Written by Nicole Ellan James
George Shinn is an American businessman best known for his former ownership of several professional sports teams. He is also an author and motivational speaker. A self-made man, he now dedicates much of his time and resources to helping others. In 1973, he created the George Shinn Foundation, which is committed to “furthering the work of churches, ministries, missionaries and non-profit organizations.”
Over his lifetime, Shinn built several car collections, each comprising original to Resto-Mod vehicles spanning the 1950s to early ‘70s as well as modern supercars. Now, Shinn is offering his collection with No Reserve at the 2022 Palm Beach Auction, held April 7-9 at the South Florida Fairgrounds.
In an exclusive Barrett-Jackson video, Shinn shares that his love for cars began while working as a child at his father’s Gulf Service Station washing cars. He recalls when a man came in with “one of the prettiest Fords” Shinn had ever seen. It was a 1955 Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria — much like the car he plans on selling. “He said, ‘I want my windows so clean that when you look out the window, you don’t know if the window is up or down,’” Shinn recalled.
Shinn obliged and cleaned the window so well that the man’s mother didn’t realize the window was up when she tried to spit out her chewing tobacco. The man had returned to tell Shinn what an excellent job he had done and gave him a $1 tip.
The Crown Victoria offered from the collection is an example of one of the most imaginative cars of an innovative decade. The car followed the era’s rules: the roof was lower, flatter and longer.
The second half of the 1950s was heavily influenced by the futuristic Ford Mystere concept car and is reflected in every Ford model’s fins, quad headlights and taillights in 1957. Two examples from the collection that showcase the influence include a 1957 Ford Fairlane Sunliner convertible, a 1957 Ford Thunderbird convertible and a 1959 Ford Thunderbird convertible.
Additionally, the collection offers a Resto-Mod 1964 Ford Galaxie 500 convertible powered by a Kenne Bell supercharged dual overhead cam 4.6-Liter Cobra engine. The car is joined by a 1967 Shelby Cobra re-creation.
Also included in the collection’s Ford offerings are several Mustangs. It’s difficult to overstate the impact the Mustang had on Ford, the auto industry and popular culture. It was more than a car — it was a phenomenon. Few cars are so instantly recognizable, or as widely adored, as the first-generation Mustang.
Among the offerings is a 1965 Ford Mustang that features all the right ingredients of a powerful Pro-Touring machine. Under the hood is a Ford Racing 5.0-liter V8 that’s been dressed up with aluminum heads, valve covers, intake manifold, air cleaner and even an aluminum radiator with an aluminum cooling fan.
The other first-gen Mustang from the collection, a 1967 Mustang convertible, has been transformed into a Shelby GT500 tribute car.
Another “blue oval” example is a 2019 Ford Shelby GT-H. The “H” in GT-H stands for, of all things, Hertz Rent-a-Car. It pays homage to the 1967 Shelby GT350H, which, believe it or not, was a Hertz rental car back in the day.
Concluding the collection of Ford offerings is a 1927 Ford Model T that’s been restored, refurbished and rebuilt; an iconic 1930 Ford Hi-Boy custom roadster with work performed by legendary builder Tom Beard; and a 1933 Ford custom coupe featuring an all-steel body with a 3.5-inch chop, rolling on a staggered set of Boyd Coddington wheels.
Chevrolet is a dominant marque in the George Shinn collection, which highlights early to late models of “America’s Sports Car.”
Among the cars offered is a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette custom coupe. The car is reported to have been disassembled in 1985 and stored in a garage with the intention of restoring it. It sat for a while and 25 years later the project resumed. Many of the original components, including the engine, had been lost or had gone missing. Thus it became the perfect candidate to become a Resto-Mod.
The intention was to keep the Stingray as close to its original classic design as possible. The drivetrain received updates, such as a Chevrolet LS3 aluminum V8 engine mated to a Tremec 5-speed transmission. All four corners are equipped with QA1 coilovers and Wilwood disc brakes completed with a set of classic Rally wheels wrapped in Coker red line radial tires.
The interior has been updated with custom upholstered bucket seats and leather upholstery. Highlights include a Vintage Air climate-control system and a modern radio that looks factory original but has USB, MP3 and Bluetooth capabilities.
Other Corvettes offered include a 1958 Chevrolet Corvette 283/250 convertible, a 1960 Chevrolet Corvette custom convertible, which showcases as a mixture of vintage Corvette styling and late-model Corvette technology; an Arctic White 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Callaway convertible; and, lastly, a 2021 Chevrolet Corvette.
The late-model C8 offered from the collection is powered by an LT2 V8 that churns out 495 horsepower backed by an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. It’s finished in Zeus Bronze and is loaded with optional features like the 3LT Premium Equipment Package. It comes with custom touches, such as a rear spoiler, carbon-fiber roof panel and carbon outside mirrors.
When people think of the Chevrolet Camaro today, its status as a classic muscle car goes without saying due to the role the Camaro has played in American pop culture and specifically, in the movies. While none of the Camaros offered are movie cars, they sure do stand out.
In particular, the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS 396 is considered one of the most sought-after high-performance versions of its model year. Additionally offered is a 2017 Chevrolet Camaro Yenko. The car, No. 26 of 50 built, is a 50th Anniversary model that pays homage to Don Yenko, who was responsible for producing some of the most legendary muscle cars available to the public in the late ’60s and early ’70s.
Completing the collection’s Camaro offerings is a 2016 Lingenfelter Chevrolet Camaro SS and a 2018 Camaro ZL1.
Other Chevrolet muscle cars offered from the collection include a Resto-Mod 1965 Chevrolet Malibu SS, 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396, 1971 Chevrolet Nova custom coupe, and a 1932 Chevrolet street rod roadster.
A celebration of the marque wouldn’t be complete without a pickup truck. Chevy trucks were built for the American workforce and considered rigid and efficient, which helped form an ownership bond that turned ordinary pickup truck owners into lifelong “Chevy owners.”
The pickup truck offered from the collection is a 1990 454 SS Short Bed pickup that has been customized and upgraded. It’s covered in PPG Candy Pearl Green with Flip-Flop Candy Yellow and Flip-Flop Candy Gold, resulting in a custom finish unlike any other and making it a one of a kind.
Additionally, the collection includes several cars from the Atomic Age: a Resto-Mod 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air custom hardtop, a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air that’s been restored to show quality, a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air custom convertible that’s meant to be driven, a 1957 Chevrolet Nomad custom wagon that marries 1957s iconic styling with 21st-century Corvette power, and a 1958 Chevrolet Impala finished in Snowcrest White.
Of course, no collection would be complete without European sports cars and supercars. Offered from the collection is a 1963 Jaguar Mark II, 2005 Lamborghini Gallardo, and a 2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT-S.
Finally, a unique vehicle offered as part of the collection is a 2018 Regency Xalta LX motor home. The Regency Xalta LX motor home is built on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis with a turbo diesel V6 engine. This vehicle comes with standard options, including high-volume air conditioning and heat units, rear electric roof fans, rear camera, blind-spot monitoring, electric heated power mirrors, and light and rain sensors.
Inside, each seat features handcrafted double diamond-stitched executive leather upholstery, a 24-inch Smart TV and USB charging stations at each seat. It even has an onboard private lavatory.
Additional highlights of the motor home include handcrafted hardwood cabinets with self-closing drawers, a convection microwave oven, a dual-burner electric cooktop and a 3.2-cubic-foot refrigerator freezer. The custom two-tone exterior paint and Alcoa aluminum wheels complete this luxury recreation vehicle.
Shinn collects what he loves, and as a result, the vehicles offered from his collection this April in Florida will shine on the auction block.