The First Cobra

1962 Shelby Cobra 260

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 19-20, 2016

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This is the very first Shelby Cobra built and it has been owned by Shelby since day one, which makes this an incredible opportunity to acquire one of the most important cars around. So here’s the story: in 1961, Carroll Shelby asked AC Cars of England if they would build him an AC Ace that could house a V-8 engine.

And, luckily for car people everywhere, they did. Shelby managed to source a V-8 from Ford, as Chevrolet wasn’t willing to play ball (something General Motors probably doesn’t want to dwell on all these years later). The engine was a 260 cubic inch (4.2 liter) V-8 from Ford that makes 260 horsepower. Shelby stuffed it in the front of this beautiful English roadster and the rest is history.

This car, CSX 2000, was used as a factory test car, demonstrator, and show car used to get people interested and sell some cars. Carroll Shelby, always the marketer, repainted the car between showings to make people think that production was well under way. It worked, even if a second Cobra wouldn’t be built for another seven months.

It is mostly original (other than the paint) and has been used on and off over the years and has been shown recently at Pebble Beach, among many, many other places. It’s as famous as Cobras come and is being offered from the Carroll Hall Shelby Trust. Only 75 Cobras were fitted with the 260 engine, but this is the one to have. In fact, of all Cobras, this is the one to have. The bidding will quickly shoot into the millions, but whoever comes out on top will have something truly special. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s.

Update: Sold $13,750,000.

427 S/C Cobra

1967 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C

Offered by RM Auctions | Amelia Island, Florida | March 14, 2015

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

Here it is. One of the greatest cars of all time. By 1965, there had already been two versions of the Cobra. First, the 260, and then the 289. But the Cobra’s competitors were getting faster and faster and the 289 didn’t have any more power to give. So Carroll Shelby went to ford to get an aluminium 390 V8 and Ford said no and gave him this old iron-block 427 V8 instead.

The thing was monstrous and heavy and the Shelby team had to redesign the chassis to handle it. This is why 427 Cobras have those wide hips compared to earlier cars. So the Mk III Cobra, the 7.0-liter 427 V-8 powered monster, was built between 1965 and 1967.

What makes this even more special is that Shelby was a racer at heart and he wanted to see these things taking checkered flags all over the world. As the FIA was screwing around with their rules and classifications for different cars, Shelby was just trying to keep up. He ordered 100 competition Cobras from AC. 53 were completed before the FIA changed things again and Shelby put a hold on the order. But the new rules pitted the Cobra and GT40, siblings, against each other. Carroll bowed the Cobra out to run the GT40 program and left these roadsters to privateers, selling 16 of his 53 competition Cobras to private teams.

But he had some leftovers. Instead of racing them, they painted them (and this blue with two white stripes is the absolute best Cobra paint scheme there is) and sold them to the public as “Semi-Competition” (or S/C) road cars. They were the fastest street cars ever produced at the time of their introduction (and for quite a few years afterward).

The engine puts out 485 horsepower in S/C form. Top speed is said to be about 185 mph, which is insane for 1967. This particular car has known ownership history from new and 18,000 original miles. It has light SCCA competition history and is one of 29 authentic factory 427 S/C Cobras built. It’s incredible. You can read more here and see more from RM in Amelia Island here.

Update: Sold $2,117,500.

Super Snake Cobra

1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 17, 2015

Photo - Barrett-Jackson

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

This car will be one of the stars of Barrett-Jackson’s 2015 Scottsdale auction. It comes from the collection of Ron Pratte and he famously bought it at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale in 2007 for $5.5 million. What’s changed since that price was hammered down? Well, we lost Carroll Shelby. How about a little biblical history of this car:

Genesis: AC built a car called the Ace. It had a six-cylinder engine. Carroll Shelby stuffed a Ford V-8 under the hood. The Cobra was born.

Exodus: AC/Shelby built a limited run (23) Cobra 427 Competition models. Shelby converted one of these (this car) into the Super Snake – the Cobra to End All Cobras. It was a competition-spec Cobra made street-legal with the addition of bumpers and a windshield. They also supercharged the hell out of it.

Revelation: They built a second one for Bill Cosby who, appropriately, found it impossible to control and drive on the road. He gave it back. The next owner drove it off a cliff. Shelby retained this car most of his life. It’s the only one left.

The engine is a 427 (7.0-liter) V-8. It has two superchargers and puts out 800 horsepower. Ol’ Shel himself claims that the car will hit 60 mph in just over three seconds but I doubt there is any way you could possibly get the power down smoothly enough for it to happen. The top speed is still likely limited to 165 mph based on aerodynamics.

This is a fairly legendary car in both the auction world and the world of muscle cars. You can buy it this coming January, but you better have a big bank account. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $5,115,000.

