A trailblazing car just fetched a trailblazing price.

A 1962 Shelby 260 Cobra CSX 2000 sold last week for $13.75 million at a Sotheby's auction to an unknown buyer. That's the highest price ever paid at an auction for an American car, topping the $11 million someone coughed up in 2012 for a 1968 Ford GT40.

Sotheby's went so far as to call the Cobra "the most important American sports car in history."

The Cobra raked in all that money for good reason: it's the first Shelby Cobra and was owned by legendary car designer Carroll Shelby himself until he passed away four years ago. It's also credited with opening the door for a legion of sports cars that would follow in the ensuing years.

The Cobra was as legendary as Shelby himself, if not more so, because it managed to beat a Corvette in a road race while using a Ford V8 engine, thus setting the tone for its iconic status for generations to come.

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