13. Shelby GT350 Convertible
Many muscle car enthusiasts will tell you the first model year for the Shelby Mustang convertible was 1968, but this is only partially true. In 1968 Shelby offered convertible versions for sale to the public as a regular production option. But the first convertibles Carroll built himself were produced in 1966 as a secret project.
They introduced the Shelby GT350 in 1965 as a race-ready version of the Ford Mustang. It soon proved itself on race tracks all over the world. By 1966, the GT350 was a global success. Ford praised Shelby for giving them a race car that could beat the Chevy Corvette and Europe’s finest sports cars.
For 1966, they offered the GT350 with more street-friendly equipment, an automatic gearbox and color choices. This affected its popularity and helped sell more cars. However, there was still no regular convertible option. But, at the end of the 1966 model year, Carroll Shelby decided to produce a limited, secret run of six GT350 convertibles to give to family and friends.
This was a commemorative edition to celebrate the success of the GT350, as well as a prototype for the potential production of convertibles. Each car received full options like A/C and roll bars. They also painted each car in a different color with signature white racing stripes.
For years, mainstream muscle car enthusiasts were unaware of the ’66 GT350 convertible. This was because GT owners kept them in private collections, rarely showing them in public. Today, four are known to exist and two more are still to be found.