My Car Quest

October 23, 2020

Shelby Mustang: We Go Back In Time (Last Saturday) and Visit the Shelby GT350 Shop

A visit to the Original Venice Crew’s 1965 Shelby GT350 shop.

by Wallace Wyss –

If we’re old enough, we all like to think we’d like to go back 50 years or so to a job we liked. Well, I kind of know what they are talking about at this car shop in Gardena, CA called Original Venice Crew.

Original Venice Crew's 1965 Shelby GT350 shop

Original Venice Crew’s 1965 Shelby GT350 shop

I wasn’t at the Venice shop that Shelby had, where the Cobras were prepped, but in ’65 I did drop into LAX to see the 427 Cobra and doubtless some of the guys I met this time in 2020 were there in ’65. Seems there is a demand for 1965 and 1966 R model racing Shelbys that outstrips the supply. Only 36 were made originally. So one day a couple years back, some of the surviving crew said “Why not?” rented a space from Shelby and started taking orders.

Original Venice Crew's 1965 Shelby GT350 shop

Original Venice Crew’s 1965 Shelby GT350 shop

They only update cars a bit. If you want the IRS that was designed in 1965 but not used, today you can get it. Plus there’s a more efficient front fascia with much more effective brake cooling ductwork than the original. Brock wanted plexiglas sail panel windows in place of the ’65s vented gills or the Comp’s metal blockoff plates that replaced them and the car looks better with them.

Safety updates include up-to-date multipoint racing belt harnesses, a foam-filled fuel tank, and a hand-welded and modified original tank. Oh they could have gone fuel cell but as much as possible they want ’60s tech.

I didn’t get the prices but let’s just say they are a fraction of what R models command now. And some racing organizations are accepting them (one is being built to 1965 FIA specs). And they sell memorabilia like original style SHELBY t-shirts, designed back in the day by Pete Brock.

All I want to know is: where is that time machine where I can walk through a door and be back in 1965?

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

 
Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss, author of three Shelby books, is a fine artist specializing in exotic cars. To inquire about a portrait of your car write to malibucarart@gmail.com.

 
 

 

 

Shelby GT350R

The original GT350R model being developed from the street Shelby – Wyss Archives

Shelby GT350

The lot in ’65 with street Shelbys – Wyss Archives

Shelby GT 350R

The part of the shop where they built R models in ’65 – Wyss Archives

Shelby GT350 poster

Summary
Shelby Mustang: We Go Back In Time (Last Saturday) and Visit the Shelby GT350 Shop
Article Name
Shelby Mustang: We Go Back In Time (Last Saturday) and Visit the Shelby GT350 Shop
Description
I didn't get the prices but let's just say they are a fraction of what a Shelby GT350 R model commands now. And some racing organizations are accepting them.
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Comments

  1. Wonderful to read something other then the typical special interest car story. The place and people who designed and built the car is actually much more interesting. Most know all about the Shelby Cobra and GT350 but little about the folks behind the wrenches. Why not a bit about Mr Remington ? You could write a good screenplay around him.

  2. Wallace Wyss says

    I knew Phil and interviewed him for a couple of my Shelby books. What was interesting was that in WWII he was over in England as an Army-Air Force mechanic applying a hot rodder’s knowledge to repairing the shot up bombers as they arrived back from missions over Europe. Then after the war he as with one start up wanna-be car builder after another including Edwards. Shelby he went to automatically when Shelby bought out the location where playboy Lance Reventlow was building Scarabs. We all owe Dan Gurney thanks for employing Remington far past the retirement age because Phil thrived through working.

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