Tributes and clones are a great way to get into a dream car for a smaller price, and this 1968 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 tribute certainly does it right. It has a long list of proper-looking parts, a strong running 302, and the right look to make everyone at the local show do double-take when it rolls in. And all that's on top of a car that's just plain fun to drive.
A lot of clones take a few parts and throw them on a fastback Mustang and call it a Shelby, but the guys who built this one were students of the marque, creating a car that's extremely faithful to the original. They stripped it bare and started from scratch to build an ultra-clean GT350. No "authentic" mistakes, no wavy fiberglass, just high-quality workmanship and correct details like the scoops on the quarter panels, the right Shelby nose, and a custom fiberglass deck lid with spoiler. Of course, you also get a fiberglass Shelby hood that fits better than most originals and doesn't change shape in the hot sun like the old ones did. Then it was all covered in gorgeous Vintage Burgundy paint and a set of white GT350 stripes with the right call-outs. Then it was covered with correct Shelby emblems and badges plus brightened chrome bumpers and polished stainless trim, not to mention the twin center-mounted high beams in the grille. It was finished perhaps 10 years ago, so it's not perfect, but this is still one heck of a nice car.
More authenticity inside, where you'll find a set of buckets and a no-frills, combat-read interior. But they didn't phone it in here, either, because you'll even find such small details as a correct deluxe steering wheel with Shelby logo and woodgrained insert. The transmission is a 4-speed, not a modern 5-speed, so while you give up some cruising comfort, you definitely get the authentic experience, especially with a Hurst shifter on top. Body-hugging ProCar buckets are a familiar and welcome upgrade that really hold you in place. The original gauges have been replaced by white-faced Auto Meter dials, including the twin auxiliary gauges in the center stack. An AM/FM/CD stereo head unit powers speakers throughout the interior, so it looks clean and sounds far, far better than stock. It does have a fold-down rear seat, which is handy, and the cargo area is full of subwoofers and amplifiers in a custom enclosure. The trunk is also nicely outfitted with a correct mat and accessory tool bag.
1968 GT350s used a 302 cubic inch V8 that's virtually indestructible. Of course, with a tribute car, a few liberties are permitted, and this one sports an Edelbrock intake manifold and 4-barrel carburetor living under a chrome Hi-Po air cleaner. Finned valve covers and a Ford Blue block complete the Shelby look and everything around the engine was restored to as-new condition. There's a modest camshaft inside, MSD ignition system to light it up, and a big radiator up front. It's a strong runner and makes great sounds thanks to Tri-Y headers and a Flowmaster exhaust system. Out back there's a rugged Ford 9-inch rear end and even the floors have the right oversprayed look. Shelby suspensions weren't all that different from a standard Mustang's, so this one was upgraded with a power rack-and-pinion setup that really sharpens up the reflexes. Chrome Torque Thrust wheels are a great look and wear modern BFGoodrich radials that fill the fenders perfectly.
Professionally built, very pretty, and surprisingly fast, this Shelby tribute is too good to just call a "clone" but if you aren't talking, we won't either. Call today!