The 1965 Shelby GT350 is a legendary American muscle car, but this particular GT350 is one of the most unique and rarest examples in existence. This GT350 is a Paxton prototype, one of only two built with a factory supercharger. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the history and features of this exceptional vehicle.

The History of the 1965 Shelby GT350 Paxton Prototype

In early 1965, Joe Granatelli of Studebaker Corporation’s Paxton Products Division approached Carroll Shelby with the idea of offering a supercharger kit as a Shelby factory option. Shelby was intrigued by Granatelli’s pitch and loaned him a pre-production prototype GT350, SFM5010, to install the first “Cobra” Paxton supercharger kit.

Granatelli returned with the car in early July and challenged Shelby to a drag race behind the LAX shops. The supercharged prototype easily defeated Shelby’s 2,200-pound 289 Cobra, impressing Shelby enough to make the package a special-order option for 1966.

However, Shelby needed a factory demonstrator, and he assigned this car, 5S425, to fill that role. After serving as a demonstrator, 5S425 was delivered to Trudell Ford Inc. of Warren, Michigan, in March 1966 and sold to its first owner, William Kardosh. As a result, 5S425 became the only production 1965 GT350 to be retailed new to a customer with a factory Paxton supercharger setup.

Over the years, 5S425 changed hands several times and underwent various modifications, including the replacement of the original engine with a new 302 CI long-block assembly in the 1970s. However, the original engine was later located and rebuilt to correct Shelby specification by Larry Bowman, the car’s third owner.

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Today, 5S425 remains one of the most historically significant and valuable muscle cars in existence, with a unique history and incomparable features.

Features of the 1965 Shelby GT350 Paxton Prototype

5S425 is an exceptional example of a first-year Shelby GT350, with unique features that set it apart from other GT350s. These features include:

  • Factory-installed Paxton supercharger kit
  • Original Wimbledon White paint with Le Mans stripes
  • Shelby aluminum-spoke wheels
  • Original interior
  • Original Paxton supercharger system, including unique cast aluminum carburetor pressure box and finned aluminum “Cobra” cover

As one of only two factory-equipped Paxton-supercharged 1965 prototypes, 5S425 is an unparalleled example of automotive history.

Conclusion

The 1965 Shelby GT350 Paxton Prototype is a rare and valuable piece of automotive history. As one of only two built with a factory supercharger, it’s an incomparable example of a first-year Shelby GT350, with unique features and a fascinating history. This GT350 is a reminder of a time when muscle cars ruled the roads and automotive engineering was at its peak.

If you’re a collector or enthusiast, this GT350 is a must-see. It’s an opportunity to witness a piece of history in its original, unique form.

FAQs

  1. What is a Shelby GT350?
    The Shelby GT350 is a high-performance variant of the Ford Mustang, created by Carroll Shelby in 1965. It features a modified engine, suspension, and body, making it one of the most desirable muscle cars of all time.
  2. What is a Paxton supercharger?
    A Paxton supercharger is a supercharger system that was developed by the Paxton Products Division of Studebaker Corporation. It was designed to increase the power output of high-performance engines by forcing more air into the combustion chamber.
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  1. How many 1965 Shelby GT350 Paxton Prototypes were built?
    Only two 1965 Shelby GT350 Paxton Prototypes were built with a factory supercharger. 5S425 is one of these two prototypes, making it an incredibly rare and valuable vehicle.
  2. What makes 5S425 unique?
    5S425 is unique due to its factory-installed Paxton supercharger kit, original Wimbledon White paint with Le Mans stripes, Shelby aluminum-spoke wheels, original interior, and original Paxton supercharger system, including unique cast aluminum carburetor pressure box and finned aluminum “Cobra” cover. These features set it apart from other GT350s and make it an incomparable example of automotive history.
  3. Where can I see 5S425?
    5S425 is privately owned and is not currently on public display. However, it may be displayed at select automotive events in the future.