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$13.75-Million Shelby Cobra Sets Auction Record for an American Car

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author photo by Doug DeMuro August 2016

The first-ever Shelby Cobra set an all-time auction record for an American car last week: $13.75 million including auction fees. That means the car was bid to an impressive $12.5 million, with auction fees taking a similarly impressive $1.25 million. Perhaps we should be in the car auction business.

Despite its record sale price, the huge number wasn't a big surprise to anyone who follows the collector car market. All Cobra models fetch enormous prices well into millions of dollars, so it stands to reason that the very first example would be even more valuable. The car crossed the auction block at RM Sotheby's in Monterey, California, on Friday -- during the heart of Monterey Car Week.

The previous sale price record for an American car at auction was set 5 years ago at the very same sale, when a 1968 Ford GT40 sold for $11 million plus fees. That GT40 had been successfully raced, then sold to Steve McQueen's production company for use as a camera car during the filming of his now-famous movie "Le Mans."

Interestingly, while the GT40 had been beautifully restored since its days as a race car and a camera vehicle, the first-ever Shelby Cobra was completely original -- save for a few repaints over the years. That may have boosted its value, as all-original vehicles have become highly collectible in the last few years.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
$13.75-Million Shelby Cobra Sets Auction Record for an American Car - Autotrader