This 1964 Shelby 289 Cobra is up for auction this weekend in Scottsdale, offered by Gooding & Company for — wait for it — upwards of $US1.4 million.
Before you say “Wha?!” because this rare American sports car looks like it was dug up from a dirt pile someplace in the Upper Midwest, know that its value derives largely from its current less-than-perfect condition.
It’s what know in the car collecting world as a “barn find.”
It’s the Holy Grail of car collectors who pursue pure examples of their dream cars — cars that haven’t been messed with or modified. Cars that can serve as the basis for loving restorations.
American motorsports legend Carroll Shelby is responsible for this diamond in the rough. He created his Shelby Cobras in the 1960s, and over the decades they have become some of most most desirable collectibles. They combine a kind of raw American spirit with smooth, lightly European style.
This one spent 40 years with the same owner. My Business Insider colleague Ben Zhang lamented that the owner didn’t invest in upkeep, a fair complaint, but I pointed out that all the owner had to do was keep the car in a barn for four decades in order to make a million bucks.
Such is the mythology that surrounds Shelby.
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