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Summer 2016 2

Automobile auction houses receive

fees from both buyers and sellers, nor-

mally around eight percent from a

buyer. The seller of a premiere vehicle

like this can negotiate the seller’s fee

but whatever it is, it is likely the sale

will represent a substantial payday of

more than $2M for the auction com-

pany. This is why, aside from the pub-

licity generated by handling the sale,

the choice of RM over BJ is such a

stinging rebuke. You can almost hear

Craig Jackson saying, “

After all we’ve

done for Carroll Shelby and his Foun-


” But as they say, at this level,

it’s not wiffle ball.

Sometime before the Cobra 50th

Anniversary celebration at Shelby

American, CSX2000 was repainted–

against Shelby’s desire not to have

anything touched or replaced on the

car. The upholstery on the original

seats was coming apart and many

other features were showing their age

but Shelby thought of this as con-

tributing to the car’s patina. When he

found out it had been repainted he

was irate, but at that point he was too

ill to do much about it. There was a

change of management staff at SAI

after that but there is no proof this in-

cident was the cause. Most articles

about the car refer to it as being “un-

restored” but that is not really an ac-

curate description.

Back in 1975, Robert Petersen

opened a museum in Hollywood in

what had been a two-story Cadillac

dealership on Hollywood Boulevard.

In it he displayed about 60 cars he and

his wife had collected, most of which

were either previously owned by

Shelby’s 427 Cobra, CSX3178. This car

was originally shipped to Horn-

Williams Ford in Dallas, Texas in

March of 1966. Shelby is the only

known owner. Originally black, the car

was restored by Mike McCluskey in

1972 and painted Guardsman Blue

with a single gold stripe. McCluskey

also installed an automatic transmis-

sion. In 2002 the car was painted red.

Viewing everything that revolves

around Shelby as a never-ending soap

opera, nothing should surprise any-

one. The auction press releases were

barely out when another news release

began making the rounds. A law suit

by Cleo Shelby against the Foundation

has been working its way through the

courts and a hearing on a restraining

order/injunction was announced for

the very same day as the auction. Co-

incidence? Who’s to say.

Ever since Shelby’s death, Cleo

Shelby has been accusing the Carroll

Shelby Childrens Foundation, of

which she was one of the three board

of directors (Shelby and lawyer Neil

Cummings were the other two) of fi-

nancial mismanagement. She alleges

that the Foundation is spending large

amounts of money from its treasury

while dispensing a tiny fraction for

charitable causes – the very reason for

the Foundation’s existence.

Once this law suit was instituted,

the Foundation’s tax records started to

be floated around [http://990s.founda-



5125] As soon as they were made pub-

lic, donations diminished. Most of the

income came from auctioning special

models donated by Ford at Barrett-

Jackson events. It will all come out

eventually.We’re guessing none of this

will effect the auction. Stay tuned!

celebrities or had been used in movies

or television shows. Shelby and Pe-

tersen were long-time friends and he

loaned Petersen CSX2000. Also in the

museum was Mike Shoen’s Daytona

Coupe, CSX2602.

For the past few years the car was

on display in Las Vegas at the Shelby

American Heritage Collection which is

a part of the company’s headquarters

and manufacturing facility. A more

formal Shelby Museum was planned

for Shelby’s Gardena, California prop-

erty but plans have kept changing due

to internal disputes. Prior to the deci-

sion to liquidate the car, the plan was

to move it back and forth between Las

Vegas and Gardena. It has been on

display for almost twenty-five years,

beginning at the Imperial Palace’s

auto museum back in 1992 when

Shelby began operating in Las Vegas.

When his facility out near Las Vegas

Motor Speedway was completed, the

car was parked there. It was occasion-

ally moved to Gardena where it was

displayed or used in promotions.

RM Sotheby’s did an admirable

job of rolling out the publicity for the

sale, starting near the end of June.

Also going across the block will be

CSX2000 at Petersen’s Motorama Cars of the Stars museum in Hollywood in 1976.