Jay Leno was recently visited by the Original Venice Crew, and they brought along a new car and its designer. The designer just so happens to be Camilo Pardo, the designer of the Ford GT of the 2000s, and he teams up with OVC founder Jim Marietta to explain all the details behind the new OVC GT350 Roadster in the latest episide of “Jay Leno's Garage.”
OVC's team is made up of people who worked at Shelby American's original headquarters in Venice, California, in the 1960s, back when the company was building and racing Cobras and Daytonas, as well as the original GT350 Mustang.
The crew consists of Peter Brock, Marietta, and Ted Sutton. Late last decade they started building, under license, new versions of the 1965 Shelby GT350 Competition, more commonly known as the Shelby GT350R. Now they've returned with something unique.
Their latest car is a Shelby GT350 with a roadster body penned by Pardo. The new body's subtle changes are in keeping with the period, lending the vehicle a look that appears as though Carroll Shelby himself approved it back in the day.
Unlike their GT350 Competition, the GT350 Roadster doesn't match any original specifications, leaving customers with a few options when it comes to powertrains and chassis. The standard powertrain is a small-block Ford V-8 with 425 hp, but buyers can choose a 500-hp V-8 matching the engine in the GT350 Competition. Buyers can also choose between automatic or manual transmissions, a solid axle or an independent rear suspension, and a livery consisting of black with gold stripes instead of the signature Wimbledon White and Guardsman Blue combination.
OVC uses original donor Mustangs for the build. Extra reinforcements are required to reduce the flex caused by having the top removed, and with the rear seats removed there's additional storage space under the added aerodynamic rear panel.
Pricing starts at $289,000, and OVC haven't said whether production will be limited. Their GT350 Competition was limited to 36 units, matching the number Shelby built for 1965.
Marietta and Pardo go deep into the changes made to create the car, and, as usual, Leno takes it for a spin and talks lovingly about how it drives. The sound is a treat in itself. Click on the video above for much more.