Lot 180

Arizona 2024

1999 Shelby Series 1


$112,000 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Phoenix, Arizona



Chassis No.
Serial No.
CSX 5125
US Title
  • “The Playboy Series 1,” one of the best-known examples of its kind
  • Built expressly for Karen McDougal, the 1998 Playmate of the Year
  • Received as part of Ms. McDougal’s prize package from Playboy
  • Number 125 of 249 Series 1 examples produced; showing just 5,670 miles at cataloguing time
  • Numerous Shelby American modifications specified by Ms. McDougal
  • Accompanied by a fascinating history file

Inarguably one of the best-known Shelby Series 1s, the example offered here continued a rich tradition in American publishing, that of awarding a new automobile to the winner of one of the men’s magazine world’s most prestigious annual competitions. It was delivered new to the famed swimsuit model Karen McDougal as part of her prize package for winning Playboy magazine’s Playmate of the Year for 1998. In announcing Ms. McDougal’s new status, the periodical proferring “Entertainment for Men” noted that “Karen’s crowded garage already houses a BMW 528 and a Toyota Camry. Now, along with her PMOY check for $100,000, she receives this Shelby Series 1. ‘I’m going to have Carroll Shelby sign it,’ she says.”

Playboy’s description of Ms. McDougal as a car enthusiast does not seem to have been mere hype. In 2003 she corresponded with Shelby American regarding the personalization of the car to her taste, including the installation of a polished supercharger, upgraded clutch, four-piston brakes, fresh-air brake duct system, custom polished cat-back exhaust and HPC headers, bespoke leather interior with additional carbon-fiber trim, and “ghost”-painted Centennial Silver racing stripes. There is no indication, however, that Shelby ever did actually sign the console as she had intended. Nonetheless, all told the updates to the car totaled over $60,000, as documented by paperwork in the file, and make it one of the most unique Series 1s in existence.

Also included in the history file is a photograph taken of the appropriately dressed winner with her Series 1 on St. Lucia, as well as the Shelby American Notice of Pending Delivery “For Karen McDougal, Playmate of the Year 1998,” the Statement of Origin in Ms McDougal’s name, a shipping invoice to her in Paradise Valley, Arizona, and photographs of her with the car at delivery.

The car was acquired by the current owner, an avid Shelby enthusiast, in the spring of 2010 and has been well-preserved within his collection, with 5,670 miles recorded at the time of cataloguing, and its finishes still in very good original condition throughout. A genuinely unique Series 1 with fascinating provenance, it has a wonderful story to tell, and remains a beautiful machinea centerfold, one might say.