Unique GT500 Super Snake realises $1.3m auction record at Mecum

Mecum Auctions' 26th Original Spring Classic car auction, held May 14-19 in Indiana, was topped by American muscle, with a unique 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake providing the spectacular highlight.

1967 Shelby Super Snake
This is the first and only Super Snake made in 1967

The white and blue-striped beast sold for an impressive $1.3m to lead the sale.

The $1.3m sale price represents a new world record for a Shelby GT500 Super Snake, far outstripping the previous $330,000 record set following Carroll Shelby's death in 2012.

The Super Snake began life as an ordinary 1967 Shelby GT500 Mustang, which was intended to serve as a demo vehicle for Goodyear's newly released Thunderbolt tyres.

However, Don McCain, Shelby's sales manager, noticed the potential for an even higher powered machine than the standard GT500 and managed to convince Caroll Shelby - who had previously worked on Ford's GT40 - to put the 427 cubic inch engine from the GT40 into the demo vehicle.

Now fitted with a Le Mans-winning engine, the car was dubbed the Super Snake by McCain. It boasts 600hp and can reach speeds of up to 170mph. As part of the Thunderbolt tests, it averaged 147mph over 500 miles.

Despite being an incredibly popular collector's car today, the buying public were less than impressed with the Super Snake upon its release, mainly due to it costing significantly more than a 427 Cobra. As such, this was the only example ever produced.

Eleanor Ford Mustang GT500
There are plenty of replicas on the market, but this 1967 Ford Mustang GT500s is one of only three actually driven in the film and is undoubtedly the most important

Also featuring in the sale was one of three remaining 1967 Ford Mustang GT500s from the 2000 film remake of Gone in 60 Seconds. Known as Eleanor, which is the name given to the car by Nicholas Cage in the movie, it sold for a cool $1m.

Also selling over the weekend was a unique Aston Martin DB4GT Bertone Jet, which set a new world record at $4.9m with Bonhams.

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