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At $13.75 million, this is now the most expensive American car ever sold

There's a new reigning monarch for the most expensive American car ever sold at auction. And it's a modified British sports car with a Ford V8 under the hood. Go figure.

The roundish blue shape you see above is the 1962 Shelby 260 Cobra "CSX 2000" — a.k.a the first Cobra from lionized car designer Carroll Shelby. It just fetched $13.75 million ($12.5-million bid plus fees) this weekend. That makes it the most expensive American car ever sold at auction.

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Though Shelby didn't know it at the time, this little mod-job would go on to change American sports cars forever. Now it's altered the trajectory of American-car values forever, too. Talk about influence.

When this Cobra was first built, to make it seem like he'd made more than one, Shelby and his crew repainted it before handing it over to a car magazine for review. As a result, the unrestored body sports dents and chips that reveal different paint colors beneath the final blue paint job.

Onlookers might glimpse at what appears to be a well-worn sports car and wonder why it's worth $13.75 million. Its looks don't impart the car's significance, though. Without this car, and the racing triumphs of its successors, Shelby would never have been given the chance to lend his know-how to the automotive industry.

That means no GT350 and GT500 Mustangs. Likely, in turn, that means no cars like the Corvette Grand Sport or Camaro Z28 from Chevrolet to compete with Ford. Heck, the American muscle wars started in the 1960s that continues to this day may not have been ignited at all without this car.

So, is it worth $13.75 million? Yeah, I'd say so.

© 2014-2023 by Smart Group LLC.

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