Dragonsnake Cobra

1963 Shelby Cobra Dragonsnake

Offered by Mecum | Houston, Texas | April 12, 2014

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

The Shelby Cobra is one of the most famous cars of all time. It was among the fastest street-legal cars built for decades after it as introduced. It dominated tracks in America and Europe and they command big money today. But did you know they also dominated on the drag strip?

Shelby offered the “Dragonsnake” drag racing package for the Cobra. It brought a host of options and made the car ludicrously expensive. This car uses the 289 4.7-Liter V-8 making 271 horsepower. And the Dragonsnake you see here is the winningest competition Cobra in history. It won seven NHRA National events and the 1966 NHRA World Championship. It also holds records in a few classes that aren’t around any more.

Only five Dragonsnakes were built by Shelby – three more were built by customers who bought the Dragonsnake package. This particular car sold in 2011 for $875,000 and failed to sell later that year for $825,000. So I guess it’s about an $800,000 car. You can read more here and see more from Mecum in Houston here.

VIN# CSX2093

Update: Not sold, high bid of $1,100,000.

Update: Sold, RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2016, $990,000.

Update: Not sold, Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2018.

Update: Not sold, Mecum Monterey 2019, high bid of $675,000.

Early August 2013 Auction Highlights

August is a very busy month for classic cars – just in the Monterey area alone there are five major auctions. So we’ll cover early August as its own thing. First up, Auctions America’s huge and awesome sale in Burbank, California. Top sale was this 1964 Shelby Cobra 289 Roadster for $825,000.

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 Roadster

Our first feature car was the 1951 Glasspar and it brought $52,800. The other car we featured from this sale was an Edwards America roadster which sold for $66,000. Interesting cars was this auction’s bright spot. I’ll just go through them as I come to them… First, how about a 1976 Manta Mirage for $22,000?

1976 Manta Mirage

Then there’s this 1950 Pearson-Kurtis Front-Wheel-Drive Indy 500 car that was never actually raced. It’s got an Offy under the hood and is in barn-find condition – and it still managed $192,500.

1950 Pearson-Kurtis FWD

A rare 1967 Ghia 450SS Convertible sold at this sale. These cars are awesome. This one brought $129,250.

1967 Ghia 450SS Convertible

This 1953 Bohman Special Roadster was built by the son of the “Bohman” in “Bohman & Schwartz” – the celebrated coachbuilder. It was built for the movie “Johnny Dark” starring Tony Curtis. It sold for $104,500.

1953 Bohman Special Roadster

The award for “The Car I Would’ve Bought Had I Been There” goes to this 1924 Dodge Four-Door Sedan for only $5,500!

1924 Dodge Four-Door Sedan

For something a little rarer, this 1939 Steyr 220 Cabriolet should fit the bill. And the bill was $60,500.

1939 Steyr 220 Cabriolet

Check out this super rare 1993 Ford Mustang Cobra R (one of 107 built) with only 600 original miles. The price reflects it: $46,750 (which has to be some kind of record for a Fox body Mustang).

1993 Ford Mustang Cobra R

This I love. The sale was in Burbank – home of movie studios and Hollywood and all that. Well how about this extravagant golf cart? It was used in the Jim Carrey movie “The Grinch.” This car thing is straight out of Whoville. And it sold for $38,500. (It’s referred to in the catalog as a 2000 Cinema Vehicle Services Family Sedan). It’d definitely be cool to cruise in around a small town (on the sidewalks of course).

2000 Cinema Vehicle Services Whoville Family Sedan

Taking a 180 car-wise, this 1912 Buick Model 35 Touring was a car I kinda wanted to feature, but couldn’t squeeze it in. It sold for $28,600.

1912 Buick Model 35 Touring

Concept cars always get my attention – even if they aren’t that exciting. This 1988 Pontiac Fiero Concept was a 232 horsepower Fiero Concept that never made it to production. It’s one of one. It sold for $3,520. And I think that’s enough cars. You can check out the rest of the results here.

1988 Pontiac Fiero Concept

The other early-August auction was Silverstone’s semi-small (at least in comparison to the one above) CarFest North sale. The top sale was this 1973 Jaguar E-Type Series III Roadster which brought $111,600.

1973 Jaguar E-Type Series III Roadster

Check out complete results for that sale here.

Russo & Steele/Mecum January Highlights

I’m combining two auction highlights into one post: Russo & Steele’s Scottsdale sale as well as Mecum’s Kissimmee Sale. First up, Russo & Steele. Their top sale was a 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster. It sold for $727,100.

1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster

Our featured car from this sale, the Yenko Camaro, failed to sell. On the interesting sales front: this 2008 Mulsanne GT, a sports car based on the Factory Five GTM, sold for $57,750.

