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The First Shelby GT350 “R-Model” Becomes Most Valuable Mustang Ever at Mecum

“Recognized as the “Flying Mustang,” the first Shelby GT350 “R-Model” ranks not only as the most historically important Shelby Mustang in the world, but it is also arguably the most important Mustang in the history of the marque, period.” –Mecum

On paper, the economy might’ve taken a dip recently. However, that wouldn’t stop the first Shelby GT350 “R-Model” from toppling the price tag for the most expensive Mustang ever. Credited as the first Shelby Mustang to win a race, the car certainly has laid the foundation for what the Mustang has become. As such, the price tag seems to have followed the car’s historic status.

The final hammer price on the block reached $3.5 million. When considering the buyer’s premium, the final sale price would amount to $3.85 million for what the broadcasters touted “The most significant Mustang in history.”

The car became a piece of history when racer, Ken Miles, launched all four wheels into the air during the first sanctioned race that the Shelby GT350R was entered into. It was a sort of “Prove it” race for the platform as it was new to racing. Miles would go on to win the race and give the GT350R a jumping-off point.

According to MotorAuthority, Bob Bondurant, Chuck Cantwell, Peter Brock, Jerry Titus, and Carroll Shelby all spent time behind the wheel of the car. They tell us that this particular chassis number (5R002) was the first GT350R as one of two prototype examples and the second GT350 built by Shelby.

The car would be unloaded by Shelby in 1966 for a whopping $4,000 as Ford engineer Bill Clawson who would continue racing it. It would bounce around until it ended up in the Shelby American Museum where it would live for 14 years until famous Shelby collector, John Atzbach, acquired it in 2010 and had it restored to the original racing configuration.