A $2.2 Million Auction Result Makes This The Most Expensive Mustang Ever

The GT40-engined 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake has broken the record for the most expensive Ford Mustang ever sold

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A $2.2 Million Auction Result Makes This The Most Expensive Mustang Ever - Used Cars

700bhp is a rather eye-catching number, isn’t it? The new Shelby Mustang GT500 will produce more than this impressive output, Ford says, but let me present a GT500-related figure which might divert your attention from the car for a moment: $2.2 million.

That’s how much someone’s just spent on another GT500 at an auction in Kissimmee, Florida. To be more specific, it’s a 1967 one-off Shelby GT500 Super Snake, and it now holds the record for the most expensive Mustang ever sold. It smashed both Mecum Auctions’ $1,000,000 - $1,200,000 estimate, and obliterated the previous ‘Stang record of $1.3 million. And the previous record holder was… this very car, actually. So what makes it so special?

A $2.2 Million Auction Result Makes This The Most Expensive Mustang Ever - Used Cars

In the late 1960s, Shelby was Goodyear’s West Coast distributor. The tyre company needed to plug its new Thunderbolt economy boots, so a plan was set in motion: a GT500 would be used for a lengthy high-speed test at Goodyear’s San Angelo, Texas facility, drumming up lots of juicy publicity in the process.

Don McCain, Shelby American’s former sales boss, then approached Shelby w=ith a proposal to take the test one step further: the GT500 could be turned into a monster with world-beating performance. And this would be done by stuffing a Ford GT40-spec 427 racing engine under the bonnet.

While the regular GT500 made do with a ‘just’ 350bhp, the Super Snake was good for more like 600. It was given a new rear axle, a fresh gearbox, and was soon sent out for a 500-mile tyre test on Goodyear’s five-mile oval. It averaged 142mph and hit a top speed of 170mph. Despite being the thinnest hoops ever put on a Shelby GT car, the Thunderbolts still had 97 per cent of their tread left by the end.

A $2.2 Million Auction Result Makes This The Most Expensive Mustang Ever - Used Cars

The intention was to put the car into limited-production, but it was deemed too expensive, with a projected price double that of a GT500. Shelby sold the prototype in 1970, and it changed hands several times in the following decades before the current owner - Shelby collector John Wickey - took possession around five years ago.

And yes, it is still sitting on skinny whitewall Thunderbolts. Richard Ellis - the guy who sold it to Wickey - once told Auto Enthusiast Magazine that he’d “Found what has to be the only surviving set in a warehouse in Akron, Ohio.” He was convinced Shelby simply binned the original tyres used for the test itself.

A $2.2 Million Auction Result Makes This The Most Expensive Mustang Ever - Used Cars

With a back-story like that, it’s perhaps unsurprising the Super Snake went for such a huge figure. You wouldn’t want to bet against it breaking the record again at some point, either.