2008 Mulsanne GT Coupe

This 1937 Hudson Terraplane Pickup is a rare sight. It brought $41,800.

1937 Hudson Terraplane Pickup

Actually, my favorite car from this sale (and the one I would have rather featured) was this 1957 DKW 3=6 (which is not the most intelligent-looking name for a car I’ve ever seen) sold for a downright affordable $8,800. Russo & Steele had a lot of cool cars for really good prices. I’m keeping that in the back of my mind for their next sale. Check out full results here.

1957 DKW 3=6

On to Mecum’s Kissimmee sale. The top sale there was a white and blue 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Roadster for $735,000.

1966 Shelby Cobra 427

The interesting sales were topped by this 1952 Dodge Model B-3 Power Wagon. Trucks really don’t come any meaner. It sold for $57,000.

1952 Dodge Model B-3 Power Wagon

From the pretty iconic and iconically pretty department: this 1951 Studebaker Commander Convertible sold for $37,500.

1951 Studebaker Commander Convertible

And finally, one of my favorite cars of all time – the Chrysler B-Body convertible. In this case, a wonderful 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Convertible with a 440 Six Pack underhood. It sold for $195,000. Our featured Fuel-Injected Corvette Big Brake Tanker sold for $242,000. Complete results can be found here.

1970 Plymouth Road Runner Convertible

Gooding & Company Scottsdale 2013 Highlights

Auctions held by Gooding & Company are usually packed with the highest quality examples available of a wide variety of cars. Yes, some are even affordable. They only hold three sales a year but they are always mind-blowing in their scope and quality. This was no exception. The top sale was a 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider for $8,250,000.

1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider

The second, third, fourth, and fifth top sellers were all feature cars here on the site. The Porsche RSK went for $3,135,000. The one-off Maserati 150 GT Spider sold for $3,080,000. That downright gothic Mercedes 500K Cabriolet A was sold for $2,750,000. And the Duesenberg from this sale sold for $2,695,000. Next up was a 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Speciale by Pinin Farina for $2,365,000.

1958 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Speciale by Pinin Farina

Our featured Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux sold for $451,000 and this 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante went for $2,035,000.

1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante

The next two cars on the million-dollar list were a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster for $1,540,000 and a 2003 Ferrari Enzo for $1,485,000.

1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster

2003 Ferrari Enzo

Then there was a wonderful 1932 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Series V Gran Sport by Zagato that sold for $1,375,000. Our featured Ferrari F50 sold for the same price.

1932 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Series V GS

The final million-dollar car was a 1965 Shelby Cobra 289 Roadster that brought $1,320,000.

1965 Shelby Cobra 289

Our featured White Yellowstone Park Bus was withdrawn from the auction. And the Cisitalia 202 we featured sold for $650,000. The interesting cars front included this 1960 Abarth 850 Record Monza for $89,100.

1960 Abarth 850 Record Monza

And, last but not least, this 1926 Hispano-Suiza H6B Tourer sold for $363,000 – well above it’s high estimate of $200,000. Check out complete results here.

1926 Hispano-Suiza H6B Tourer

RM in Arizona Highlights

RM’s 2013 sale in Phoenix, Arizona had some impressive results: the top sale was our featured Ferrari 250 GT Competizione for $8,140,000. Second place went to my favorite type of Shelby Cobra, a 1967 427 S/C. It brought $2,007,500.

1967 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C

There were a handful of other million dollar cars. Two of them were Ferrari 275s. First (first below) was a 1967 275 GTB/4 for $1,842,500. The other (second below) is a 1966 275 GTB, which sold for $1,320,000.

1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/r

Our featured Delahaye 135 MS by Figoni et Falaschi sold for $1,540,000 while our featured Lamborghini 350GT failed to sell. Another of our feature cars, the Duesenberg Model J Derham Tourster, sold for $1,320,000. Two more Ferraris rounded out the million dollar club. First, a 2004 Enzo brought $1,320,000. Then there was this 1954 250 Europa for $1,017,500.

2003 Ferrari Enzo

1954 Ferrari 250 Europa

Other interesting results included this 1953 Allard JR “Le Mans” Roadster which sold for $605,000.

1953 Allard JR 'Le Mans' Roadster

And finally, this kind of lumpy-looking 1959 Lister-Chevrolet. It sold for $528,000.

Our featured Pierce-Arrow Touring sold for $181,500. Check out complete results here.

