Walworth, WI — The awe-inspiring collection of John Atzbach — highlighted by the first 1965 Shelby GT350R Competition Model built, known as the “Flying Mustang” — was announced Wednesday as a headlining attraction of Dana Mecum’s 33rd Original Spring Classic, May 12-17 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.
The announcement opened Mecum’s Glendale auction that runs through Saturday.
Atzbach’s GT350R was piloted by the legendary Ken Miles at Green Valley Raceway on Feb. 14, 1965, marking the first time any Shelby Mustang was entered into a sanctioned competitive event. As Miles drove the car to a dominating first-place finish, he was captured in one of motorsports history’s most memorable photos showing the Mustang airborne with all four tires completely off the ground.
The first competition Shelby Mustang, the first to be raced and the first to win, 5R002 served as Shelby American’s rolling test bed for ideas and components, including those that would constitute both the second team car (5R001) and all 34 customer R-models. Ken Miles, Bob Bondurant, Chuck Cantwell, Peter Brock, Jerry Titus and several other world-class drivers drove this car extensively in testing and development.
Atzbach is well-known in the collector car hobby and prolifically recognized as an authority on all things Shelby; his memorabilia collection is — without a doubt — the most extensive and encompassing assemblage of Shelby artifacts known to exist, while the cars offered represent an array of the most historic and significant Shelby Mustangs available anywhere on the market in many years.
A total of 12 vehicles are slated to cross the block as part of the Atzbach Collection. His Road Art collection comprises approximately 15,000 items ranging from rare Shelby artifacts to original and authentic vintage automotive signs and collectibles.