The 1949 MG race car that inspired the legendary Carroll Shelby to first get into racing will cross the auction block at Barrett-Jackson in January.

Shelby first got behind the wheel of the car, then owned by friend Ed Wilkins, in 1952 at a race in Oklahoma. His natural aptitude for the sport saw him take the car to several more victories in quick succession.

Of course he soon moved on to other cars, and would realize a stunning motorsports career before, in 1960, a heart condition forced his retirement from the driver's seat.

The car last traded hands in 2008, four years before the Shelby died, for roughly $313,000—and Barrett-Jackson is expecting it to go for a lot more now. During that 2008 sale, the car came with plenty of documentation and was prepped for vintage racing, and it is assumed the car is in much the same condition now.