In 1903, Weller, a British company, began producing cars. Their first successful model was a three-wheeled delivery vehicle named the Auto Carrier. Soon, the company became Auto Carrier, Ltd. and eventually AC Cars Group, Ltd.
AC introduced the Ace model in 1953 as a two seat sports coupe. It was powered by a Bristol engine until 1961 when they began using six cylinder Ford engines. Along came Carroll Shelby, who in 1962 reached an agreement to use a Ford 260 cubic-inch V8 in the Ace model. This car became the Cobra. The result was the Corvette beater that Shelby so badly desired. Ford's HiPo 289 cubic-inch V-8 became the new power plant in 1964.
The chassis code of CSX denoted export Cobra while the last four numbers indicated the production sequence beginning at 2,000, meaning this is the 367th unit built. This vehicle was originally painted blue, but due to a special order, Shelby American repainted it in metallic green also known as Lincoln's Highland Green. It was driven every day until 1978, then parked for 20 years and restored in 2000-2002.
Carroll Shelby made 435 AC Cobras with the 289 cubic-inch Ford high performance engine. This car is one of two that were equipped at the factory with an optional aluminum high-rise intake manifold with a 715 CFM Holley Carburetor. [Read More...]
A.C. Cars of Thames Ditton in Surrey, England, had been producing the Ace since 1954. Designed by John Tojeiro, it featured independent suspension and a tubular frame body, which took its styling cues from Ferrari. When Carroll Shelby approached the [Read More...]
Sold for $1,320,000 at 2012 RM Auctions. This 1964 Shelby American factory-prepared Competition Cobra, CSX2290, was originally purchased by John Hilton (of the Hilton Hotels) in street configuration at a purchase price of $5,584.05. Shortly after being purchased, Mr. Hilton returned CSX2290 [Read More...]
This is the 16th of the 16 'Cutback' door, 289 cubic-inch USRRC & FIA race cars. Note the fender flairs and larger rear fenders to accommodate larger tires. The car has the original 289 competition engine with four-Weber carburetors generating 400 ho [Read More...]
Sold for $1,237,500 at 2006 RM Auctions. This 1964 Shelby Cobra 'B' Production Racing car is the 'winningest' Cobra in History. It was invoiced to Shelby America on 6/10/1964 and carried the chassis number CSX 2473. It was sent to Los Angeles on the SS American Princess on June 23rd. Its [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2006
Sold for $577,500 at 2007 Gooding & Company. This A.C. Shelby Cobra with a 289 Cubic-inch V8 engine was completed by Shelby American in October of 1964. It was painted in white with red interior which it still wears today. Holman & Moody transported CSX2541 to Lynch-Davidson Ford in Jacksonvi [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | May 2008
This 289 Cobra, Known affectionately as the 'dirt-bag,' was bought by Fred Offenhauser, of the engine-making family, in 1967. He never used the car much and it was put away under a tarpaulin in 1975 with just 33,000 miles on the clock. It stayed hidd [Read More...]
Ex-racer Carroll Shelby created the legendary Cobra in 1962 by installing Ford's lightweight V-8 engine in a slightly lengthened nose of the AC Ace. AC's Thames-Ditton facility shipped the body and chassis to California, where Shelby American dropped [Read More...]
Sold for $610,500 at 2011 Gooding & Company. This 1964 AC Cobra 289 has the chassis number CSX 2289. The C is for the AC Ace Mark III, the S stands for Shelby and the X for export, left-hand drive. This car was imported into the United States by Carroll Shelby and used as a demonstrator and PR [Read More...]
CSX2384 was purchased new by Raymond T. Fagg, Sr. from Andy Clark Ford in Bluefield, WV, where Mr. Fagg worked as a technician. It was delivered with the optional hardtop, radio, luggage rack and painted wheels. He used the car some in the first year [Read More...]
A Shelby American work order assigned CSX2472 as 'Cobra Team Race Car #2472' but the car was not completed and went into storage. In the spring of 1965 Ed Hugus of Continental Cars, Pittsburgh, PA requested completion to modified Stage II Dragonsnake [Read More...]
