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Famed Shelby Daytona could be new auction king!

Mecum Auctions could make history May 15 when it auctions off one of the "Holy Grail" cars of American racing history — an ultra-rare 1965 Shelby Daytona Cobra coupe with a championship racing heritage. Speculation is that bidding could soar as high as $10 million, which would be an auction record for an American made car. And TV watchers will able to catch the whole episode at home. The Daytona coupe will be sold live during the “Mecum Auto Auction: Muscle Cars & More” series on Discovery Communications’ HD Theater.

This 1965 Shelby Daytona coupe could become the most-expensive car
ever auctioned when it crosses the block May 15 in Indianapolis.

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High-performance collector car specialists Mecum Auction will offer collectors a chance at American race history when the company auctions 1965 Shelby Daytona Cobra coupe CSX2601 at the 22nd Dana Mecum Original Spring Classic Auction May 13-17 in Indianapolis.

When this “crown jewel” of American racing powers across the auction block, Mecum anticipates the championship race car to garner the highest bid ever paid at public auction for an American automobile — eight figures. The special Cobra was one of six cars built by Carroll Shelby to compete against the dominating Ferrari in the F.I.A. (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) World Manufacturers Championship for the GT race class. An experimental coupe body designed by Pete Brock was built on an existing Cobra chassis, immediately increasing the Cobra’s top speed by 25 mph. That car won its first race, the 1964 Daytona Continental — prompting Shelby to adopt the name — and five more coupes were built, including CSX2601.

After competing at Daytona, Monza, Spa and Nürburgring, Daytona coupe CSX2601 made history when it clinched the 1965 World Manufacturers Championship for the U.S. and Shelby American on July 4 in Reims, France.

The ultra-rare Daytona coupe will be sold live on national television May 15 during the “Mecum Auto Auction: Muscle Cars & More” series on Discovery Communications’ HD Theater.

“Many vintage race cars have a strong American racing history to share — including this vehicle’s sister car, CSX 2299 — but no car can claim a finer race hour than the Shelby Daytona Cobra coupe CSX2601,” said Dana Mecum, president of Mecum Auction.

Driving the car — and America — to victory on that fateful July afternoon was legendary driver Bob Bondurant.

“I won a lot of races with this Daytona Cobra coupe, but when I crossed the finish line at the Reims race track, I yelled ‘Yes!’ It was a fantastic feeling,” Bondurant said. “I always wanted to race in Europe against the world’s best drivers. Winning that World Championship was the crowning achievement of my career. I think it’s wonderful that the car is being showcased 40 years later.”

The Daytona Cobra coupe didn’t just race, however. At one point, a North Dakota businessman with six gas stations owned the car, and each day he drove the 300-mile round trip to collect station receipts in his race-trimmed Cobra.

Now fully restored and wearing its famous Reims livery, the Shelby Daytona Cobra CSX2601 headlines the Original Spring Classis Auction, which is expected to feature 1,250 vehicles.

Held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, the auction is open to the general public with tickets are available at the door for $10, or may be seen on HD Theater.

Consignment, bidder, and accommodation information for the Indianapolis event is available online at or by calling 815-568-8888.

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