Launched in 1965, the Shelby G.T. 350R – the competition version of the Shelby G.T. 350 – went on to capture SCCA B Production Championships in 1965, 1966 and 1967. As good as it was, those building the original car – the Original Venice Crew (OVC), as they’ve come to call themselves – believed it could be better. Now, a limited production run of 1965 Shelby G.T. 350Rs, designed by the OVC with all the upgrades meant for the original car, stands poised to improve on the original.
The OVC, consisting of Peter Brock, Jim Marietta and Ted Sutton, reconvened in 2015 to build a pair of “new” Shelby G.T.350Rs, one incorporating an experimental independent rear suspension (IRS) originally designed for the 1965 car. The cars also received a new front valance designed to improve engine cooling, Plexiglas rear and quarter windows designed by Brock to improve aerodynamics and ventilation, and improved brake ducts. The project was intended to honor the 50th Anniversary of the G.T.350R’s first win, at Texas’s Green Valley Raceway on February 14, 1965, but afterward, those involved with the project continued to refine and develop the tribute cars.
As Sutton explains, “During track testing, people began to ask if the car was for sale. After a landslide of inquiries we decided to see if there was a good case for offering a limited run of them.” The answer was yes, and Marietta stepped in to head up the new venture.
One of the first steps required to put the car into production was obtaining permission, via licensing agreements, from both Carroll Shelby International and the Ford Motor Company. These in place, the 36 G.T. 350Rs to be produced by OVC (matching the original production run of G.T. 350R models) will be badged in the same way as the originals and will be given a Shelby serial number. Papers on each car sold will be sent to both the Shelby American Automobile Club Registry and the Shelby American Registry.
Beginning with a reconditioned donor 1965 Ford Mustang fastback chassis, each Wimbledon White OVC Shelby G.T. 350R will receive a competition-prepared, iron-block V-8 from the Carrol Shelby Engine Company, mated to a period-correct four-speed manual transmission. Marietta tells us that the goal is to source original K-code body shells, but if this proves impossible, other production fastback variants will be used. As for engines, the standard issues will be a 289, but since each car is bespoke, buyers opting for horsepower over authenticity will have that option. The improvements from the 2015 OVC car (front valance, Plexiglas rear and quarter windows, brake ducts and IRS) will be incorporated into the continuation cars, producing what Marietta describes as the ultimate G.T. 350R.
Production of the 36 cars, which will be road-legal, begins this fall, and each will carry a base price of $250,000 before any extras are added. That’s not an insubstantial sum, but where else, at any price, can one buy a new 1965 Shelby G.T. 350R, designed by the original project team and incorporating features the original car was meant to have, had development time and money not run out? The new version is a race-proven, too; in 2016, Shelby American test driver Vince LaViolette qualified one of the prototypes third on the grid in a vintage race at the Hallet Motor Racing Circuit in Oklahoma, driving the Shelby to a win in the event.
Once the OVC Shelby production kicks off, the company has plans to offer the valance, Plexiglass windows, brake ducts and IRS to vintage Mustang owners, either installed or as stand alone parts. For more on the OVC continuation Shelby G.T. 350 Mustangs, visit OVCMustangs.com.
Article courtesy of Hemmings Daily, written by Kurt Ernst.
Renewed enforcement of Australia’s total ban on asbestos-containing imports has led to enhanced scrutiny of collector cars entering the country and reportedly caused collector car enthusiasts there to stop importing older cars altogether.
Issued last month, the Australian Border Force’s notice No. 2017/21 warns importers that the agency takes a hardline stance on enforcement of the country’s ban on manufacture, use, and importation of asbestos or asbestos-containing materials, enacted December 31, 2003. Specifically, the agency notes that it conducts risk assessment of everything imported into the country, regardless of whether the importer declares to customs that what they’re importing doesn’t contain asbestos, and that importers must know – “back to the point of manufacture” – whether their goods contain asbestos.
“Importers need to obtain sufficient information, prior to shipment, when unsure of any asbestos content, parts or components accompanying the primary item of import that are a risk (such as gaskets), or whether asbestos was present at any point in the supply chain process,” the notice reads. “If the information presented does not provide sufficient assurance, the ABF will require importers to arrange testing and certification in Australia… For testing in Australia, the ABF will only accept certification from a laboratory, that is accredited by NATA to undertake asbestos testing, that confirms asbestos was not detected.”
And that testing certainly comes at a price. According to an account by Australian collector car importer Terry Healy that received widespread attention across Australia – and that may have prompted the ABF to issue its notice – extensive testing on the 1965 Ford Mustang and 1966 Shelby G.T. 350 he had shipped to Australia earlier this year cost roughly $15,000, caused $12,000 in damages due to destructive testing of samples from the two cars, and led to the seizure of a number of parts found to contain asbestos, among them the brake pads, brake shoes, exhaust manifold gaskets, and exhaust pipe gaskets.
“For those thinking of importing cars particularly restored cars let alone highly original cars like my Shelby GT 350 there is much to be fearful of,” Healy wrote. “The asbestos content of these cars is very high and in places most enthusiasts would not guess.”
Similarly, according to an account that Michael Sheehan related last month, a DKW importer whose car’s brakes, gaskets, and undercoating tested positive for asbestos faced storage costs, inspection fees, and replacement parts costs that nearly totaled the AUS $7,000 purchase cost of the car.
“The extra red tape, inspection costs and uncertainty have slowed imports to a crawl,” Sheehan wrote. According to Sheehan, the Australian Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association, largely concerned with getting the Australian government to liberalize the country’s import laws for new cars, has lobbied the ABF for a standardized asbestos inspection regime for imported collector cars that would cut down on the costs and uncertainty.
The renewed scrutiny of imported goods that may contain asbestos – the ABF specifically cites automotive parts in its list of such goods – likely comes on the heels of a report published in The Australian in August of last year and of Australian senate hearings in January of this year that detailed how materials containing asbestos had slipped past ABF inspectors. Specifically, the report cited in The Australian noted the presence of asbestos in “motor vehicle gaskets and spare parts.”
In June, the ABF stated that its “activities are not designed to cause inconvenience to importers, but are part of the Australian Government’s arrangements to protect the public from the significant dangers of asbestos.” Along with that statement, ABF officials provided figures showing that its own asbestos enforcement actions had dramatically increased – from 10 tests in 2013-2014 to 742 tests in 2016-2017 and from zero infringement notices in 2013-2014 to 13 in 2016-2017.
Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral, at one point was highly prized for its fire resistance but is also known to cause mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Asbestos was commonly found in clutches, brakes, transmissions, and gaskets up until the 1970s.
Fines for individuals who import asbestos can run up to AUS $180,000. Importers can obtain exceptions to the ban on asbestos-containing goods, though only if the goods are naturally-occuring materials with trace amounts of asbestos or for a narrow set of circumstances, mostly involving research and analysis.
Article courtesy of Hemmings Daily, written by Daniel Strohl.