September Auction Round-Up

Okay, so I’ve been a little tardy with auction results. Unless it’s a major sale, I’m probably just going to start lumping them all into one post. It’s easier and as I have other things going on in my life and this site doesn’t pay the bills (unfortunately), it’s how it is going to be. First up, H&H’s September 19, 2012 sale at Newbury Racecourse. Our featured GAZ-69 sold for $8,000. Top sale went to this 1920 Vauxhall 30/98 E-Type Tourer for $288,000. Complete results for that sale can be found here.

1920 Vauxhall 30/98 E-Type Tourer

Silverstone Auctions held their CarFest North “Pride & Joy” Auction on September 9th. The top sale was this 2002 Aston Martin Vanquish for $77,900. Complete results for that sale are here.

2002 Aston Martin Vanquish

Next up was The Bennett Collection, sold by Auctions America on September 21-22. Many of the cars sold at this sale were in various stages of disrepair. It also appeared to contain the world’s largest collection of Mazda 323s. The guy who assembled this collection definitely had a thing for certain cars of certain model years. Anyway, the top sale here was a 1925 Lancia Lambda for $207,000.

1925 Lancia Lambda

Another interesting car was this circa 1952 BMW “Wagner Special” race car. It’s a one-off and was probably in the best shape of any of the cars offered, as many of them seemed to be parts cars. This race car brought $177,100. Complete results can be found here.

1952 BMW Wagner Special

And finally, Barrett-Jackson held their comparatively massive Las Vegas sale from September 20-22, 2012. The top sale (I didn’t even bother to look at any of the custom cars, so by “top sale” I mean production car that looks like it did when it was built. Sorry, I didn’t want to sort through that many results – plus, this site is fairly “traditionalistic” – and yeah, I just coined that word) was our featured 1970 Plymouth Hemi Superbird for $297,000. Second place was this 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback for $247,500.

1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback

An interesting car, as we’ve featured a number of strange custom Corvettes in the past, was this 2005 Chevrolet Corvette Anteros Roadster. It is serial #0001 of I-don’t-know-how-many but it certainly looks like a Ferrari California, doesn’t it? It sold for $99,000.

2005 Chevrolet Corvette Anteros Roadster

Here is a Cobra replica built by someone other than Factory Five or Superformance. In this case, it was built in 1988 by the Contemporary Classic Motor Car Company and it sold for $44,000.

1988 Contemporary Classic Motor Car Company Shelby Cobra Replica

This 1937 Ford Housecar is unusual to say the least. It’s an early motorhome that was actually built by Ford on the assembly line. It sold for $26,400.

1937 Ford Housecar

This 1976 Stutz Blackhawk VI was an expensive handmade car when new. It cost $61,000 in 1976 and it has held its value relatively well (discounting inflation) – selling for $52,800 after having covered only 8,240 miles.

1976 Stutz Blackhawk VI Coupe

And finally, I really liked this 1950 Chevrolet Suburban. And based on the sale price of $69,300, so did at least two bidders. For complete results from Barrett-Jackson in Las Vegas, click here.

1950 Chevrolet Suburban

August Auction Catch-Up

There were quite a number of high-profile sales during August during Pebble Beach and whatnot. I think it’s important not to overlook any other sales that went down around the time that more or less got lost in the shuffle. Yeah, they were much smaller in nature, but here’s a rundown of three from our calendar. First, the most recent, H&H’s sale at Stoneleigh Park on August 28th didn’t yield any significant highlights, but you can check out full results here. H&H’s August 8th sale at Donnington Priory had a few highlights, among them, the top sale, $258,000 for a 1967 Aston Martin DB6.

1967 Aston Martin DB6

The other sale we are looking at is Silverstone’s August 25-26 “CarFest South/Pride & Joy” sale. Among the highlights was this 1976 Alpine A310 for $23,470.

Then there was this 1969 Lancia Fulvia Zagato for $18,800.

A couple of older cars included, from H&H, this 1949 Riley RMC 2.5-Litre Drophead Coupe, one of only 507 produced. It needs a little work but still managed $25,500.

1949 Riley RMC 2.5-Litre

And from Silverstone, this 1938 Morgan 4/4 looks awfully good but it is consigned as “may need some mechanical freshening.” It sold for $28,500.

1938 Morgan 4/4

The final car from H&H’s sale was this 1982/97 Mark Phillips Cobra. I think I might try and squeeze in every obscure Cobra replica marque that I can when I do an auction recap. This one brought $23,300.

1982/97 Mark Phillips Cobra Replica

Some newer cars, from the Silverstone sale, included the top seller, a 2006 Ultima GTR (below) for $63,000. And then a 1994 Marcos Mantara 400 (second below) for $16,700.

And finally, one of my all time favorites, a 1972 Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV. This one looks near-immaculate in red. The price of $24,700 doesn’t really scare me as much as my bank account hopes it would.

1972 Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV

For complete results from Silverstone, click here. And from H&H’s Donnington sale, here.