The 7 Most Expensive Mustangs Sold at Auction
Mustangs are hotter than ever especially classic models. There’s only one car from this century on the list, but the total value of the 7 exceeds $6 million.
One car that should have been on this list (and might some day soon) is a newly-restored Shelby that didn’t sell despite a high bid of $1.8 million. It went under the knife for some upgrades where it received experimental fuel injection, unique disc brakes, and independent rear suspension. Maybe at the next auction. In the meantime, check out the current Top 7.
7. The First 2007 Shelby GT500 – $648,000
Number 7 is the only Mustang from this century to make our list. Riding high on the enthusiasm that Shelby was bringing back the GT500, exciting Mustang enthusiasts everywhere, the very first modern production GT500, built on the S197 platform and powered by a supercharged 5.4 L DOHC V8 was sold for $648,000 at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale in January of 2006 with all proceeds benefiting Carroll Shelby’s Children’s Foundation.
6. Carroll Shelby’s personal 1969 GT500 convertible – $742,500
Carroll Shelby’s personal 1969 GT500 Convertible sold for an amazing $742,500 at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale back in January of 2008. The man himself owned this car since it was brand new. The only other Shelby he’d owned longer was the first Cobra. And interestingly enough, it was equipped with an automatic transmission. Restorer Jim Cowles of Shelby Parts & Restoration in Green Bay completed a rotisserie freshening of the car prior to the auction.
5. 1965 Shelby GT350 R – $770,000
All of the original GT350 Rs were delivered in white with blue stripes, but this one was repainted with red and green stripes by a privateer from Mexico City. Even before that it had already scored a glorious win with F1 driver and future Porsche 917 ace Pedro Rodriguez. At an SCCA race at Green Valley, Texas in 1966 Rodriguez (who was there to race a Mini Cooper!) stepped up to race the car after the original driver backed out, and he easily beat Jerry Titus in a GT350 R. The car then ran first in class at 24 Hours of Daytona in 1967 before retiring with a blown engine, followed by a class win at the Sebring 12 Hours. After which it was campaigned all season and won the 1967 SCCA B Production National Championship. The car was sold as part of the Sotheby’s Andrews Collection in 2015.
4. 1965 Shelby GT350 R – $984,500
While the GT350 R was already a blistering car right out of the box from Shelby, this one was purchased and improved upon by racer Charlie Kemp (who would later famously race the radical AAGT Mustang II). Kemp bought the car in December 1967, paying $4,600 cash at Foreign Car Center in Birmingham, Alabama. The car was well-proven in that it had already won the SCCA Southeast Division Championship. It was common in those days to race cars just as they’d come from the factory. Instead Kemp and mechanic Pete Hood removed weight, added power and tweaked handling until it was quick enough to beat not just everything in the SCCA B Production class but even many A Production cars (big block Corvettes and Cobras). Through 1971, it won 32 out of 54 races entered, set several lap records, and was clocked at 184 mph at Daytona. Billed as the “Winningest Shelby,” and it had bids flying in at the RM Amelia Island auction in 2014
3. 1965 Shelby GT350 R – $990,000
What made this Shelby GT350 R so special wasn’t that it had an extraordinary race history (it was raced mostly at a local level), but that after the original owner was done racing the car, he stored it until 1986, when it was purchased by a Shelby enthusiast who had the car restored. It changed hands several times before ending up with the owner who put the car up for auction. He had a restoration done using only 100% original Shelby parts and the car retains its original engine and transmissions. In fact, when it was sold by RM Auctions at Monterey in 2012, there were less than 4900 (all track) miles on the car.
2. 1967 Ford Mustang GT500 “Eleanor” – $1,060,000
One of about a dozen identical cars built Cinema Vehicle Services for the 2000 film Gone In 60 Seconds, it’s not originally a GT500 but a heavily modified ’67 fastback with a 351/400hp crate motor, coilover suspension, power rack and pinion, and heavily revised bodywork designed by Steve Stanford. This particular Mustang was an actual movie vehicle apparently used for many of the close-up shots in the film, and has been referred to as the “hero” car. Even the auctioneers at Mecum were surprised at the result, as it sold for way over the estimate at the 2013 Indianapolis auction. As for that seven-figure final price, it’s a well-executed resto-mod, but it’s the movie stardom that made it the second most expensive Mustang sold at auction.
1. 1967 Shelby GT500 “Super Snake” Fastback – $1,378,000
The GT500 was the first big-block Shelby Mustang, powered by a modified 428 cubic-inch FE engine (smaller bore and longer stroke than the more race-oriented 427 with its big bore/short stroke). The Super Snake, however, was like no other GT500 and indeed no other Mustang. On behalf of Goodyear, Shelby American took a regular production GT500 and built it out as a high-speed test vehicle to promote a new line of Goodyear tires with a high-speed run around Goodyear’s 5 mile oval test track in Texas. The car was fitted it with a race-spec 600 hp 427 V8 that was virtually identical to the engine in the GT40 that has just won Le Mans. Upgraded many components to race spec and fitted stiffer springs and shocks on the right side to compensate for the banked test track. After completing the run for Goodyear, there were hopes of building a limited run of 50 Super Snakes, but the car was deemed too expensive and this remained the only one. And when there’s only one of something, especially a ludicrously fast car like a 600-hp ’67 Mustang built by Shelby American, people tend to want it. Picking one “ultimate Mustang” is a near impossible choice, but this car is certainly in the running as reflected by the record price collected at the 2013 Mecum Indianapolis auction.