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1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Roadster / CSX3259 Vehicle Information

1966 Shelby Cobra 427 photograph

1966 Shelby Cobra 427 photograph

1966 Shelby Cobra 427 photograph

1966 Shelby Cobra 427 photograph

1966 Shelby Cobra 427 photograph

1966 Shelby Cobra 427 photograph

1966 Shelby Cobra 427 photograph

1966 Shelby Cobra 4271966 Shelby Cobra 4271966 Shelby Cobra 4271966 Shelby Cobra 4271966 Shelby Cobra 4271966 Shelby Cobra 4271966 Shelby Cobra 427
Sold for $643,500 at 2011 Automobiles of Arizona by RM Auctions.
Sold for $836,000 at 2013 RM Auctions - Amelia Island.
Sold for $1,210,000 at 2015 RM Sotheby's : Monterey.
There are muscle cars, and then, there are muscled-up sports cars. The Cobra is considered the consummate 'muscle car'. But, in one move, Carroll Shelby effectively bridged the gap between muscle and sports cars and launched a whole new bread of machine.

During the 1960s, there were two approaches. In Europe, the cars were smaller and more-nimble. The premium was placed on acceleration and handling. In the United States, the cars were bigger and heavier, but quite powerful. The focus was on top-end performance in a straight line. While the muscle car was still the main interest in the United States, more and more people were being attracted to the smaller and lightweight European sports cars. During this time, grand prix racing, as well as, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, were quite popular, even with American audiences.

Carroll Shelby was a racing driver and was very familiar with what it took to have the best car. He had been devastated by the Corvettes during a race. Therefore, set off on a quest to create the best car; one that would completely demoralize its competition.

Shelby wanted a small car that was capable of housing a V-8 engine. Carroll had noticed the shapely lines of AC Cars' chassis and approached them about building a car for his purposes. They agreed. Then, Shelby went engine hunting. Initially, Shelby went to Chevrolet, but they turned him away for fear of competition with its Corvette. Shelby then went to Ford. At that time Ford was becoming interested in the European motor sport scene and understood what having a powerful, lightweight car could mean in competition. Therefore, Ford became very interested in the idea of a powerful, small and lightweight car, especially one that could defeat the Corvette.

Shelby's first 'snakes' were quite good in performance. However, the next couple of generations were no where near what Shelby had planned. Its second-generation machine was affectionately called, 'The Turd' by racing driver Ken Miles. This was because the car was virtually un-drivable due to the transverse leaf spring suspension the car had been designed to utilize.

Shelby had been promised Ford's aluminum-block 390 V-8. This met with some resistance. Therefore, Shelby would have to make due with the heavier 'side-oiler' 427. To be able to house the engine, AC Cars had to redesign their chassis with a wider wheelbase. Though frustrating at the time, this, and the inclusion of a new wishbone and coil spring suspension, proved to be just what was needed. The large engine, with the wider wheelbase, enabled the full potential of the Cobra to be unveiled. The Ford 520 bhp, 427 V-8 engine was purposed to push the square, heavy bricks of Nascar's day around at 170mph. When combined with the much smaller and lighter AC chassis, the power-to-weight ratio that resulted was truly lethal for the competition.

The car was light (500 pounds lighter than the Corvette), it was nimble because of its wider stance, but in addition to all of that, the car was incredibly quick.

In 1963, Cobra earned their first-ever race victory against a field made up of Corvettes, Jaguars, Porsches and Maseratis. Jack Sears and Peter Bolton reportedly hit about 186 mph in tests on England's M1 motorway before the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans race. The story surrounding this episode, and the many fatalities on the M1, led England to establish national speed limits its highways. According to Sports Car Graphic magazine in 1965, 'Ken Miles took one of the street 427 machines out and did zero to 100 to zero in 13.2 seconds.' Many of Europe's small sports cars had been able to do the same test in under 30 seconds. This was how brutally quick the Cobra was. It had truly bridged the small, lightweight sports cars of Europe with the incredible high-horsepower engines of the United States. This rare combination made the car coveted for competition purposes, but surprisingly, it proved to be unsuccessful for Ford with the general public. Ford and Shelby ceased importing the cars from England in 1967.

