ford and Carroll Shelby were recently highlighted in “Ford v Ferrari,” but the Ford GT40 Le Mans winner and its progeny weren’t the only cars born of that relationship.
In 1965, famed GT40 racing and development driver Ken Miles competed in a different fast Ford — a 1965 Mustang GT350 fastback. To celebrate the 55th anniversary of that nascent partnership, Ford will offer the Shelby GT350 and GT350 R in a limited Heritage Edition featuring the same racing livery as Miles’ racing coupe.
Like the race car that inspired them, both are finished in Wimbledon White with Guardsman Blue stripes with “GT350” rocker lettering on the flanks. Not only do these pay homage to Miles’ race car, but blue and white also happen to be the long-recognized racing colors of the United States.
“Looking back on it, what Ford and Carroll Shelby created back in the mid-‘60s was so important to Mustang,” said Jim Owens, Mustang marketing manager. “With their authentic exterior livery and unique appointments and performance Ken could have only dreamed of, the Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT350R Heritage Edition Package vehicles are a meaningful way to pay tribute.”
Mechanically, the 2020 GT350 and GT350R Heritage Editions are identical to the cars on which they are based. They’re motivated by Ford’s 5.2-liter, cross-plane crank V8 which produces 526 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque and screams to an 8,250-rpm redline.
The GT350 received a host of updates for 2019, including suspension geometry and tuning changes, aerodynamic upgrades and some other tweaks and adjustments. All of this was timed perfectly to coincide with the introduction of the burly, supercharged GT500.
In yet another nod to Miles’ race car and the 55th anniversary of Mustang racing, the Heritage Edition package will cost $1,965 to add on to either GT350 variant, and Ford says the order banks are open now.