1965 GT350 CR Shelby Mustang Prototype
Coming very soon to 'Red Hills Rods & Classics' !!
~ 1965 GT350 CR Shelby Mustang Prototype ~
This one-of-a-kind Mustang is a prototype built for Carroll Shelby by Sir Jon Wilhelm. His company, Wilhelm Motor Works, was a Shelby licensee, empowered to build GT 350CR (Convertible Retractable) vehicles, among others. This particular vehicle was designed by Wilhelm Motor Works, while a Shelby licensee. Shelby revoked the license before this vehicle was completed. Work on it was halted during a period of lawsuits, and it was completed recently, subsequent to the duration of the Shelby license. For this reason, it has Wilhelm Motor Works markings and is called a “CR350”.
Sir Jon Wilhelm is credited for approaching Shelby in the early 2000's to suggest that he might consider re-entering the Ford market w/ Shelby products (at the time, he was building Oldsmobile’s, calling them the Series 1). Shelby was not interested in working with Ford, but gave Wilhelm the worldwide rights to the Shelby Mustang.
Wilhelm first brought the 'Eleanor' to market, calling it the GT 500E (for Eleanor). The success of that venture made the market for 67 and 68 Fastbacks go through the roof. Less desirable Coupes remained plentiful (about 5 times more in quantity), and they were relatively cheap. Wilhelm proposed building retractables and convertibles and renewed his license with Shelby in 2005 to build, among other models, the GT 350CR. This 1964 1/2 prototype is the first car built as a convertible retractable w/ the Shelby appointments and styling cues.
Carroll Shelby told Jon Wilhelm that his favorite color combinations were blue and orange, as depicted on the GT40 Gulf race car This CR350 has updated colors from House of Kolor (TruBlue and Tangelo). Executives from Shelby examined this vehicle but did not decide to continue the Retractable program.
This fine vehicle is the Mustang Club of America (MCA) Grand National Champion (Modified, Trailered Division, aka Show Car Division). It was displayed at SEMA in Las Vegas as a featured vehicle. It wins at every car show that it is shown.
No expense was spared while building this prototype vehicle. It has the best products available for Ford Mustangs. The engine is a custom-built 302ci V8 w/ special products to give it plenty of power while still keeping it manageable. It has an AOD transmission and posi-traction to its rear wheels. It has an SSBS 4-wheel disc brake system that is radical and efficient.
Virtually everything under the hood is not only new but top-of-the-line. Most parts are polished aluminum, and the headers are JBA titanium shorties. This car received a complete rotisserie restoration, w/ every bolt, wire and part being replaced or completely refurbished. The vintage metal hood has been altered to look like a vintage Shelby from the side, but the scoop is active and resting on the engine, providing a true shaker effect. This shaker hood is the first known example of this unique combination.
The blue and black interior is completely custom, featuring the Wilhelm ambigram logo (can be read in either direction). The dashboard has been shaved to display the beautiful bones of the metal dash underneath the typical 1964 1/2 padding. All instruments are new, as is the modern air conditioning system from Old Air Products. The seats are re-created from the original frames, but the bucket front seats have modern bolsters and headrests.
The carbon fiber rear decklid was custom built for this prototype to reflect the Shelby influence of the 67/68 rear spoiler, and two additional inches were needed in trunk space height to conceal the retractable top. Those extra 2" were concealed nicely within the spoiler, and the look is very much Shelby.
Other design cues went into the carbon fiber top to produce a look that more closely resembles the feel of a convertible top. All hardware is billet aluminum and handmade, and the material used on the covering of the top is similar to what is found on a higher end BMW. The top is operated manually, but the lightweight carbon fiber make its manipulation easily manageable.
The retractable system was originally designed by Ben Smith, a Ford engineer who had successfully introduced the 1957-1959 Skyliner. Ford commissioned him to build one Mustang retractable.
This fine car has vintage California plates and has only been licensed in California. It has been jigged and trued to near perfection by The Restomod Shop in Stockton, California. Final assembly and alterations were made at Showcase Rods and Customs in Salt Lake City.
This vehicle is part of Sir Jon Wilhelm’s personal collection.
Modified 302 V8 with mild cam and modified heads, Custom heads, aluminum components, racing oil pan, Custom and active shaker hood scoop, Fuel technologies 650 cfm carburetor, Ringbrothers hood hinges with custom fender bolts, Metric AOD transmission, modified for higher HP, 8-inch Curry limited slip rear axle, Custom black and carbon fiber blue interior with embedded logo, Center console, Wood grained steering wheel, Power rack and pinion, Shaved metal custom dashboard, Modern stereo that fits vintage hole in dash, Custom Retro belt seatbelts, TCI Outlaw shifter, Anti-noise and heat shields and insulation, Ford logo floor mats, Factory Ford airconditioning, Custom retractable top conversion, Aluminum billet attachment hardware, custom built, Reversed trunk lid with custom Shelby spoiler, Custom hinges and hardware to support rear deck lid, Upholstered trunk compartment, Halogen tri-bar headlamps, Ground effects, Metal front hood with Shaker hole, Frenched gills in front grill area, Shaved side scoops, Shelby front air dam, modified for front bumper, 'House of Color' Tru Blue & Tangelo paint, 17 coats of paint, including white pearl, Custom Lemans Stripes with added center stripe for retractables, Side badging stripes for G.T.350CR designation, Custom gas filler cap, 3-point direction LED rear taillights, 18" American Racing Torque Thrust 2 rims w/ Goodyear Z-rated tires, spinners, 4-wheel disc brakes, oversized from SSBS, and on & on !!