The 427 Cobra presented at the RM Auction in 2011 in Scottsdale, AZ was a genuine 427-powered street Cobra. The car had been prepared by Hall Fabrication & Racing, Inc. The car originated from AC Cars in early 1966 and was then purchased by a gentleman from Kokomo, Indiana later that year.

The car appeared at the First Annual Brown County Indiana SAAC meet in 1978. The car was then sent back to England in 1979 as it was purchased by a Martin A. Colvill. Later on, it was purchased and sent to Germany. In 1988, the car was purchased by the 1988 British Touring Car Champion, Frank Sytner. The car eventually returned to the United States some time later.

In 2003, the car ended up making contact with one of the guardrails at the Monterrey Historics. This led the car to go through a no-expense spared restoration, including a bare-metal refinish.

The Cobra comes with a well documented history, including the original invoice from AC to Shelby American, photographs of the body stamp in various locations, as well as receipts from the car's owners throughout its time in Europe.

The restoration the car underwent was quite extensive. It included the brakes, cooling, electrical, suspension, chrome, paintwork and many other parts and components. The car is finished in red, while its interior has been finished in black leather and dark grey.

The car sports the usual AC Cars body styling expected for the 427 Cobra. Two large, round headlights accent either side of the wide-mouth open grille. The hoodline, trailing back from the grille opening is reminiscent of the Maserati or Ferrari grand prix cars of the early 1950s. The extra-wide fenders cover the car's obviously wider wheel base. A small, single-piece windscreen is about the only thing protruding up out of the top of the car. Along the lower portion of the sides of the car run the hallmark, large-diameter exhaust pipes. The interior of the Cobra offered had a wood trimmed steering wheel, complete with the AC badge. The instruments are correct Smiths. Large, shapely rear fenders help conceal the wide rear tires.

The car has a large-capacity fuel tank. The 520 bhp, 427 V-8 engine sports four Weber carburetors and aluminum heads. Stopping power comes from four aluminum-caliper disc brakes. It has a Ford Top-loader four-speed manual transmission, an independent front suspension comprised of unequal-length upper and lower wishbones with coil springs and telescopic dampers and a similar rear suspension with additional lower trailing links. Headed to auction, this Shelby Cobra was estimated to fetch between $650-$750,000.

The Cobra offered this year is one of just a little over 300 street-specified Cobras ever built. Chassis CSX3259 is truly a special car. Its rarity comes from what it represents. And what it represents is the focus of uniting two points of view. It is that rare amalgamation of a small, lightweight and nimble sports car chassis that would be at home on the twisty road tracks of Europe and an incredibly powerful American muscle car meant to take the car between point A and B in the fastest possible time.

Sources:
'Buy: View Lots (Lot 282: 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra)', (http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=AZ11&CarID=r179&fc=0). RM Auctions Arizona. http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=AZ11&CarID=r179&fc=0. Retrieved 10 January 2011.

Wikipedia contributors, 'AC Cobra', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 1 January 2011, 10:27 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=AC_Cobra&oldid=405303141 accessed 10 January 2011

'DOUBLE TEST: COBRAS FOR STREET & COMPETITION', (http://www.erareplicas.com/history/scg_427/index.htm). Sports Car Graphic Magazine: Double Test: Cobras for street and competition. http://www.erareplicas.com/history/scg_427/index.htm. Retrieved 10 January 2011.

