"Next year, Ferrari's ass is mine."—Carroll Shelby, the year before beating Enzo Ferrari at his own game.
Ford just dropped the 2015 Shelby GT350. It's a promising track car that, at least on paper, does more to hold up the legacy of the original Shelby Mustangs than any car since the early 1970s. These, however, are the originals. And it's kind of amazing to realize how many legitimately nice classic Shelbys are available on eBay right now.
1966 GT350 Race Car
Unlike so many cars that lived a normal life on the street before being converted to a racer, the car you're looking at started out life intent on competition. It thoroughly dominated the 1970s, winning regional championships in the SCCA every year from '71 through '77, before literally going to live on a farm. After a few decades in a barn, it's back on track, and pumping out over 500 hp. [More pics...]
A Shelby with a 428 under the hood is about as classic as you can get, but the previous owner of this one took things a step further, dropping over $18k on building the engine alone. It's damn fast and virtually bulletproof. Toss in the less-than-common Candy Apple Red paint and this is a seriously good driver. [More pics...]
1968 GT500KR Convertible
Every great car's got a story, but this one literally involves fire. Back in the 1970s, this car was stolen, stripped, then torched, and it was nearly crushed at a junk yard before someone realized that would be blasphemy against the car gods. Today it's a nearly perfect restoration, and every bit the real deal that it was in the late '60s. [More pics...]
1968 GT500E Eleanor
If you've got the cash and a legit 1968 Shelby GT500 laying around, you can commission your own Eleanor. Or...you can grab this one, which went through the whole Eleanor-ification process and came out on the other side with 612 hp. This is one of just 265 Eleanors officially registered in the Eleanor Registry, which is definitely a thing. In other words, she's the real deal. [More pics...]
1966 GT350 Hertz
The original "rent-a-racer" earned its name as a car you'd rent from Budge...er...Hertz, to thrash around the track on weekends before returning it in a somewhat abused state on Monday morning. The cars typically came in black, with gold stripes, so finding a red one isn't always the easiest thing. [More pics...]
1970 GT350, Signed by Shelby
For whatever reason, the ultimate badge of authenticity for any Shelby Mustang isn't fancy paperwork and documentation—though your insurance agent and banker would surely disagree—it's a signature, generally on the glove box, by the man himself. This one's got it. It's a fairly rare white-on-white car to begin with, so it's a prime choice for anyone that wanted to drive it for a few years before restoring it. [More pics...]
1965 GT350 Restomod Clone
Purists can put down their pitchforks. This is a clone, which means it actually wasn't originally a Shelby. To be fair though, it has the engine from a late '90s Cobra, and the independent rear suspension from a 2001 Cobra with plenty of aftermarket goodies thrown into the mix. No Mustang has had a more advanced suspension until the 2015 model. On a race track, this is quite possibly the fastest car on this list. [More pics...]