When it comes to classic Shelby Mustangs, the 1968 GT350 is a turkey of sorts. While the 1965-67 featured 306 horsepower from an upgraded 289 High-Performance, the 1968 made do with a 250-horsepower 302. Gee, Carroll, whatsamattah?
Some of that can be explained due to the discontinuation of the solid-lifter 289 at the end of the 1967 model year. When installed in a Mustang, the four-barrel 302 was rated at 230 horses, but Shelby installed an aluminum Cobra intake manifold (actually, an Offenhauser piece) and a 600cfm carb for the horsepower bump.
Another explanation is that Ford took over Shelby production and handed modifications to the A.O. Smith Corporation in Ionia, a nice westward hike from Detroit. (In fact, incomplete 1968 Mustangs were built in Metuchen, New Jersey and shipped by rail all the way to the Great Lake State for the Shelby conversion to be completed.) Did Ford’s involvement result in a lack of effort with the Shelby GT350?
But the 1968 Shelby GT350 also was more grown up, functioning more as an American GT than a quasi-sports car. Those days of the two-seat GT350 without creature comforts were gone. The following year, the introduction of the 351 Windsor would fix the power deficit as well.
Join Muscle Car Campy as he road-tests this 1968 Shelby GT350. In the hands of the same person who has owned it since 1972, this four-speed fastback has received an improved camshaft and headers to truly wake up the 302 and give it the character it so deserved.