Quail Lodge Auction / 1965 Shelby 427 CobraChassis no. CSX 3104
1965 Shelby 427 Cobra
16 August 2019, 10:00 PDTCarmel, Quail Lodge & Golf Club
Sold for US$1,380,000 inc. premium
1965 Shelby 427 Cobra
Chassis no. CSX 3104
Chassis no. CSX 3104
427ci OHV V8 Engine
Dual Quad 4-Barrel Carburetors
410bhp at 6,000rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Disc Brakes
*Desirable, genuine 427 powered Cobra in excellent condition
*One of just 160 427 powered Cobras produced, and 45 in Guardsman Blue
*Factory-equipped with Dual Four-Barrel Carburetors
*Restored and well documented example of an American Icon
THE SHELBY COBRA
Rightly regarded as one of the all-time great classic sports cars, the muscular, fire-breathing Cobra succeeded in capturing the hearts of enthusiasts like few of its contemporaries. Texan Carroll Shelby had gone racing in Europe in the late 1950s and realized that a combination of a lightweight American V8 engine and a proven European chassis was a winning combination. He had a Ford V8 installed in the chassis of an AC Ace, named the result the 'Cobra' and proved his point.
Formalizing the arrangement, Shelby had AC Cars send Cobras - minus engines - from England to be finished off at his facilities in California. The 260ci (4.2-liter) prototype first ran in January 1962, with production commencing later that year. In 1963, the more powerful 289ci (4.7-liter) unit was standardized. Rack-and-pinion steering was the major MkII up-date; then in 1965 a new, stronger, coil-suspended MkIII chassis was introduced to accommodate Ford's 427ci (7-liter) V8 engine, which in race trim could produce well in excess of 500bhp. Wider bodywork, extended wheel arch flares and a bigger radiator intake combined to create the definitive - and much copied - Cobra MkIII look.
Shelby's "dream team" of drivers included Ken Miles, Phil Remington, and Pete Brock, who were supported by other racing legends behind the scenes. The Ford-powered, AC Ace-derived Cobra was faster and more reliable then almost anything else produced, dominating the competition in almost every instance. The Cobra won the U.S. Manufacturer's Championship consecutively in 1963, 1964, and 1965. Shelby would go on to win the hotly contested 1965 FIA World Manufacturer's Championship in 1965 with the Pete Brock-designed Daytona Coupe.
Competition and semi, or 'street' competition (S/C) versions used the mighty 427. The 'S/C' had been created by the simple expedient of mildly 'de-tuning' 31 unsold competition cars. De-tuned? How does 0-100mph in 8.8 seconds and 165mph sound?
The Cobra set new standards of performance for road cars and was highly effective in competition. Just 1,000-or so Cobras of all types were built between 1962 and 1967, and only 160 of those were of the genuine '427' version.
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
The Shelby American Automobile Club World Registry documents that CSX 3104 as the 4th streetcar produced. It erroneously says it was delivered with the much less desirable 428 engine, which was never the case. It was not until chassis 3201 that 428 engines were installed. The car comes complete with confirmation from the Shelby Club Cobra Registry stating that "yes, in fact it was 100% delivered with a factory 427 engine. As well, the correction will be made in the next issue". It was completed at the Shelby works with the original and genuine 427 cubic-inch V8 engine fitted, topped by dual four-barrel carburetors from new. The new 427 Cobra was Billed to Shelby American on May 13, 1965 and subsequently invoiced to Sexton Ford Sales Inc in Moline, Illinois. It was delivered from Shelby painted Guardsman Blue with a Black interior and is believed to be one of just about 45 examples delivered in that livery. The cars first owner was a Mr. Donald J. Hager of Illinois who retained the car for 6 years before handing the keys over to the next proprietor, a Mr. Dan Bennett also, from Illinois. By 1974 Bennett had enjoyed the car and elected to put the car up for sale – advertised just as when new – in Guardsman Blue with black interior. Doug McClellan was the next owner and he decided that after almost a decade of use, the car could use some freshening, and soon after began what would become a 4-year long restoration. After completion the car was sold and headed south to Florida in 1979. By the mid 1980's the car appeared just a little further north in the state Georgia, before heading to Baton Rouge, LA, under the ownership of Fred Buzzell. He retained the car for several years until he sadly passed away, at which time his wife sold the car along with another 289 Cobra he owned, to a name now synonymous with Cobras, Tom Kirkham. At this time the Shelby Registry lists the car had suffered damage in the car's nose. Today, upon close inspection of the front nose opening, there is evidence of only a 3" piece of aluminum having been replaced. Tom began some further restoration work and actually got so far as advertising the car for sale before electing to keep it instead. He then used the car to help in designing his now famous replica Kirkham Cobras.
CSX 3104 was later restored back to original specs by the craftsman at Legendary Motorcar Company, Ontario, Canada, who are known to be excellent at handling the special processes required in Shelby Cobra restoration. During this process it became clear that CSX 3104 was an excellent example, with a clean and straight chassis and a extremely original body - something that cannot be said for many 427 Cobras. Over the last few years the car has been in the care of an astute collector from Florida, who has shown the car and some prestigious concourses including the 2016 The Quail - A Motorsports Gathering, while driving it regularly. The car is reported to be a truly well sorted and great running and driving example. Included with the car is the soft top and bows, side curtains, spare rim with tire, grease gun and jack. While maintaining its concours appearance, a hidden electronic ignition, stainless steel exhaust, urethane bushings and extra installation has made this a very drivable concours appearing car.
The car comes complete with Owner's Manual, Invoice from AC Cars to Shelby American, Invoice from Shelby American to Sexton Ford, letters and correspondence between the Ford dealer and Shelby American, the Delivery Invoice to the original selling dealer, letter from the Shelby Club attesting to the fact it was delivered new from the factory with a 427 engine and vintage photographs.
With only 160 factory-original, true 427 cars produced (as approximately 40% of the entire production was fitted with the less desirable 428 engines from the factory), the sale of CSX 3104 represent a rare opportunity indeed. This example is unquestionably one of the most authentic 427 Cobras in existence that is sure to meet and exceed even the most discerning Shelby collectors' expectations