The Incredibly Rare Car Rick From Pawn Stars Couldn't Pass Up

"Pawn Stars" made its debut back in 2009 on the History Channel, quickly becoming one of the most popular shows on the network. The reality TV series centers around Rick Harrison and his team at the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas. The team has handled many different items throughout the show's run, including art and historical documents, and there's also the occasional classic car that catches the attention of the staff.

Throughout the life of the show, the pawn shop has acquired some pretty impressive rides, including luxury vehicles from Jaguar and Mercedes, as well as others like classic Volkswagen and Ford vehicles. The cars acquired by Rick and the team represent a wide range of history. As with any pawnshop owner, there were times when Rick let deals slip through his fingers, but there have been a few notable instances when he just couldn't stop himself from making a purchase. Among those moments is one that stands above the rest because the ride was just too good to pass up.

Who would pass up a 1967 Shelby GT 350?

When it comes to classic American muscle cars, the Mustang is a favorite and the Shelby is often considered one of the best Mustangs ever built (via Classic Motor Sports). The car is famous not only because it is from what many consider the golden age of the muscle car, but also because the Shelby GT was featured as the car "Eleanor" in the 2000 film remake of "Gone in 60 Seconds." In the case of "Pawn Stars," Rick was presented with a 1967 Shelby GT 350 sporting a Wimbledon White paint job and seemingly pristine condition.

The person selling the car, Paul, originally asked $125,000 for it (the Pawn Stars never make the first offer). However, after going for a test ride with his car expert, Rick offered $100,000 to the owner, which he accepted. These cars are worth a pretty penny, and today even a lower condition model is worth over $100,000 (via NADA Guides). That's still a substantial sum, which isn't surprising given this model's rarity. According to Mustang Specs, only 1,201 of these vehicles were produced, and they hit the market with an original starting price of $3,995 (the equivalent of around $35,000 in 2022). 

The Shelby GT model represented a change for Ford and its pony car. While people loved the Mustang, increased competition meant it needed to be even faster and more powerful. The GT 350 — not to be confused with its GT 500 counterpart introduced that same year – is powered by a 289 cid V8 engine packing 306 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 329 lb-ft of torque. This model was lighter than previous model years due to the use of fiberglass for the hood and front fenders, which also improved the car's handling while arguably making it look better.

Who Was Carroll Shelby?

The Shelby GT gets its name from Carroll Shelby, an iconic figure in the worlds of motorsport and automotive design. In 1923, Shelby was born in Texas and soon developed a love of automobiles. He was working on and driving his father's Ford by the age of 15, and while serving in World War II, Shelby developed an affinity for the B-26 bomber because of its straight-line speed. After the war, Shelby embarked on a racing career, winning 12 events in two years while driving Ferraris and Maseratis. 

Shelby's career peaked at Aston Martin when he won the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans. The following year Shelby retired due to a heart condition, but he wasn't ready to leave the motoring world behind. The first car designed and built by the automotive legend was the Cobra. The Cobra was Shelby's literal dream car — the name for the vehicle came to him in his sleep. To make the Cobra a reality, he founded Shelby American in 1962. The Pawn Stars team are no strangers to the Cobra — Rick bought and restored a Cobra chassis way back in season one (via On Screen Cars).

Shelby used Ford engines in his Cobras and went on to develop a long-term relationship with the company. In 1965, he asked if he could put his spin on the Ford Mustang. Ford said yes, and the result was the Shelby Mustang GT 350. Ford eventually took over the production of the Shelby automobiles in 1968, and Shelby himself retired. His retirement wasn't permanent, as he ended up founding a wheel manufacturing company and collaborating with Dodge in the 1980s. Shelby died in 2012, but he remains an icon in the motoring world, and his name still adorns the back of special edition pony cars to this day.