Carroll Shelby's personal 1965 427 Cobra could fetch over $2 million when it crosses the auction block in January 2021. Collectors who want to own one of Shelby's former cars without venturing into seven-digit territory will have the opportunity to bid on a 1986 Dodge Omni GLHS offered with no reserve at the same sale.
Although Shelby's name is commonly associated with high-performance variants of the Ford Mustang, he worked on several Dodge models during the 1980s after temporarily parting ways with the Blue Oval. He notably put a V8 in the first-generation Dakota, but the Omni-based GLH and GLHS hatchbacks were among his greatest Mopar-flavored hits. Dodge and Shelby built 500 units of the GLHS (Goes Like Hell S'more), and No. 86 was owned by Shelby himself for a number of years, according to Mecum Auctions. It's currently titled in Kansas to the Carroll Hall Shelby Trust.
Shelby didn't drive his Omni much; the odometer shows 8,176 miles. It's still wearing its original paint and exterior decals, and it's still fitted with its factory interior, but it (thankfully) rides on a new set of tires. It's also unmodified, which adds to its desirability. It has won awards at car shows, and it's been featured in calendars.
Power for this GLHS comes from a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine that's turbocharged to 175 horsepower. It spins the front wheels via a five-speed manual transmission. If that doesn't sound like much, keep in mind the standard Omni got a 1.6-liter four that put 64 horses under the driver's right foot and a four-speed manual transmission. Or, remember that Porsche's 944 and 911 were rated at 143 and 200 horsepower, respectively, in 1986.
Shelby's GLHS is part of Mecum's Kissimmee 2021 sale. Bidding will start on Friday, January 15.
No reserve isn't another way to say cheap; it just means that someone will take this GLHS home at the end of the auction regardless of where bidding stops. Mecum predicts the hatchback will sell for anywhere between $50,000 and $75,000 excluding auction fees, which is a lot considering nice examples normally trade hands for much less. Bring a Trailer sold No. 189 (which had about 25,000 miles on the clock) for $17,255 in November 2019, for example. The big difference is that Shelby's name appeared only on the car, not on its registration documents.