Motor City

25 July 2015

The Richard & Linda Kughn Collection

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Lot 132

1968 Shelby GT500 KR Convertible

  • Chassis no. 8T03R199223-02334

Sold for $203,500


335 bhp, 428 cu. in. Cobra Jet V-8 engine, three-speed heavy-duty C6 automatic transmission, independent front suspension with unequal-length control arms, coil springs, and anti-roll bar, live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs, and power-assisted front disc and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 108 in.

  • Offered from the collection of Richard and Linda Kughn
  • Formerly personally owned by Carroll Shelby
  • Exceptional, authentic restoration
  • Documented by a Marti Report and the 1968 Shelby Registry
  • One of the finest in the world


The year 1966 brought yet another year of styling changes to Ford’s hugely popular Mustang. Carroll Shelby, quick to capitalize on the Mustang’s new clothes, revised the GT500 mid-year and called it the GT500 KR, short for “King of the Road.” The 1968 Shelby GT500 KR was indeed worthy of its name, boasting incredible horsepower, a luxurious interior, and the meanest Mustang redesign yet. As a result, the GT500 KR quickly became a favorite of car-savvy Hollywood actors, and it remains a Hollywood favorite to this day.

The GT500 KR was all about power. Boasting Shelby’s legendary 428 Cobra Jet engine, the GT500 KR had no problem leaving other top-shelf offerings from GM and Chrysler in its rearview mirror. It was common knowledge that Ford underrated their high-performance cars to fool insurance companies, so, while the GT500 KR was rated at 335 horsepower, the true story told of a real horsepower rating that was much closer to 400, with 440 foot-pounds of torque at 3,400 rpm. The valve covers on the GT500 KR read “Cobra Le Mans,” referencing the Cobra Jet’s success over Ferrari at Le Mans in 1966 and 1967.

CARROLL’S KR

The GT500 KR Convertible offered here is presented with both an interesting ownership history and a collection of special documentation. In researching the car, Mr. Kughn reached out directly to Jim Farley, Ford Motor Company’s Group Vice-President of Global Marketing, Sales, and Service, who forwarded him to several further resources.

The car was originally delivered through Rivers Ford of Monroe, Louisiana, and was sold to Anthony Green. Its next owners were Stuart Lasseigne, Dave Matthews, and finally John Czcsnowski, who advertised it for sale in March of 1996 for $69,000.

Afterward, the car was acquired by none other than Carroll Shelby himself for his personal collection. A letter on file to the next owner, Howard O’Brian, of Davisburg, Michigan, is from Carroll Shelby Enterprises and signed by Shelby himself. “I hope you enjoy the Shelby-KR as much as I did,” Ol’ Shel’ notes. “It was one of my best and favorite cars. Please stay in touch and looking forward to meeting you at some events with your car.” The SAAC Registrar’s documentation further confirms “Carroll Shelby, Belair, CA” as a former owner.

The GT500 KR had been properly restored to an extremely high standard of fit and finish prior to Mr. and Mrs. Kughn’s acquisition, which is still evident in its well-maintained condition today. A Deluxe Marti Report, which is on file, confirms the options: Acapulco Blue finish with Black Décor bucket seats, C-6 automatic transmission, 3.00 standard rear axle ratio, GT Equipment Group, Visibility Group, power steering, front disc brakes, tilt-away steering column, factory air conditioning, AM radio, Interior Décor Group, tinted glass, tachometer and trip odometer, and a white, power-operated convertible top with glass backlight.

Panel fit and gaps throughout are excellent, as is the correct paint color and an interior that still appears tight and nearly fresh. Opening the hood reveals correct finishes underneath as well, including a proper battery and the chalk assembly line markings recreated to show how the car would have been finished in 1968.

This Shelby GT500 KR is one of the finest restorations in the Kughn Collection and may be one of the best of its kind in existence today—and one of fewer still so authentically presented and formerly owned by the man whose name it wears!

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more