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Saturday, October 18, 2014

You Can Own Carroll Shelby’s Very First Race Car





Carroll Shelby was a Formula One driver and even won overall at Le Mans with Aston Martin before building the Cobra, hot rodding Mustangs and running successful race teams. A career like that is, of course, the stuff of legend, but Shelby had to start somewhere. Like so many in the postwar sports car craze in America, that start was in a simple but effective MG TC.

In May of 1952, a buddy of Shelby’s was entering his 1949 TC Roadster in a small race in Oklahoma. Shelby was a high school friend and decided to tag along. He had never raced before, but did convince the guy to let him try.


The event was divided into a race for smaller cars like the popular T-Series MG and one for larger ones like Jaguars and Allards. Shelby promptly went out and won both races, immediately exposing that raw talent that would eventually take him to race with the best in the U.S. and Europe.

Thirty years after Shelby’s debut in it, the MG was restored for vintage racing and used regularly. Like many T-Series cars of the day, it is lightly modified, including the removal of the hood sides and the windscreen as well as a race-tuned 100 horsepower from the 1250 cc four.


Barrett-Jackson will be selling Shelby’s first race car at their annual Scottsdale sale in January. It last sold at Barrett-Jackson’s sale in Las Vegas back in 2008 for just over $300,000.

With the general frenzy in the collector car market as well as Shelby’s passing in 2012, it will likely bring a lot more this time when it crosses the block. As the car that set an iconic personality on the path to greatness, this MG will be one to keep an eye out for in Scottsdale next year.