Would you pay almost $4 million for a classic Shelby Mustang?

The first-generation Ford Mustang is one of the most iconic cars ever built, and for a 60-year-old classic it isn’t very expensive. You can buy several models for less than $100,000 and the rare versions aren’t as expensive as the Ferraris from the era, which are known to cost from as low as $5 million to as much as $50 million.

But some Mustangs can cost millions of dollars. Up until now, Steve McQueen’s Mustang from the Bullitt movie was the most expensive, having been auctioned off for $3.74 million in January 2020. Come July and that record has been surpassed by another Mustang from the era. The prototype version of the 1965 Shelby GT350R just crossed the block for $3.85 million, $14K more than McQueen’s green ’Stang.

Developed for the SSCA Production Sports Car series, the GT350R was one of the first race-spec Mustangs built by Carroll Shelby.
The Most Expensive Mustang Is Now a 1965 Shelby GT350R With a Price of $3.85 Million
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It was also the brand’s first R model, the first one to hit the race track, and the first one to win a race. This specific prototype was retired from racing by Shelby in 1966 and sold off to a Ford Performance Division for just $4,000. It was race some more until 1968, when it was sold for the second time.

The Most Expensive Mustang Is Now a 1965 Shelby GT350R With a Price of $3.85 Million
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The car changed owners yet again in 1970 and then sat untouched until it was discovered in 1989. After that, it spent 14 years in a Shelby American Museum and in 2010 it was purchased by Shelby collector John Atzbach. The car was restored and returned to the track to win trophies at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

The Most Expensive Mustang Is Now a 1965 Shelby GT350R With a Price of $3.85 Million
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The 1965 Shelby GT350R prototype is one of only five Mustangs sold for at least $1 million.

The others are the 1968 Mustang GT Bullitt ($3.74 million), 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake ($1.3 million), first production 2020 Shelby GT500 ($1.1 million), and the 1967 Shelby GT500 Eleanor ($1 million).

A regular production Shelby GT350R from 1965 almost hit the $1 million mark back in 2012, when it was auctioned off for $990,000.

The 1965 GT350R was essentially a race-spec version of the Shelby GT350. The nameplate was revived in 2015, but unlike its predecessor, the modern GT350R is actually a road car with some race-inspired features.

Source: Mecum

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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