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12 Most Expensive Mustangs Sold at Auction And Worth Every Penny

Vukasin HerbezNovember 6, 2017

Everyone knows how globally popular the Ford Mustang is. Ever since its 1964 introduction, the car has always been among the best-selling Ford products of all time. It is also one of the bestselling affordable sports cars ever. Today, more than 50 years after the premiere, the current Mustang generation sells like hotcakes. But it’s those older Mustangs that are one of the most sought-after classic cars in the world.

The Mustang has reigned supreme for more than half a century, which is an unprecedented success in the car world. Over the years, Ford has produced millions of them. Most Mustangs were plain four, six and eight-cylinder models. But, there were also numerous special editions, limited production models and homologation specials.

Companies like Shelby American, Saleen, Roush and Steeda also produced special models based on regular Mustangs. Those cars were beyond anything the average customer could get from a Ford dealership in terms of specifications and price. So, it is logical that special Mustangs would cost more, but how much more? Most people would probably be amazed how much higher their prices are today.

If you’d like to know, keep reading this list of the 12 most expensive Mustangs ever. This list reflects the prices they have commanded in recent auctions. Remember, the final figure includes the auction house premium, so the actual price is somewhat lower. Even so, you are talking about some serious money for these Mustangs.

  1. Shelby GT350 Supercharged: $528,000

When they released the Mustang, Ford realized that despite its looks and V8 engine, it needed more appeal and a sportier image. They hired the famous racer and car constructor, Carroll Shelby to transform the Mustang into a proper sports machine. He delivered on his promise in the form of the GT350. It was light, loud, powerful and fast, producing 306 HP. The Mustang could finally run with the Corvette and even Europe’s finest sports cars.

As a hot-rodder, Shelby was never satisfied. He constantly improved the performance and the engineering of the Mustang. One of his lesser known amazing creations was the 1965 GT350 Supercharged. This was a regular Shelby Mustang but with a bolt-on Paxton/McCulloch supercharger. This was a one-off model for 1966; however, the supercharger became a regular production option they installed in just a few cars.

The supercharger gave the Shelby Mustang lots more power. Shelby responded by installing a beefed-up suspension, a limited slip differential, updated brakes and sway bars – and much more. All of this makes the 65′ GT350 Supercharger a unique, important Mustang, so the price of more than half a million dollars seems right.

  1. Ford Mustang Boss 429: $550,000

The mythical Mustang Boss 429 is a proper muscle car legend. Ford conceived it in 1969 as a pure racing engine intended for use in NASCAR championships. The Boss 429 featured a totally different engine architecture than the rest of Ford’s big blocks. They made the Boss 429 much wider. It also had semi-Hemi combustion chambers that helped achieve higher revs, better flow inside the head. Ultimately, it produced more power and torque.

With factory ratings of 375 HP, this unit produced over 500 HP, but it created much more in race trim. Ford decided to put this engine into the Mustang, offering a limited production Boss 429. However, NASCAR decided not to homologate it since they only accepted intermediate and full-size cars, but the Mustang was a pony car. So, Ford homologated the Torino Talladega as the body and the Boss 429 as the engine. It participated in the 1969 season with Torinos and Mercury Cyclones powered by Boss 429 engines.

Those cars proved successful, winning 30 out of 54 races that year. The secret was the engine. They designed the Boss 429 to run at high RPMs for long periods of time to achieve its peak power high in the RPM range. That is why the Mustang Boss 429 never fulfilled its street racing potential. Its mighty engine needed long superspeedway tracks to show its true power, rather than short quarter-mile stretches.

Available only in 1969 and 1970 as an engine option on a Mustang Sportsroof, they only produced 1,300 Boss 429s. This is a highly sought after model in present years. The Boss 429 that sold for a whopping $550,000 in 2013 was an unbelievably preserved example. It was in its original condition and with only approximately 1,000 miles on the clock. The time machine condition justified the enormous price, but many restored Boss 429s Mustangs also command high prices.

  1. Shelby GT500 KR: $550,000

In 2008, Ford finally returned to its roots and made a deal with Carroll Shelby to produce a new Mustang with a legendary name: GT500KR. Like the classic Shelby GT500 KR, which stands for King of the Road, the 2008 model came with special exterior features. It was in limited production and it had a 540 HP engine. It was the most powerful engine Ford produced at the time at 540 HP which, 10 years later, is a significant number.

