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Vintage Shelby Mustang set for auction block Friday

Larry Brown passed away in the fall, but the Centre Hall resident only put 8,500 miles on his rare 1969 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. Auctioneer Ron Gilligan says the car is expected to fetch as much as $200,000.
Larry Brown passed away in the fall, but the Centre Hall resident only put 8,500 miles on his rare 1969 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. Auctioneer Ron Gilligan says the car is expected to fetch as much as $200,000. CDT file photo

A rare 1969 Ford Mustang that has the vintage car world buzzing will be auctioned Friday in Centre Hall.

A large crowd with out-of-town bidders is expected for the sale of the Shelby GT500 428 Cobra Jet, one of only 1,534 made. Its former owner, the late Larry Brown, bought it new locally but only logged about 8,500 miles before garaging it for 40 years.

The Centre Daily Times will broadcast the auction live at www.CentreDaily.com.

News of the jade black Shelby’s discovery spread fast among muscle car enthusiasts. Ron Gilligan, the local auctioneer handling the sale, said the Shelby might be the best-preserved, lowest-mileage survivor of its kind.

Brown reportedly never let water touch the Shelby, neither driving it in bad weather nor washing it. Based on the car’s condition and rarity, Gilligan anticipates it selling for six figures, possibly as much as $200,000.

Also in the auction are Brown’s other vehicles, some of them notable in their own right. His fleet included a 1971 Ford Ranchero GT with low miles and unusual options, a 1974 Ford Econoline Custom 100 van with just 554 original miles and a 1966 Ford F100 Fleetside pickup.

Vehicle sales are scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m. — with the Shelby up first, followed by the Ranchero and van — at Brown’s home at 107 W. Ridge St. Parking will be available at the nearby Grange fairgrounds.

There will be no online, phone or absentee bidding. Vehicle purchasers must present a valid form of photo identification, and a bank letter of credit as proof of funds, before writing checks.

Household contents will be sold starting at 9:30 a.m., with the house and property auctioned at noon.

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