1969 Ford Mustang GT500 Once Owned by Carroll Shelby Is Headed to Auction

Bid on this slice of Shelby history at the Mecum Auction in January.

In the late ’60s the budding relationship between Ford and Carroll Shelby reached an interesting point. After having developed the Ford-powered Shelby Cobra and the Shelby Mustang GT350, as well as the incredibly successful Ford GT40 Le Mans car, the two finally developed a big-block pony car—the Mustang GT500. And this one, that’s ready to hit the Mecum auction block in January, was once owned by Carroll Shelby himself.

The 1969 Mustang GT500 was built off of the first-generation Mustang but after its 1967 redesign. Prior to the redesign, the biggest engine that could fit under the Mustang’s hood was a small-block Ford V8. Afterward, however, the car grew enough in size to accommodate a big-block. You can imagine the excitement shared between Shelby and legendary Ford executive Lee Iococca, as they stuffed the Mustang with a 428 cubic-inch (7.0-liter) Cobra Jet V8. That monster engine featured a four-barrel carburetor, an aluminum intake manifold, and made 335 horsepower and 440 pounds-feet of torque.

This specific Mustang GT500 features Ford’s C6 three-speed automatic transmission, rather than the four-speed manual, which makes it more of a cruiser. However, it was ahead of its time, as it allowed for manual shifts, by selecting first or second gear with the shift lever. This car also wears Candyapple Red paint with black interior, has a Traction-Lok rear differential, power steering, front disc brakes, and even a Philco AM radio (fancy). However, its biggest selling point is the list of people who’ve owned it.

Carroll Shelby did own the car but he wasn’t the original owner. Instead, Academy Award-winning actor and director Jackie Cooper was the first owner, buying it brand-new in California in 1969. After that, it exchanged hands one more time, with a collector in Ohio, before it ended up with Shelby.

If you want a slice of Shelby history, owned by the man himself, you can bid on this ’69 Mustang GT500 on January 4, 2023.