By Jeremy McMullen


2015 RM Sotheby's : Monterey

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $1,200,000-USD $1,400,000 
Sale Price :
USD $1,210,000

2013 RM Auctions - Amelia Island

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $800,000-USD $950,000 
Sale Price :
USD $836,000

2011 Automobiles of Arizona by RM Auctions

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $650,000-USD $750,000 
Sale Price :
USD $643,500

2010 Bonhams - Quail Lodge

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $650,000-USD $750,000 
Lot was not sold

1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Auction Sales

Recent Sales

(Data based on Model Year 1966 sales)
1966 Shelby 427 Cobra Roadster
Chassis#: CSX3173
Sold for USD$2,420,000
  2019 Mecum : Indianpolis
 
1966 Shelby 427 Cobra
Chassis#: CSX 3359
Sold for USD$1,792,500
  2019 RM Sothebys : Amelia Island
1966 Shelby Cobra 427 image  1966 Shelby Cobra 427 image  
1966 Shelby 427 Cobra
Chassis#: CSX 3284
Sold for USD$882,586
  2019 RM Sothebys : Paris
 
1966 Shelby 427 Cobra
Chassis#: CSX 3102
Sold for USD$995,000
  2018 RM Sothebys : Monterey
1966 Shelby Cobra 427 image  1966 Shelby Cobra 427 image  
1966 Shelby 427 Cobra
Chassis#: CSX 3283
Sold for USD$1,457,500
  2018 Gooding & Co. : Amelia Island
1966 Shelby Cobra 427 image  
1966 Shelby 427 Cobra 'Semi-Competition'
Chassis#: CSX 3040
Sold for USD$2,947,500
  2018 RM Sothebys : Scottsdale, Az.
1966 Shelby Cobra 427 image  1966 Shelby Cobra 427 image  
1966 Shelby 427 Cobra
Chassis#: CSX 3293
Sold for USD$1,100,000
  2017 RM Sotheby's : Arizona Auction
1966 Shelby Cobra 427 image  
1966 Shelby 427 Cobra
Chassis#: CSX 3259
Sold for USD$1,210,000
  2015 RM Sotheby's : Monterey
1966 Shelby Cobra 427 image  1966 Shelby Cobra 427 image  
1966 SHELBY COBRA 427 'SUPER SNAKE'
Chassis#: CSX3015
Sold for USD$5,115,000
  2015 Barrett-Jackson - Scottsdale
1966 Shelby Cobra 427 image  1966 Shelby Cobra 427 image  
1966 Shelby 427 Cobra
Chassis#: CSX 3102
Sold for USD$990,000
  2015 RM Auctions - Automobiles of Arizona
1966 Shelby Cobra 427 image  1966 Shelby Cobra 427 image  
1966 SHELBY 427 COBRA ROADSTER
Chassis#: CSX3172
Sold for USD$1,000,000
  2014 Mecum - Monterey
 
1966 Shelby 427 Cobra
Chassis#: CSX 3359
Sold for USD$1,705,000
  2014 RM Auctions at Monterey
1966 Shelby Cobra 427 image  1966 Shelby Cobra 427 image  
1966 Shelby 427 Cobra
Sold for USD$962,500
  2014 Auctions America : California
 
1966 Shelby Cobra
Sold for USD$36,000
  2014 Leake Auction : Dallas Spring
 
1966 Shelby 427 Cobra
Chassis#: CSX3166
Sold for USD$1,100,000
  2013 Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach
 
1966 Shelby 427 Cobra
Chassis#: CSX 3259
Sold for USD$836,000
  2013 RM Auctions - Amelia Island
1966 Shelby Cobra 427 image  1966 Shelby Cobra 427 image  
1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Roadster
Chassis#: CSX3301
Sold for USD$735,000
  2013 Mecum Auctions - Kissimmee, FL Auction
 
1966 Shelby 427 Cobra
Chassis#: CSX 3293
Sold for USD$819,500
  2012 RM Auctions - Monterey
1966 Shelby Cobra 427 image  
1966 Shelby 427 Cobra
Chassis#: CSX 3216
Sold for USD$825,000
  2012 Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach Auction
 
