World’s most treasured Ford Mustang heading to auction in early 2022
A very special 1965 Shelby Mustang GT350R will hit the block in January 2022: it is the first Shelby Mustang R in history and also the first Shelby ‘Stang to have won a race. Last summer, the car changed hands for a record breaking $3.85 million USD.
Carroll Shelby himself supervised the build and had originally planned to use it exclusively for engineering tests, but later decided that having it run a few real races wouldn’t hurt.
Bob Bondurant, Peter Brock and Ken Miles piloted this specific example in 1965, bringing home a dozen of victories and earning it the nickname ‘The Flying Mustang’. Resellers often advertised it as ‘the world’s most historically important Shelby Mustang.’
As should be expected from a prototype, the R muscle car incorporated a large number of innovative and often unconventional design solutions. After showing it off to interested clients, Shelby proceeded to build another 34 units for everyone interested. Those were all a bit different from the original, however, preserving its uniqueness for collecting purposes.
For another few years, the car continued its racing career, after which it was abandoned in a barn until 1989. A museum bought it out and kept on display until 2010. Collector John Atzbach had it restored to factory state and sold in 2020 to a new owner, who has now decided to get rid of it, too.
Editor Andrew Raspopov