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"FLYING MUSTANG" headlines Dana Mecum's 33rd Original Spring Classic Auction in Indianapolis

Written by Andre James

Photography courtesy of Mecum Auctions


A photo snapped on Valentine’s Day at the Green Valley Raceway in 1965 shows legendary driver Ken Miles en route to a win behind the wheel of a 1965 Shelby GT350R Competition Model. While the image is notable for capturing the first time any Shelby Mustang was entered into a sanctioned competitive event, what really makes it truly exceptional is that it captures the Mustang airborne with all four tires clearly off the ground. As the first competition Shelby Mustang to race and win, the 5R002 went on to serve as a rolling test bed for ideas and components, including those that would constitute both the second team car (5R001) and all 34 customer R-models.

According to Mecum auctions, who will be offering the GT350R as part of its 33rd Original Spring Classic at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis from June 23-28, the car "represents a legendary convergence of a chicken farmer from Texas, a gang of Southern California Hot Rodders ready to take the fight to the Corvette, a driver the likes of which we may never see again, and a 'secretary's car' that thought it could fly."

The GT350R is a keystone of The John Atzback Collection, widely regarded as the finest Shelby American-related collection in existence today in terms of quantity and quality. Atzbach, who made his living as a specialist in Imperial Russian antiques and is a respected authority on Fabergé enamels, has been an omnipresent figure in the Shelby collecting world for two decades. He applied the same discerning eye trained on antiques to automobilia.

Long a believer that it is a responsibility of those who have the privilege to possess significant artifacts to share them with others, Atzback's health issues in recent years have compromised his ability to do so. According to Mecum, "John has decided that the best way forward for this historic assemblage is to offer the collection at large to the open market. In doing so, he hopes to ensure that these automotive treasures continue to be preserved and enjoyed by many generations to come." A total of 12 vehicles from the Atzbach collection will cross the block, along with 15,000 pieces from his Road Art collection.

If Italian models make your heart skip a beat, you'll want to take note of an impressive lineup of vintage and modern Ferraris on offer from the Richard Welkowitz Estate Collection. Notable among these is a 2011 Ferrari 599 GTO with just 168 miles. One of 599 produced, and one of just 125 exported to the US, it boasts a top speed of 208 MPH.

"After the American public has been put in a box and pent up for several months due to social distancing and isolation, collectors are going to be hungrier than ever for a taste of the auction action," said Dana Mecum, President and Founder of Mecum Auctions.


For more details or to register as a bidder:

visit or call 262.275.5050.


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