But the specification of the engines is the best part. It was an iron block with forged pistons and 32-valve heads, with a dry sump and a massive supercharger on top of it. The engine performed fantastically, but it also looked great. They featured this engine in the 2007 to 2009 Shelby GT500 and GT500 KR, but also in the legendary Ford GT. You may ask what is so special about the 2008 GT500KR that makes it cost over half million bucks?

This was the first one the famous Carroll Shelby made, signed and delivered himself. They well documented the car with a serial number 0001 of 1,000. Besides that, the money from this sale went to charity. The bidder knew the funds were going to a good cause.

  1. Shelby GT H: $600,000

Back in 1966, Shelby teamed up with the Hertz rental company to make 1,000 black and gold GT350 fastbacks. Soon the GT350 H was a legend among the people looking to rent a race car. They could enjoy it through the weekend and return it on Monday. There were reports of drivers returning cars with race numbers on the side and holes drilled for race roll cages.

Eventually, Hertz stopped offering sports cars, but the legend was born. A full 41 years after the original GT350 H, Shelby introduced the GT model. They intended it for rental purposes and it was available at selected locations. The first new Shelby GT was offered for sale at a Barrett-Jackson auction in 2007. It fetched a whopping $600,000 with all the funds going to Carroll Shelby’s Children’s Foundation.

  1. Ford Mustang Boss 429: $605,000

Getting $605,000 for any car is an amazing achievement, let alone for the Boss 429. Despite its rarity and mystic allure, the Boss 429 never commanded such a high amount. The previous record was $550,000 for the 1,000-mile Mustang featured second on this list, but this is significantly more money. So, what makes this red example more desirable and ultimately more expensive?

This is one of the first Mustangs they made by hand. It featured an 820-S NASCAR engine with special Ford C9AE-A heavy-duty half-inch bolt rods. It also had forged pistons and a steel crank, among many other factory options. Ford hoped that NASCAR would accept the Mustang, so the first examples were more specific. They featured equipment and an engine with slightly more power and race-specific components.

Besides all of that, the best known and respected names in the Mustang world restored this Boss 429. So, the price was high yet justified by the providence of this car.

  1. 2007 Shelby GT500: $648,000

In January of 2006, Ford presented the first new Shelby model in 38 years. It was the first car, with a serial number of #001. Ford offered it exclusively for sale at the Barrett-Jackson auction. This first of the modern Shelby car was a sure winner. However, nobody expected the $648,000 final price before the hammer marked the end of the bidding.

As usual, all proceeds went to Carroll Shelby’s Children’s Foundation. You are probably wondering what the connection is between auctioning rare vehicles and donating to charity. If you donate money to charity, you will get a massive tax deduction. What is better for a car enthusiast than to bid on an ultimate example of their favorite cars while donating money for a good cause? They also receive a big deduction. It is a win-win situation for everybody involved.

  1. 1969 Shelby GT500 Convertible: $742,500

The final year for the classic Shelby models was 1969, since after that Carroll and Ford parted ways. They built the last examples in 1969. Even though Ford offered Shelby Mustangs for 1970, the truth was those were leftover models with 1970 VIN numbers. They offered the car as a coupe or a convertible. Pristine examples go for over $100,000 these days.

So, why did this 69′ Shelby GT500 convertible sell for an amazing $742,500 in 2008? The original owner of this specific convertible was none other than Mr. Carroll Shelby himself. He ordered the car in 1969. Shelby used the car for a few years. It was even featured in many period shots and ads.

After a string of owners, it ended up as the subject of a five-year restoration process. This transformed it in better than new condition. All of that justified the high price.

  1. 1965 Shelby GT350 R: $990,000

As you may already know, Shelby started building Mustangs in 1965 as fire-breathing machines. They brought Ford some much-needed recognition and performance credentials. But, these cars were responsible for racing success. There were 34 “R” models they produced only in 1965. Ford sold them to privateers and racing teams all over America.

Those cars were not street legal and were purely for racing purposes – something that they did extremely well. The GT350 R had numerous modifications and was lighter, faster and sharper than the regular GT350.

