Zach Martin
January 11, 2018

Every few years, a legendary car comes up for sale. These cars are the one percent of the one percent. On January 18 in Scottsdale, Arizona, one of these titans of the tarmac will roll across the block and into one very lucky buyer's driveway.

The Bonhams auction in a couple of weeks is the most prestigious, privately owned auction house in the world, tracing its roots back to 18th Century England. They are no strangers to the market of fine automobiles as some of the vehicles currently for sale under their guise are a 1915 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Limousine, 1986 Lancia Delta S4 Group B rally car, and a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster racecar currently valued between 1.1 and 1.4 million U.S. dollars. It's only fitting that such an organization as this is handling a vehicle deeply rooted in America's racing heritage.

Lot 16 of the auction is Caroll Shelby's personal 1966 GT350H, chassis number SFM6S707, dressed in Wimbledon White with Guardsman Blue Le Mans stripes. The car has been on display at Shelby Automobiles in Las Vegas since 2008. Before its delivery over 50 years ago, its first stop was to Hi-Performance Motors in El Segundo California (our neighborhood), where it received a new radio before being passed along to a few other shops for further prep. The car was then shipped to Hertz of San Diego to be enjoyed by enthusiasts who couldn't necessarily afford it.

The car remained in the Hertz fleet until it was purchased by Fred Johnson, the car's first private owner, on September 7, 1967. The car was then sold to Mike Shoen, who gave the car a once over, outfitting it with more performance-oriented parts. A '65 model GT350 gauge pod housing a tachometer and oil pressure gauge, R-model apron, valve covers, radiator, roll bar, R-model wheels, and Berry Plastiglas rear spoiler were all fitted under Shoen's ownership.

Shelby purchased the car from Shoen and kept in his personal collection. Many of the changes that were made by the previous owner were removed in favor of the traditional look, however, the wheels remained on the car.

There have been several one-off cars, all-original cars, and survivors of the highest caliber that have rolled across auction blocks in the past few years, but when a piece of history like this GT350H leaves a collection we can't help but be excited. Historical cars change hands often, and hopefully this car of Caroll Shelby's will go on to a good home and maybe even see some road miles. After all, it is a car!

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