Shelby started building Mustangs in 1965 as fire-breathing machines. And they brought Ford some much-needed recognition and performance credentials. But the cars responsible for Shelby’s racing success were 34 “R” models they produced in 1965 for privateers and racing teams worldwide. These cars were not street-legal. Those R models were purely for racing purposes, something they did exceptionally well. The GT350R had numerous modifications. It was lighter, faster, and sharper than the regular GT350. The R version had the same 289 V8 as the regular Shelby GT350. But it produced close to 400 HP and came in numerous racing modifications.
The car was light and well-balanced, so it proved extremely fast. It won races in America, Europe and South America, as well. Each car had numerous wins under its belt. Car fans consider every R model to be an extremely valuable piece of Mustang and racing history.