From 1962 through 1965, around 580 Cobra 289s were assembled in the United States. The bodies were built by the AC factory in the United Kingdom before being shipped to Shelby American's Southern California factory. In its first competition outings, [Read More...]
This Cobra, chassis number CSX2345, was the last of the original five 289 roadsters built specifically for competition in the 1964 and 1965 FIA Manufacturers Championship. It was the only one of the five to race that season, and it is the only one of [Read More...]
CSX2381 was originally invoiced by Shelby American to the Lynch Davidson Ford dealership of Jacksonville, Florida on August 16, 1964. The retail list price for this car was a surprising $5,914.55. [Read More...]
CSX 2497 is a factory documented Stage I Cobra with full competition engine. It left the factory finished in red with a black interior. It was billed to Shelby American 6-25-64 and shipped to (L.A.) aboard the 'SS Loch Avon' and invoiced on 9-14-64 t [Read More...]
CSX2431 was raced exclusively by Ken Miles for the 1964 and 1965 Pensacola USRRC season. The car was a development car for the 1964-65 Cobra team cars including the Daytona Coupes. Constant testing, development, and modifying of the car continued int [Read More...]
Sold for $968,000 at 2016 RM Auctions. This Shelby Cobra, chassis number CSX2326, was purchased by the current owner in 1976, then sold in 1978. It was re-purchased in 1981. In 1992, it was converted to vintage racing trim and FIA-style rear fenders were installed. [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2013
It all began quietly enough. Back in 1903, Weller of Britain began building utilitarian three-wheeled delivery vehicles with little fanfare. Soon they became Auto Carrier, Ltd. and eventually AC Cars Group, Ltd. One thing led to another and in 1953 A [Read More...]
This Cobra 289 was first delivered painted red, with black interior with Class A accessories installed, namely aluminum rocker covers, WSW tires and a luggage rack via 'air collect' in Dallas, Texas to Kenray Ford's customer. Reportedly it was raced [Read More...]
High bid of $1,300,000 at 2009 Mecum. (did not sell) Sold for $1,485,000 at 2013 Gooding & Company. Sold for $1,952,160 (£1,176,000) at 2014 RM Auctions. Tom Payne placed an order for a red Shelby Cobra that was approved on June 18th of 1964 by Jacques Passino, vice president of Ford Motor Company Special Vehicle Division. That June, Shelby American Inc. (SAI) began to build CSX2430 into a factory-spe [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2013
Sold for $979,000 at 2015 Gooding & Company. Shelby's 289 Cobra remains a highly sought automobile for collectors and investors. The fire-breathing 427 MkIII was on the way. The 289 was drawing to an end. Only a few more would be produced by 1964. Each was special, pieces of automotive history [Read More...]By Jeremy McMullen
Carroll Shelby set his sights on the FIA World Championship for GT cars in 1964 and a new generation of Cobra competition roadsters was built expressly for this purpose. This is one of five cars built to compete in Europe in 1964 (CSX2259, CSX2260, CSX2301, CSX2323, and CSX2345).
This car was one of the last two built for the team and arrived in Europe in April. Its first race was on April 26th at the Targa Florio, driven by Dan Gurney and Jerry Grant. Gurney set the lap record and finished eighth overall and second in the GT class. The next race was the 500 km of Spa on May 17th where Innes Ireland brought the car home in 15th place. At the 1000 km of the Nurburgring on May 31st, the car was damaged in practice and was not raced.
With one race left in the season, Ferrari held a slim lead in the championship over Shelby American. Enzo Ferrari knew that the Cobra could out run the Ferrari GTO on a fast circuit and he could lose the championship. The last race was to be held on one of the fastest circuits in Europe, Monza Italy.
Ferrari and the Monza organizers pressured the FIA to allow the new mid-engined Ferrari 250 to be classified as a Grand Touring car or they would cancel the race. The FIA did not give in to the demand, the race was canceled and Ferrari won the 1964 World Championship. The following year Shelby said, 'Ferrari's ass is mine' and won the Championship.
