Take A Tour Of The World's Most Expensive Ford Mustang

By Brad Nash
23 January 2019
Shelby Cobra GT500 Super Snake, Cars
Photo credit: Mecum
The one-and-only Shelby Cobra 'Super Snake', once driven to top speed by Carrol Shelby himself, broke its own record with a $3 million sale at an auction last week

There are plenty of muscle car grails out there, but there are few select cars that transcend all muscle car debates altogether. Instead, they're simply desirable cars, steeped in the kind of history that would make anyone with a remote interest in cars want them.

The Shelby Cobra GT500 Super Snake is one of those cars, and as such, it surpassed its own benchmark as the most desirable (and therefore, expensive) Ford Mustang ever built over the weekend, going under the hammer at Mecum for just over $2.2 million. Here's what you need to know about the legendary car.

Ford Mustang

Credit: Mecum

Basically every part of this car and its history seems built from the ground-up to make any muscle car fan positively weak at the knees, regardless of brand affiliation. Only one Super Snake was built before Ford rebooted the line with just 10 limited-edition rebuilds last year, and it was perhaps the most powerful production Mustang built in its time.

An upgraded version of the already legendary Shelby Cobra GT500, it boasted 520hp thanks to an upgraded, lightened version of the 427 racing engine that Ford used to take their GT40 MKII to victory at the Le Mans 24 Hour in 1967.

McCain later described the engine as “the mother of all 427s at that time … aluminum heads, aluminum water pump, forged crank, Le Mans rods, just basically everything inside the engine was built to run sustained 6,000 RPM—to race at Le Mans."

Ford Mustang

Credit: Mecum

Contrary to popular belief, the GT500 sold at the time could only muster about 320hp from its own engine, making the Super Snake a huge upgrade over the original. The Super Snake also boasted Good Year Thunderbolt racing tyres — the skinniest ever fitted to a Mustang at the time.

All of this made it so powerful, so fast and so expensive to build, only one prototype version could feasibly be produced. Of course, neither Ford nor Shelby, were going to let the Car get away without some rigorous testing, and it Carrol Shelby himself who pushed the car to its absolute limit, maxing it out at 274km/h during a top speed run shortly after it was built.

It then embarked on what may have been the most fun 500-mile road test, during which it averaged a mind-boggling speed of 236km/h — enough to break almost any production car made before or after.

Ford Mustang

Credit: Mecum

It was sold for $5,000 back in 1967 (more than double the price of a standard GT500), before passing through the hands of a number of rare Mustang and Shelby collectors over the decades.

Naturally, it accrued incredible amounts of value during this time, and the last time it went up for auction back in 2013, it became one of the few true million-dollar muscle cars ever made: selling for $1.3 million.


Via GQ Australia