Back in 2014, three legends of Shelby American reunited to build better versions of the cars that they were first involved with at Shelby in the 1960s. Peter Brock, Jim Marietta and Ted Sutton all worked on key projects at Carroll Shelby’s Princeton Drive facility in 1965, including Shelby Cobras, Ford GT40s and Shelby Mustangs. When they got back together Brock designed upgrades for a ’65 Mustang GT350 continuation car to be built by Marietta and Sutton under the company name of “Original Venice Crew”. The venture has been so successful that now for the first time they’re accepting a limited number of heritage Ford performance cars for restoration, repair and upgrades.
The expertise that OVC can pull in includes: world champion Bob Bondurant, who provides historical information, handling suggestions and race prep consulting services; veteran Shelby racing driver and Le Mans winner John Morton, who tests the Shelby continuation cars, and provides handling and race prep input, including on track testing; Cobra and GT40 mechanics from the Shelby Le Mans and world champion team provide fabrication, repair and installation consulting services; and Shelby engine guru Jim O’Leary oversees engine builds and provides historical input. That’s quite a team!
OVC will limit the number of special projects it accepts as it is still in full production for the 1965 Ford Shelby GT350 Competition model cars, which are assembled at the Shelby facility in Southern California. The company has licenses from Carroll Shelby Licensing and Ford Motor Company to build a run of 36 of the continuation 1965 Ford Shelby GT350 Competition Model cars, the only company with this dual authority.