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In 1965, Carol Shelby hired Bob Bondurent to race for the Ford Cobra team in the FIA World Manufacturers Championship, resulting in a win that would change history – eventually.

Unfortunately, the first ever championship win for an American manufacturer didn’t really get the press it deserved at the time. With larger races taking precedence at the time followed by reviews of upcoming models, the Shelby win was all but drowned out of the automotive news. Carroll Shelby, however, has never been one to take these sorts of things lying down. Taking matters into his own hands, he assembled a caravan of championship cars carried by a 42-foot trailer to tour 12 cities in just four weeks.

With the side of the trailer proudly singing the praises of the cars within, the caravan made its rounds to publicity events in which the race cars were displayed alongside street versions of the GT350 or Cobra models. These cars consisted of a 427 competition Cobra, a Ford GT40, a Daytona Coupe, and finally this 1965 Shelby GT350R that is scheduled for Mecum’s Indy 2021 auction.

Before and after being used as a promotional vehicle by the Shelby team this GT350R proved itself on multiple race tracks. It spent most of its early years in Peru competing in Alpine rallies and endurance races before being repatriated to the U.S. in 1984. In 1998, it was purchased by a new owner who proceeded to have the car restored for vintage racing. Later the car was again restored, this time using only original and NOS parts earning it First Place in the Popular Vote Class at SAAC-30 in 2005.

Only 34 GT350Rs were produced and this is one of only four that carry a “factory” history. This is an incredible opportunity to add a race winning and show winning piece of Shelby history to your collection.

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