Caroll Shelby has gone down in history as one of the most iconic automotive figures of all time. He was the mastermind behind a couple of the most legendary classics ever produced: the AC Cobra and the Shelby Mustangs.
People remember him as an automotive designer, but he was a very successful race car driver before he started designing performance cars. Back in the 1950s he set a number of speed records driving an Austin-Healey for Donald Healey, and he was named Driver of the Year by Sports Illustrated twice (1956 & 1957).
The first Shelby Mustangs were introduced for the1965 model year. Formally, the car was called the GT 350, but people took to calling them Mustang Cobras because of the fame that Shelby had achieved with the AC Cobra. All of the original 1965 and 1966 Shelby Mustangs had the same engine, a 4.7 L V-8 rated at 306 hp.
For the 1967 model year the GT 500 was added to the roster, and it truly carried the hammer with a 335-hp, 7 L V-8.
The Shelby GT continued on to become one of the most sought after American performance cars of all time. These older models are very valuable today, because they are so rare.
Now, on to the news. There is a story circulating about a spectacular find in the garage of a Pennsylvania man named Larry Brown, who passed away last year. An apparently original 1969 Shelby GT 500 was sitting pretty in his garage, dust and all. The car has just 8500 miles on it.
Because of the almost mythical nature of the GT 500, coupled with the fact that there were only around 1000 of them produced, this is one expensive car. According to reports, GT 500s in far worse condition have sold for over a hundred large.
Brown didn’t leave behind a wife or children, but according to his obituary in the Centre Daily Times, he is survived by four sisters. They will presumably be the heirs to his estate.
The car is going up for auction, and the auction is being handled by Ron Gilligan Auctioneers. If you have six figures in your pocket that you want to spend on a truly classic American performance car, you may want to look into it. You can get the details about the auction here: 1969 Shelby GT 500 Auction.