Was it a case of buyer's remorse?
A 1965 Shelby GT350R Prototype is going up for sale next month at Mecum's Kissimmee 2022 auction. It's the first Shelby R-Model competition car; it's also the first Shelby Mustang to win a race. And we already know it as the most valuable Mustang in the world, due to its sale last year at the same auction house for a whopping $3.85 million with fees.
Serial number 5R002 was Shelby American's first factory engineering mule, serving as a test bed for new ideas and the eventual customer models of which 34 were built. Based on the lowly Ford Mustang, it was presented to the FIA in 1965 to be homologated, and was consequently driven by legends of the sport including Jerry Titus, Peter Brock, Chuck Cantwell, the late Bob Bondurant and Ken Miles himself.
It served as a promotional car at Riverside International Raceway in California with journalists taking drives on the street. Race driver Ronnie Bucknam gave demonstration laps. Less than a month later the car took the name The Flying Mustang, after Ken Miles jumped it at Green Valley Raceway in Texas on his way to a checkered flag.
The picture made the rounds through every car magazine including Car & Driver, Road & Track, Sports Car Graphic, and others. Carroll Shelby, being the showman that he is, immediately used the race and picture for public relations reportedly saying the GT350R is a "true dual-purpose sports car that is a top performer on and off the track." It later appeared in marketing materials with the tagline, "See, our Mustangs really fly!"
It moved around, was sold for $4,000 as a test car, and made its way to Ford's home in Dearborn, Michigan. It went to Texas, Mexico, then to Colorado for a 14-year stint in the Shelby American Museum in "as-is" condition. It got restored to its original racing configuration in Oklahoma, then stopped at Amelia Island in 2014 and Pebble Beach in 2015.
So, it's up for sale again. And Mecum even notes it in the description saying, "Short term ownership for a car of this magnitude is very unusual, however the buyer's decision to resell the car now provides an extraordinary opportunity to acquire the most coveted Shelby Mustang of all time." We're not sure why the owner wants to flip it so quickly, but it might have something to do with the market. Or they just need money. Either way, it goes up for sale next month.