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He was attending car shows and

swap meets, picking up showroom lit-

erature, books and magazines and

whatever else he would see that was

Shelby related. At this point there was

no grand plan to amass a giant collec-

tion. That happened gradually. Before

he knew it he had boxes of “things” in

just about every spare space he could

find. Soon he was renting a couple of

garage-sized storage facilities which

were packed with boxes of Shelby

stuff. His garage was also stuffed.

He began specializing in very high

end Russian antiques in his business

and was hugely successful. A Shelby

here and there were added when he

found one he liked. One prerequisite

was that they had to have an interest-

ing or noteworthy history. The culmi-

nation, at that point, was the purchase

of 5R002. He wanted the first GT350

competition car very badly so if paying

a top-of-the-market price was re-

quired, so be it. The next step, not

taken immediately, was the car’s


While all this was happening,

Atzbach’s collector gene was still rag-

ing. Instead of spending time traveling

to various swap meets and shows, he

purchased entire collections from a

couple of the more notable Shelby lit-

erature and memorabilia collectors.

This proved to be an excellent way to

expand his collection without spend-

ing the time required to pick things up

one at a time. On the downside, he

suddenly acquired a lot of duplicates

as well as things he had no interest in.

As a collector, it was all packed away.

Between the growing collection of

cars and the avalanche of collectibles,

it was time to find an appropriate

place to store and display them. With

the current building he has accom-

plished that nicely. Of course he still

has a couple of storage units packed

with duplicates which are proving dif-

ficult to let go of, but little by little he

has employees putting duplicates on

eBay. They have a lot of work ahead of

them; so much that they might want

to think about retirement plans.

Atzbach notes there is a difference

between a collection and an inventory.

In his antiques business he is both a

dealer and a collector. Some things he

buys to keep and the rest he buys to

resell. With the Shelby stuff, he does

not consider himself a dealer.

Presently he is only looking to add

things that appeal to him. He is not

trying to get one of everything. That,

he concedes, is an impossibility. Yet, he

confesses that when he sees some-

thing he does not have he feels that lit-

tle tug somewhere deep in his psyche.


6S002 [


] compliments 5R002 [


]. The red car is 6S2265, a factory Paxton car.

Winter 2016 66