Cars from the Ron Pratte Collection
Editor’s note: This is the 26th in a 30-day series featuring cars from the Ron Pratte Collection that will be sold this month at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction.
Carroll Shelby’s own 1969 Shelby GT500 convertible
The July 2001 issue of Mustang Monthly listed this 1969 Shelby GT500 convertible, Carroll Shelby’s personal car, as No. 1 on the “Top 10 Dream Cars” to own. Shelby personally owned this car for three decades.
According to the Shelby American Automobile Club (SAAC), an organization recognized since 1975 as the undisputed authority on the history and legacy of all Shelby automobiles, Carroll’s personal 1969 GT500 was shipped to his company in June 1969. Originally painted white with white top and interior, the car rode on F60x15 tires and its 428-cubic-inch engine was connected to a 3-speed automatic transmission.
Shelby purchased this car with just over 7,000 demonstration miles on its odometer. Over the years, he tailored the car to his own style with tasteful changes such as 10-spoke Shelby wheels. He also had it painted red.
He cruised across Southern California in the car, though for a time he allowed it to be displayed at the Imperial Palace Automobile Collection in Las Vegas.
In 2007, he asked his friend and Shelby car expert Stephen Becker to oversee the restoration of his convertible. At the hands of celebrated craftsman Jim Coles, every mechanical piece, from the automatic transmission to the 9-inch rear end, was rebuilt or replaced to its original 1969 condition and the body repainted in Carroll’s favorite color.
“Carroll’s Shelby” (Lot #2511) is scheduled to cross the auction block in Scottsdale on Saturday, January 17.
1949 MG TC roadster race car
The first car that Carroll Shelby drove in a road race was this 1949 MG TC. It was in May, 1952 that Shelby’s friend, Ed Wilkins, let Shelby drive his MG TC in a road race in Norman, Oklahoma. Shelby won the race. He also won a second race in the car, easily outrunning the Jaguar XK120s.
Those races and this car changed the course of Shelby’s life as he went on to an amazing career in racing, winning Le Mans as a driver and a team manager as well as achieving automotive immortality as creator of the Shelby Cobra and Mustang.
This vintage race car was part of the famous Syd Silverman Collection for 20 years before being purchased by Ron Pratte. This historic MG was awarded the prestigious Collier Cup in 2005 at the all-MG vintage race in Watkins Glen, New York.
The car sports the original 1250-cc four-cylinder engine with a 4-speed transmission that has since been built up to more than 100 horsepower and is race ready. It still has the SCCA Log Book, as well as the original fenders, bonnet and mechanical parts that were stripped from the car for competition.
This 1949 MG TC Roadster Race Car (Lot #2510) is scheduled to cross the auction block in Scottsdale on Saturday, January 17.
1967 Shelby GT500
The big block Shelby Mustang debuted in 1967 when Ford installed a 390-cubic-inch V8 in the standard GT model. It opened the path for Carroll Shelby to take the whole concept a bit further by offering a 428-cid dual-quad big block to his elite group of Shelby car enthusiasts. The results were a radical departure from the standard-looking Mustang.
Through the extensive use of stylized lightweight fiberglass on the hood, trunk and side air scoops, the already highly popular car was transformed into an aggressive, race-ready-looking grand touring muscle car we know today as the Shelby GT500.
The ’67 Shelby sported a host of upgraded options such as heavy-duty suspension with thicker anti-sway bars, functional brake scoops on early cars along with inboard headlights, power steering cooler, 15×7-inch cast-aluminum wheels, functional roll bar and shoulder harness, oil pressure and amp gauge cluster, traction lock differential and a 140-mph speedometer with 8,000 rpm tachometer.
This 1967 Shelby GT500 (Lot #2512) is one of the rarest examples of Shelby history. Car #943 was a family car given to Mike Shelby by his father, Carroll, in his favorite color combination: Midnight Metallic Blue with Parchment interior. Documented as authentic in the Shelby Registry and beautifully restored to concours original condition by one of the leading Shelby restoration experts, this GT500 is one of the most collectible cars in Shelby history.
This car is a matching numbers example of preserved authenticity retaining its California black license plate. Finished in the original color Midnight Metallic Blue with Parchment interior, Wimbledon White stripes, inboard headlights, top loader 4-speed, brake ducts, 10-spoke alloy wheels and original, very rare “one-year-only” wood steering wheel and horn button.
This 1967 Shelby GT500 (Lot #2512) is scheduled to cross the auction block in Scottsdale on Saturday, January 17.
2007 Shelby GT #001
The Shelby GT was the newest performance Mustang to join the lineup in 2007. It began production at Shelby Automobiles in Las Vegas in January 2007. This 2007 Shelby GT was the first to be produced and carries Shelby CSM #001.
The Shelby GT Mustang combines the best in classic Shelby looks and Ford Racing Performance Parts for a well-balanced, corner-carving Mustang that is equally at home on the track or the street. This car started life as a Mustang GT at the factory in Flat Rock, Michigan, and was shipped to Las Vegas for modification by Shelby.
Ford Racing power and handling upgrade packages increase performance by approximately 25 horsepower and lower the car 1.5 inches while tightening the suspension and improving handling. The car is fitted with a Hurst short throw shifter and X-pipe exhaust.
Some key Shelby design components include hood scoop, hood pins, grille insert, sill plate and floor mats, “Shelby GT” side stripe, “Shelby” badging on trunk lid and a custom authentication plate on the dash.
The 2007 Shelby GT “Serial #001” (Lot #2525) is scheduled to cross the auction block in Scottsdale on Saturday, January 17.
The Ron Pratte Collection will begin being auctioned at the 44th Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction with automobilia from Saturday, January 10 at 9 a.m. (MST) through Tuesday, January 13 at 1 p.m. Pratte’s vehicles first cross the block at 4 p.m. on Tuesday with lot numbers 2000 through 2109 and continue with lot numbers 2500 through 2530 Saturday, January 17.