Each example had numerous wins under its belt. In fact, every R model is an extremely valuable piece of Mustang and racing history. They rarely come up for sale but when they do, they achieve astronomical prices. That was the case in 2012 when a highly original GT350 R sold for almost $1 million. This car had only 4,900 miles on the clock, and the original transmission and engine.

All its important parts were well-known among Mustang aficionados. They raced it extensively but eventually put it into storage. This helped preserve its original condition, which affected the price.

  1. Shelby GT500 Eleanor Movie Car: $1 Million

Would you pay a cool million for a Mustang? There were times when people would consider it impossible, but the most expensive cars have already exceeded that number. In May 2013, the famous car from the Gone in 60 Seconds remake sold for a million bucks, making history.

They released Gone in 60 Seconds in 2000. Despite an all-star cast, the only true star was the highly modified 1967 Shelby GT500 with the name “E” for Eleanor. Although they used several cars used for the shooting, “E” was the “hero car” for close-ups and promotional purposes. After the movie, the Eleanor soon became extremely popular.

Lots of companies produced and sold replicas with various drivetrains. Purists protested because they made several Eleanors using the real 1967 Fastback, which many considered blasphemy. Even though this car is almost 20 years old, its appeal is still strong. The lucky owner of the real Eleanor must’ve thought the same thing.

  1. Shelby GT500 Super Snake: $1.3 Million

Back in 1967, Shelby was a busy man. He was producing Mustangs for Ford while managing racing teams, helping Ford win the Le Mans. Besides all that, he found the time to produce several interesting prototypes based on production Shelby Mustangs. One of those cars was the legendary Super Snake.

They produced this GT500 as a rolling laboratory to showcase the Mustang platform, as well as for testing Goodyear’s “Thunderbolt” tire line. Goodyear was proud to announce their Thunderbolt tires could run at 170 mph, so Shelby built a car capable of that speed. Using a Le Mans-winning race engine, he modified the transmission and suspension, creating the Super Snake.

The Super Snake was the ultimate 170-mph Mustang. Today, 170 mph isn’t uncommon for a top speed. However, back in late 60’s, most muscle cars struggled to reach 120 mph. The Super Snake debuted in 1967. It broke several production car records with Carroll Shelby himself behind the wheel.

The Super Snake was so successful, there were plans for production. But, when Shelby realized its price would be around $8,000, which was big money for 1967, he killed the project. Shelby knew nobody would buy such an expensive car at the time. Almost 50 years later in 2013, the one and only Super Snake sold for a record-breaking $1.3 million.

  1. Shelby EXP500 Green Hornet: $1.8 Million

When talking about the most expensive Mustangs, it is important to mention the Green Hornet, even though they never sold it. Still, the car received the highest bid of $1.8 million, but that wasn’t enough to buy it. For those who don’t know, the Green Hornet is another experimental Mustang from Shelby’s heyday.

Although it wasn’t the only one, the Green Hornet had the most innovative features. It had a 390 V8 equipped with fuel injection, unique disc brakes on all four wheels, and an independent rear suspension. With this layout, the Green Hornet was a capable car that handled and stopped better than any other sports car on the market. Unfortunately, the cost of producing those features was too high. So, Ford and Shelby decided to go with more conventional technology.

Ford crushed most other prototypes like The Little Red 1967 Shelby GT500 convertible. However, the Green Hornet managed to survive in the hands of an ex-Ford employee. They restored the car. It is in perfect condition in the hands of the man who saved it from the crusher.

  1. Ford Mustang GT390 Bullitt: Price Undetermined

One of the biggest Mustang legends is the Bullitt movie car. In 1968, the legendary actor Steve McQueen starred in this detective flick, playing a detective who drove a mean-looking 1968 GT390 Fastback. They used two cars during the shooting, but they destroyed one of them. They used the other for close-ups and promotional shoots. McQueen, a racing enthusiast, drove and modified it, preserving it for the future.

They later sold the surviving GT309 car. After several owners, it finally settled on the East Coast of the U.S. It is in the garage of a private owner who wants to remain anonymous and is fully aware of the importance of this car. Currently, the owner doesn’t want to sell it. But, when this car finally makes its way to the auction block, it will be the most expensive Mustang in the world with a price breaking all previous records.

If you happen to have a stash of money and want an iconic Mustang, perhaps you’ll be able to purchase one of these gems someday. It is nice to know some of the proceeds can benefit those in need, too.

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