1966 AC Shelby Cobra 427 Roadster
Chassis#: CSX3249
Sold for USD$566,447
  2012 Bonhams - Paris, La Halle Freyssinet Motocars
 

Vehicles That Failed To Sell

1966 Shelby Cobra 427's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1966 Shelby 427 Cobra RoadsterCSX31622020 Mecum Auctions : Kissimmee$1,500,000$1,500,000$1,900,000
1966 Shelby 427 CobraCSX 32372019 RM Sothebys : Monterey $1,100,000$1,250,000
1966 Shelby 427 CobraCSX31072019 Gooding & Company : Scottsdale Arizona $1,100,000$1,400,000
1966 SHELBY COBRA CSX3239 ROADSTERCSX32392018 BarrettJackson : Scottsdale   
1966 Shelby 427 CobraCSX 33592017 Bonhams : Quail Lodge $1,600,000$2,000,000
1966 Shelby 427 CobraCSX31652016 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach $1,200,000$1,600,000
1966 SHELBY 427 COBRA 2014 Mecum Dallas$300,000  
1966 Shelby 427 Cobra 2013 Worldwide The Houston Classic   
1966 AC Shelby Cobra 427 MkIIICSX32592010 Bonhams Quail Lodge $650,000$750,000
1966 Shelby Cobra 427 RoadsterCSX32092010 Mecum Auctions Monterey$850,000  
1966 Shelby Cobra 427 RoadsterCSX33012009 Mecum Original Spring Classic Auction 22nd Year$600,000  
1966 Shelby Cobra 427 2009 The Scottsdale Auction : Gooding & Company $750,000$850,000
1966 Shelby Cobra 427CSX33012008 Sports & Classics of Monterey by RM Auctions$775,000$800,000$900,000
1966 Shelby Cobra 2008 Dana Mecum's Original Spring Classic Auction$80,000  
1966 Ford Cobra 427 2008 RM Auctions Classic Car Auction of Toronto Spring$17,250  
1966 Shelby Cobra 427 2007 Gooding & Company $800,000$900,000
1966 SHELBY COBRA REPLICA 2007 Palm Springs Exotic Car Auctions February 2325, 2007   
1966 Shelby 427 Competition Cobra 2002 Monterey Sports and Classic Car Auction$530,000  

Comparables

Similar sales to the $964,467 range.
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1966 Shelby Cobra 427 vehicle thumbnail image  1966 Shelby Cobra 427 vehicle thumbnail image  
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1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Coupe de Ville
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1966 Shelby Cobra 427 vehicle thumbnail image  
2018 Lamborghini Huracán RWD Coupé
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1992 Benetton B192 Formula 1
Chassis#:B192-01
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Chassis#:ZA9DE21A0XLA12333
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Chassis#:ZA9AB01E0PCD39056
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1932 Marmon Sixteen Convertible Coupe by LeBaron
Sold for $962,000
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1992 Ferrari F40
Chassis#:ZFFMN34A7N0093065
Sold for $957,000
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1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster
Chassis#:198.042.8500286
Sold for $957,000
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1966 Shelby Cobra 427 vehicle thumbnail image  
1994 Porsche 911 Turbo S 3.6
Chassis#:WP0AC2969RS480409
Sold for $964,712
2017 RM Sotheby's : Paris
1993 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.8
Chassis#:WP0ZZZ96ZPS497097
Sold for $960,512
2016 RM Sotheby's : London Sale

Vehicle Profiles

Chassis information for the Shelby Cobra 427
1966 Roadster
Chassis Num: CSX 3102
Engine Num: C3A3-3059-A

Chassis information for the Shelby Cobra 427
1967 Roadster
Chassis Num: CSX3256
Engine Num: 3256

1966 Shelby Cobra 427

Additional valuation insight and sales data
History
Specifications
Image gallery
Other Shelby Cobra 427 model years


Vehicle information, history, And specifications from concept to production.
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