While the “Shelby” name is one we might more readily associate with Ford Motor Company, Carroll Shelby and Mopar had a fruitful relationship back in the 1980s, which gave us memorable, performance-oriented classics like the Shelby Charger and the Dodge Omni-based Shelby GLH (“Goes Like Hell”). The former racing driver, car designer, and chicken farmer from Texas passed away in 2012 at the age of 89, yet the many contributions he made to help shape the performance automobile landscape live on.
And so, of course, do many of his cars. Now, Bonhams Auction House has been tapped to help sell off a selection of two-dozen fine automobiles from Carroll Shelby’s personal collection, and while the group of cars is predominantly Ford-powered, there are some excellent pieces of Mopar history in the mix, as well.
Perhaps most intriguing, this June, Bonhams will auction off Carroll Shelby’s personal 1989 Dodge CSX-VNT (Carroll Shelby eXperimental – Variable-Nozzle Turbo). Based on the Dodge Shadow/Plymouth Sundance, the CSX-VNT was a front-wheel-drive street rocket with a 175-horsepower/205-lb-ft 2.2L “Turbo IV” engine under the hood. The bit about the “variable-nozzle turbo” has to do with its unique Garrett turbocharger technology, which used a computer to control the flow of exhaust gases through the turbine and reduce spool time, while removing the need for a wastegate. Shelby’s example, of course, is Serial No. 1.
If that sounds a bit too rich for your budget, there’s also the 1987 Dodge CSX Serial No. 1 – a very similar car, except with Chrysler’s older “Turbo II” engine. Bonhams will also sell a 1982 Shelby Charger prototype, a 1983 Dodge/Shelby pickup concept, 1987 Dodge Shelby Lancer Serial No. 1, 1987 Shelby Charger GLH-S (“Goes Like Hell S’more”) Serial No. 1 (pictured above), and a 1988 Dodge Shelby Dakota prototype.
Each one of the two-dozen Carroll Shelby-owned cars that Bonhams is preparing to auction this summer is a rare, well-kept piece of American performance history, and it’s exceedingly hard to find fault with the previous owner. Bonhams will have more photos and information pertaining to each car as the June 3rd date of its Greenwich, CT Concours auction nears.