Rides from the Readers: 1966 Shelby GT350
Hagerty readers and Hagerty Drivers Club members share their cherished collector and enthusiast vehicles with us via our contact email, email@example.com. We’re showcasing some of our favorite stories among these submissions. To have your car featured, send complete photography and your story of ownership to the above email address.
Today’s featured car is a 1966 Shelby GT350. Though these cars originally packed with 289-cubic-inch mills (with a heavy dose of Shelby performance modifications), this GT350 has received a heart transplant: a 347 stroker topped with Weber carbs and paired with a five-speed gearbox. Cars from the 1966 model year are distinguished by their glass rear-quarter panel windows; however, thanks to Shelby’s removal of the rear seats, the apertures didn’t benefit any backseat passengers. This example also carries the optional racing stripe graphics package.
This particular GT350 belongs to James Fee Langendoen, who has affectionately named it “Blue.” Langendoen bought Blue in 1969, and the pair recently completed a bucket-list road trip—with Mrs. Langendoen along, naturally—down the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Tail of the Dragon. Langendoen used the lockdown months to rebuild Blue’s engine, and, with the car in fine fettle, he and his wife decided it was high time for a drive.
“We have seen a lot of changes over the years,” Langendoen writes. “Yet the simple fact remains that when things get bad, nothing beats heading out on the road.”
James freely acknowledges that newer cars offer more power, comfort, and civility, but even on an 1800-mile road trip, he relishes the challenge of keeping Blue pointed in the right direction. “His purpose in life is to put me into the trees if I’m not paying attention,” he writes.
Not every vintage road trip ends with harmony between man and machine, but the Langendoens and Blue made it home without a hiccup.
What’s your dream road trip?