Rare Raven

Jim Wicks’ 1966 Shelby G.T. 350 was or­dered by a “savvy shop­per” to fly un­der the radar

Mustang Monthly - - CONTENTS -

Jim Wicks’ 1966 Shelby G.T. 350 was or­dered by a “savvy shop­per” to fly un­der the radar

What’s black and not a Hertz in a 1966 Shelby G.T. 350? The an­swer is some­thing very, very rare, like the Mus­tang seen here; it’s owned by Jim Wicks, the founder and co­or­di­na­tor of the Mid-Amer­ica Ford & Shelby Na­tion­als, held each June in Tulsa, Ok­la­homa. Com­pound­ing the rar­ity of the color are two more su­per-rare fea­tures: stri­pedelete and a Detroit Locker rear axle. Was this car built for the track?

Wicks has not un­cov­ered any track his­tory, but the sales­man at Larsen Ford in White Plains, New York, who or­dered the Shelby for the orig­i­nal buyer was a fa­mous East Coast drag racer named Bill Kolb. Car 6S1063, pro­duced about mid­way through the 1966 pro­duc­tion run, turned out to be (per Wicks’ re­search) the first ’66 Shelby built with a Detroit Locker, and the se­cond non-Hertz black Shelby.

Wicks fig­ures it took a savvy cus­tomer to say, “Wait a minute. They’re build­ing black cars for Hertz; why can’t I buy a reg­u­lar G.T. 350 in black?” Black has long been a great color for a sports car. Ac­cord­ing to Howard

Pardee at SAAC, non-Hertz G.T. 350s painted black to­taled just 33 units for 1966.

Ev­ery G.T. 350 came with a solid-lifter, high­wind­ing 289 Hi-Po small-block, rated at 306 horse­power. In­stead of an au­to­matic, this build came with the op­tional Borg­Warner T-10 four­speed man­ual trans­mis­sion. Head-snap­ping launches would al­most be the norm for ev­ery­day driv­ing. With so much sting there was not so much need for bling. Maybe that’s why this car came stripe-delete without the Le Mans stripes on hood, roof, and rear deck­lid.

Of course, the rest of the Shelby ex­tras are on this car. Rocker panel side stripes in­cor­po­rate the G.T. 350 logo and make this Raven Black beauty stand out among nor­mal Mus­tang fast­backs, as do the Plex­i­glas rear quar­ter­win­dows, fiber­glass hood­scoop, gas cap with G.T. 350 logo, and G.T. 350 plate on the rear deck­lid. A close look re­veals an­other trick fea­ture to the 14x6 Mag­num 500 wheels. In­stead of chrome plat­ing, the pop­u­lar wheels are painted a mag­ne­sium gray for less bling.

Less bling and more sting is this car’s theme, cre­at­ing a 1966 Shelby

G.T. 350 Mus­tang un­like any other.

Jim Wicks got an orig­i­nal hand­writ­ten sales in­voice with this car, along with the orig­i­nal reg­is­tra­tion and a com­plete his­tory of the chain of own­ers.

Wicks fin­ished the restora­tion, started by the pre­vi­ous owner, with help from John Brown and Randy Roberts. The 289 High Per­for­mance en­gine was rated at 306 horse­power af­ter Shelby fin­ished with it. A Monte Carlo bar con­nects shock tow­ers to­gether to add strength to the Uni­body.

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