Vehicle Profiles

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX 2421
Engine Num: PA 5044

Reality television has caused many people to scour through their garages, attics and barns to find rare gems of history. Unfortunately, the majority of these searches produce nothing more than heirlooms priceless to the families themselves and rarely....[continue reading]

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX2538
Engine Num: 00041

The small-block Cobra was built from 1962 through 1965 and achieved an enviable race record and proved instrumental to Ford Motor Company's dominance of international competition during the mid-1960s. This example was shipped from AC Cars Ltd. on Sep....[continue reading]

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX 2494

Carroll Shelby's Shelby American Company built several Shelby Cobras to race in the U.S. Road Racing Championship series (USRRC) in 1964 and 1965. This was the Sports Car Club of America's (SCCA) first professional series and the timing was just rig....[continue reading]

Roadster

Carroll Shelby's accomplishments as a race driver include breaking land speed records at Bonneville in 1954 for Austin Healey and winning the 24-Hours of LeMans in 1959. As a team manager, Carroll was a part of the FIA World Grand Touring Championsh....[continue reading]

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX 6057

From 1962 through 1965, 579 Shelby-AC Cobra 289s were assembled in the U.S. In 1965, 15 left-hand drives, like this one, were built in Britain for sale in Europe. Shelby America Automobile Club records indicate #CSX 6057 was sold to Mr. D.N. Weir of....[continue reading]

Roadster

This is one of the legendary 289 Cobra's. It is characterized by simple design, lightweight and scarily fast. Many Cobra buffs consider the 289 option more desirable than the 427 because it was more lightweight and more nimble in handling.....[continue reading]

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX2452

By pairing a car chassis from the small British manufacturer AC with a small block 289 cubic-inch Ford engine, Carroll Shelby created one of the most recognizable sports car in the world, the Shelby Cobra.....[continue reading]

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX 2254

The AC Cobra 289 with chassis number CSX2254 sports Weber carburetors, side exhaust pipes and Halibrand knock-off wheels. The odometer currently reads 5,800 miles, which is believed to be correct. The Cobra spent a portion of its life as an MGM movie....[continue reading]

Roadster

The partnership between the British AC Company and Carroll Shelby in Los Angeles began in 1962 when a 221 cubic-inch Ford V8 engine and oversized transmission were squeezed into an AC Ace Roadster. In 1963 the engine was upgraded to a 289 cubic-inche....[continue reading]

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX2522

The slalom Special or 'Slalom Snake' as it became known, was announced in a press release by Deke Houlgate on December 8th of 1964. As the Slalom Snake, it was promoted as a 'Cobra equipment for slalom, gymkhanas, autocrosses, time trials and other s....[continue reading]

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX2387

CSX2387, with Bright Blue paint and red interior, was invoiced on July 17th of 1964 to RBM of Atlanta, Georgia for $5,853.25. After an 'interesting' ownership history when it was 'mistaken' for another car, it was sold to Dubuque, IA doctor Jack Fros....[continue reading]

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX 2514
Engine Num: 055

For the 1964 and 1965 USRRC (United States Road Race of Champions) seasons, Carroll Shelby created six 289 race cars, which are reputed to have 440 to 450 bhp. To get that power to the ground, the once-svelte AC body was made much more aggressive - w....[continue reading]

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX 2356

CSX 2356 was shipped to Detroit, Michigan as a factory demonstrator in 1964 and registered by the Ford Motor Company. Eight months later, and showing 3000 miles, it was virtually 'remanufactured' by Shelby American, including mostly new body panels. ....[continue reading]

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX 2540

White/black. Invoiced to Shelby America 10/12/64. Shipped to L.A. 10/23 aboard the 'SS Pacific Fortune'. 2587 was invoiced on 12/11/64 to Archway Motors (Baltimore, MD) as '1 Cobra-Ford, chassis #CSX2587, white/black' ($5,195.00); with Class A acc....[continue reading]

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX 2540

CSX 2540 was loaned out by Shelby American in 1965 for use in the Honey West TV Detective Series starring Anne Francis.....[continue reading]

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX 2610

COX #2610 is a 1965-model 289 FIA competition roadster, built by A.C. Cars, Ltd., at the company's Surrey, England, plant. Originally built as a 'COX' left-hand drive car for export to Europe, the car was re-bodied by the factory to FIA competition ....[continue reading]

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX2363

This car was first sold to Dr. Jim Phillips of Las Vegas, Nevada, and was modified for SCCA racing. Phillips had loaned Carroll Shelby his Corvette for some early advertising, punch line, 'Stingray owners - tired of eating Cobra exhaust?' Following S....[continue reading]

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX2524
Engine Num: BP7777

This 289 Cobra is a late-production example which left the factory finished in Wimbledon White with a red interior. Since it was a late-production example, it was fitted with Autolite electrics, Stewart-Warner gauges, and the rack-and-pinion steering....[continue reading]

Roadster
Chassis #: CSX 2421 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX2538 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX 2494 
Roadster
 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX 6057 
Roadster
 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX2452 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX 2254 
Roadster
 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX2522 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX2387 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX 2514 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX 2356 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX 2540 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX 2540 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX 2610 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX2363 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX2524 

History

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

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