Carroll Shelby Once Owned This Glorious Aston Martin

Classic Cars / Comments

It's heading to Amelia Island this March in search of a new home.

Carroll Shelby was best known for developing his own cars: Cobras, the Ford Mustang, and the Ford GT40 most especially. But before he opened his own shop, he was a racing driver. And this is the car he drove in his down-time.

It's a 1958 Aston Martin DB2/4 MkIII – one of only 83 made, and probably the one with the most noteworthy history. The car started out as a factory demonstrator and is believed to have been driven by chairman David Brown himself on holiday in Europe. But Brown soon sold it for half its retail price to his star racing driver.

Alex Stewart/RM Sotheby's
Alex Stewart/RM Sotheby's
Alex Stewart/RM Sotheby's

Carroll Shelby had a new unit of the W.O. Bentley-designed 2.9-liter straight-six engine fitted, and kept the car with him in Europe throughout the 1959 racing season. But after winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans for Aston Martin, he shipped the car back home to Texas.

The classic Aston has had a succession of owners since, including award-winning actor (and Pebble Beach Concours master-of-ceremonies) Ed Herrmann, who had it brought back to life in the mid-90s by RM Auto Restorations. It was then that Shelby's previous ownership was discovered, and Herrmann documented its provenance with Carroll himself.

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Alex Stewart/RM Sotheby's
Alex Stewart/RM Sotheby's
Alex Stewart/RM Sotheby's
Alex Stewart/RM Sotheby's

Now the auction division of the same company responsible for its restoration is handling its sale, its current owner (described only as a "renowned East Coast collector") consigning the storied Aston – looking handsome as ever in its original combination of Cardinal Grey with a red leather interior – to RM Sotheby's for its upcoming auction event during the Amelia Island Concours. For enthusiasts of either Aston Martin's work or Shelby's (or both), it presents a rare opportunity, and one that's sure to fetch a pretty penny or two when the gavel drops in March.

Alex Stewart/RM Sotheby's
Alex Stewart/RM Sotheby's
Alex Stewart/RM Sotheby's
Alex Stewart/RM Sotheby's

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