Shelby American has announced that it will close the order books of the limited-run Shelby GT350 by end of 2013. The company will only take new orders until December 31, 2013.

Shelby built the first GT350 in the 1960’s based on the then Ford Mustang model. It was built in small numbers for the 1965, 1966 and 1967 model years, making those cars among the most desirable, collectible vehicles.

“When we unveiled this latest version of the Shelby GT350, we promised it would be built for a limited time to preserve its collectability and value. So we’ve been preparing for this day since 2010. In true Carroll Shelby fashion, we’re planning our next ultimate performance Shelby model,” said John Luft, president of Shelby American.

To celebrate the GT350’s 45th Anniversary, the 2011 Shelby GT350 was released in coupe version clad in Competition white with Guardsmen blue stripes paying homage to the original release in 1965. The following year, it released three more colors (red, blue and anniversary black/gold celebrating 50 years of Shelby American). A convertible version was also offered mimicking what the company did in 1966. In 2013, it again followed with more color options, equipment and styling changes.

The concept behind the current GT350 was to build a car that is light, nimble and powerful. Beginning with the ‘small block’ 5.0 liter Ford Mustang GT, every aspect of the car is enhanced or replaced to create the ultimate, balanced performance pony car that is true to the spirit of the 1960’s era Shelby GT350.

“We’ve taken another page out of the ‘Carroll Shelby playbook’,” said Luft. “In the ever evolving automotive market, we continue to adapt to meet customer needs. While we’ll look back on the current GT350 with great love and devotion, as Carroll always said, ‘our favorite car is the next one we build’.”

Shelby will continue to produce all existing models, including the Shelby GTS, GT500 Super Snake and Shelby 1000, Shelby Raptor muscle truck and hot hatch Shelby Focus ST.

New home for global expansion

The high performance company has also announced recently that it will open a state-of-the-art global headquarters on December 1, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Located near the world famous ‘Strip’ and McCarran International Airport, the 135,000 square-foot facility will house all operations under one roof. The new headquarters fronts I-15 and is one block off of Las Vegas Blvd at 6405 Ensworth St.

The new global headquarters combines the entire production process and Speed Shop with a historic Shelby automotive museum, gift shop and special factory tours.

Given the strong demand worldwide for Shelby vehicles, the company has decided to focus particularly into the European and emerging Asian markets. Combining the new facility with the company’s popular Shelby branded styling and performance parts distribution has the company poised to be a major player in the global automotive manufacturing and performance parts market.