1964 Shelby Cobra 289

Carroll Shelby's reputation was built on the racetrack, but his legend was made by the cars bearing his own name. Both factory-supported drivers and privateers alike proved to be worthy adversaries against the industry's best sports cars of the era.

Carroll Shelby was a chicken famer turned racing driver. Part of his charm emerged when he turned up to a race (nearly late) wearing his overalls. This would become part of his ensemble for many of the races that followed.

Shelby worked with both A.C. (Auto Carrier) Cars, Ltd. and the Ford Motor Car Company to create the legendary Cobra 289. The British automaker AC was established in 1908 and were originally makers of small delivery vehicles. They got into sports cars in the 1920s. After World War II, they introduced the Ace which made its debut in 1954. It was built by John Tojeiro and featured a tube frame and an all-independent suspension. From 1956, A.C.'s own engines were supplemented with outsourced units from Bristol and Ford of England.

AC Cars had been powering their vehicles with the Bristol straight-6 engine. They were given hand-built bodys around the steel tube frame, with aluminum body panels that were made using English wheeling machines. After Shelby received approval from AC Cars in September of 1961, he went looking for a suitable V8 engine. Chevrolet said no, but Ford said yes since they were seeking a car that could compete with the Corvette. Shelby received two engines from Ford.

The First Shelby AC car was chassis number CSX2000. The steering box in the AC was moved outward to allow room for the Ford small-block V8 engine. Additionally, a stronger rear differential was installed to cope with the increase in engine power. The E.N.V. units were replaced with Salisbury 4HU unit with inboard disc brakes. The production versions had outboard, rather than inboard, brakes to reduce cost. Another modification for the production vehicles was the relocation of the fuel tank filler from the fender to the center of the trunk.

The first 75 Shelby Cobra MK1 models (which included the prototype) were powered by the 260 cubic-inch V8. The remaining 51 examples of the MK1 were given the larger version of the Windsor Ford engine (289 CID V8).

The first competition Cobra contested the Los Angeles Times Grand Prix, but retired early due to a broken hub. However, the time it spent traversing the track had proven that it was a worthy competitor to the Chevy Corvette. Over the years that followed, it would become one of the greatest and most iconic classic sports cars of all time.


by Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2019

Related Reading : Shelby Cobra 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....
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1964 Vehicle Profiles

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX2367

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.....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

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.....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX2414

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 ....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX2290

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....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX 2558

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....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX 2473

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....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX2541

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....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

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....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX2171

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....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX 2289

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 ....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX2384

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....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX2472

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....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX2398

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, ....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX2345

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....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX2381

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.....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX 2497

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....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX 2431

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....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX2326

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. ....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX2223

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....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX2219

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 ....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX2430

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....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX2436

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 ....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX-2512

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....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX 2433

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....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

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 ....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

This Cobra is the first of the second series of original LeMans replica Cobra race cars that was built specifically to compete as a Sports Car Club of America race car in late 1963.....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX2328
Engine Num: PA4539

This Shelby Cobra 289 is finished in original red paint, has correctly painted wire wheels, and appropriate white sidewall tires. The car was purchased by Mr. Dodge Olmstead purchased CSX2328 on October 29th, 1964 from Cherner Motor Company in in Was....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX 2344

This Cobra was originally delivered to Warren Wooten Ford of Cocoa, Florida, finished in Princess Blue over black leather interior. Its original owner was Robert Lindauer Sr. who acquired it on July 24th of 1964. He traded in a 1963 Corvette converti....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX 2377

CSX 2377 was billed by AC Cars to Shelby American on 3/24/1964 and was shipped aboard the SS Loch Gowan to Los Angeles where it was fitted with Ford power and began life as a Shelby Cobra. On 6/12/64 it was invoiced to a West Los Angeles dealer with ....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX2271
Engine Num: 3161

On January 2, 1964, AC Cars Ltd. shipped this Cobra aboard the SS Dongedyk to Shelby American Inc. in Los Angeles. Its transformation began upon its arrival at Shelby's new workshop at the Los Angeles International Airport. The partially assembled AC....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX2210

This Shelby 289 Cobra was shipped from AC to Los Angeles aboard the SS Pacific Fortune on November 14the of 1963. It was used as a factory demonstrator before it was acquired to dealer Joe Brown Ford in Louisville, Kentucky, on May 15, 1964. It left ....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: CSX 2216

Henry Hartwell Hester was the original owner of this Shelby 289 Cobra. The recorded purchase date is September 21st of 1964. It was placed for sale by Mr. Hester in the May 1965 issue of Road & Track magazine, though the car did not sell. In 1967, th....[continue reading]

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: 2294

As soon as Carroll Shelby created the Cobra, it was inevitable that the cars would be raced. Shelby had built his reputation as a racecar driver in Ferraris and Maseratis. The first Cobra was assembled at Dean Moon's speed shop and most of the people....[continue reading]

Roadster
Chassis #: CSX2367 
Roadster
 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX2414 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX2290 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX 2558 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX 2473 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX2541 
Roadster
 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX2171 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX 2289 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX2384 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX2472 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX2398 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX2345 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX2381 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX 2497 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX 2431 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX2326 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX2223 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX2219 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX2430 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX2436 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX-2512 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX 2433 
Roadster
 
Roadster
 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX2328 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX 2344 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX 2377 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX2271 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX2210 
Roadster
Chassis #: CSX 2216 
Roadster
Chassis #: 2294 


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