Will Shelby's 'Caravan' Mustang sell for $1m?

Two very special Shelby cars, a Cobra and a Mustang 350GT, are both estimated at $1m-plus for RM Sotheby's Scottsdale sale

A 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C which has led an 'unusually well-preserved life' is to be auctioned by RM Sotheby’s, at its Arizona sale, held on 18-19 January 2018.

The S/C – or semi-competition – Cobras were the result of a still-born project to go racing with the AC Cobra. Carroll Shelby hadn’t built enough chassis for homologation by the time the official body inspected his work, so homologation was denied. Shelby’s East Coast retailer advised that the cars be built into road-going monsters and sold – and the 427 S/C became the fastest road car in history.

This example is said to be one of the finest and most original examples in existence, and has benefitted from restoration work by marque expert Mike McCluskey. Supplied new in California, it has had just four owners and has spent time in England and Australia before being reimported to the US. The estimate is $2m-2.4m.

For Shelby fans, there will also be a 1965 Shelby GT350R which toured as part of the 1965 Cobra Caravan. Following a GT World Championship win, Shelby was frustrated by the lack of publicity afforded to the victory by Ford, and so devised the Caravan as a means of showing the world what it could do.

Shelby took a Cobra 427, Cobra 289, Cobra Daytona, GT350, GT350R and Ford GT40 on a 12-city tour of America, showcasing its models and achievements. The car offered by Sotheby’s will be the GT350R used as part of this tour – it later took part in the 1966 Caminos del Inca driven by Julio Martinetti.

John Brown of Thoroughbred Restorations, a Pebble Beach Concours Best-in-Class standard restorer, has attended to this car to ensure it is in as-original condition. Accordingly, it has won the Gold Concours at SAAC 42 in Indianapolis, Gold Concours at the Mid-America Shelby Nationals in Tulsa, and an MCA Gold at the Grand Nationals in Kansas City – the three highest accolades for a Shelby Mustang, and all within 2017. Its estimate of $1m-1.2m reflects its unique history.

A full list of available vehicles will be published on the [RM Sotheby's] website. Vehicles are still being consigned.

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