The history of this car is part of the Cobra legend. It was invoiced to Shelby American on July 21, 1964 and shipped to LA on July 39th. Shelby then sold the car to Hi-Performance Motors, Inc. in Los Angeles. The car was delivered in silver with a bl [Read More...]
Sold for $1,320,000 at 2016 Gooding & Company. The AC Cars second generation Mark II cars were produced from 1963 to 1965. This example was a left-hand drive, Ford engine car designed for export. The cars carried the designation CSX and began with serial #2000 making this the 433rd produced. In e [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | May 2016
It began quietly enough. It often does. In 1903, Weller of Britain began building utilitarian three-wheeled delivery vehicles with little fanfare. Soon they became Auto Carrier, Ltd. and eventually AC Cars Group. Just another unheralded manufacturer [Read More...]
The formula for the success of the Cobra came through a man named Carroll Shelby adapting a powerful Ford engine into a nimble, British sports car.
A.C. Cars of Thames Ditton in Surrey, England had been producing the Ace since 1954. It was designed by John Tojeiro and featured an independent suspension by transverse leaf springs. The tubular frame body of the vehicle took its styling cues from Ferrari. The original engine used in the Ace was a 1991 cc, over-head-cam engine designed by John Weller, the founder of AC, in the 1920s. In 1956, an optional Bristol engine became available. This was a BMW derived, 1971 cc six-cylinder engine that was capable of producing 125 horsepower. With the Bristol engine, the Ace captured many victories on the race tracks around the world. It even won the SCCA Class E championship three years in a row.
In 1959, Bristol ceased its six-cylinder engine production. When Bristol stopped supplying A.C. with the engine, the production of the Ace ceased. Carroll Shelby quickly negotiated a deal where A.C. would supply him with the chassis. Now all Shelby needed was an appropriate engine. In 1961, Ford introduced the 221 cubic-inch small block engine. This was a new lightweight, thin wall-cast, V8 engine that produced 164 horsepower. Shelby approached Ford about the use of the engine for the 2-seat sports car. Ford agrees.
In February of 1962, a 260 HiPo engine and Borg-Warner four-speed manual gearbox was fitted into the aluminum-bodied Cobras. The AC Shelby Ford Cobra was complete.
In April of 1962, the first Cobra with chassis CSX 2000 was painted yellow and shipped to the New York Auto Show where it appeared on the Ford display. The vehicle was an instant success and attracted much attention. Orders came faster than Shelby could build. The prototype CSX 2000 was continuously being repainted for magazine reviews. The purpose was to create an illusion that more Cobras existed.
In 1963 the engine size increased to 289 cubic-inches. Rack-and-pinion steering was added to the vehicle.
Two Cobras were entered into the grueling 24-Hours of Le Mans endurance race. Carroll Shelby himself drove one of the vehicles. Ford had refused to provide an engine so Shelby, with the help of A.C. cars and Ed Hugus, prepare the cars. One of the Cobras managed to capture a seventh place finish, a major accomplishment.
Dan Gurney became the first American driver to win an FIA race in an American car when he won the Bridgehampton 500KM race in September of 1963 while driving a Cobra.
In 1964, the Cobra returned to LeMans where it finished fourth overall and first in the GT class.
Near the end of 1964, the Cobra 427 was unveiled to the press. If featured a new tubular, aluminum body, coil spring chassis, and a 427 cubic-inch, 425 horsepower engine. The car was able to go from zero to 100 mph and back to zero in less than 14 seconds.
In 1967, the last 427 Cobra was built and in 1968, the last 427 Cobra was sold by Carroll Shelby.
Ford had shifted their resources to the new GT40 and modified Mustang programs. In 1966, three GT-40 Mark II's crossed the finish line at Le Mans capturing first, second, and third. By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2010
Complementing the impressive number of authentic competition Shelby Cobras thundering around the circuit in their dedicated race group (3A) at this years Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, August 17-19,...