In February of 1962, Carroll Shelby together with Dean Moon and his experienced crew worked over night at Moon’s garage in Santa Fe Springs, California. The morning after, the finished build was a sexy roadster that would then change the world of race cars and the motorsports.
The fusing the sexy body and chassis from a British AC Ace with the heart of a high performance Ford V8 created the first ever Shelby Cobra that shocked the world of automobiles. The Shelby Cobra number 1 with the chassis #CSX2000 is what led Carroll Shelby and his Cobra design to the New York Auto Show. The Cobra #1 was then used for road testing for automotive journalist and remained with Shelby until his death. It was later known that this Cobra was repainted up to 6 times to make the public think that Shelby made more than one.
RH Sotheby’s just recently announced that the CSX2000 will be sold for the very first time after 54 years of its existence. The car will be auctioned at the Monterey auction in California during the Pebble Beach Concours week which will be in August 19 and 20.
The Cobra now comes in a bright metallic blue finish with the history and influence to both the Automobile Industry and Carroll Shelby’s legacy, this could easily be the most important car in America that has been put up for sale. Aside from its new paint, this sexy roadster is still all original. The tattered and worn out leather seats proves that it was never touched in any way as ordered by Shelby himself.
Carroll Hall Shelby Trust has entrusted the Cobra as well as other historic Shelby cars to RH Sotheby’s. Carroll Shelby Foundation will also offer a couple of Shelby Cobras.
The auction for the Shelby Cobra #1 will be another historic event for the automobile industry as said by Shelby Myers, RM Sotheby’s car expert and son of Rob Myers, founder of RM Sotheby’s.
“When it comes to American sports cars, CSX 2000 is without peers. Its historical significance and impact on the global sports car scene cannot be overstated,” Myers said.
“In the automotive world, CSX 2000 was the shot heard ‘round the world; it revolutionized not only American racing, but the greater auto industry as a whole.”
“Had Carroll Shelby never decided to squeeze that high-performance V8 into its engine bay, there would be no Cobra and certainly no Shelby American, nor GT40, nor the others that followed. The automotive landscape and sports cars as we know them would be very different.”
The creation of the Cobra started when Lee Iacocca, President of Ford during that time, contacted Shelby to build a sports car that will be able to beat Chevrolet Corvette who has dominated the motorsports for quite some time. Designing a race car that could do such a task from scratch was not an easy task and certainly not cheap but Iacocca had hopes in Shelby’s innovative mind to create something.
Shelby started working with his designs and contacted AC Motors from the U.K., they are known for making small, sleek roadsters and sports cars, for a body and chassis from their Ace sports car. Shelby then mounted Ford’s newest 260 cid 8 engine into the body and chassis from AC Motors. According to Shelby, the Cobra name was from his dreams.
The finished car was a small but powerful sports car that could go from 0 to 60 in just a little over 4 seconds during its road tests. The Cobra was not just fast, it also handled really well and perfectly balanced which helped fulfill Shelby and Iacocca’s goals to beat the Corvette once and for all.
Shelby built 100 Cobras to make it eligible to join the race, and soon after the heavier Corvettes were seeing nothing but the taillights of the Cobra. In 1963 and 1964, the Shelby Cobra became the champion of the U.S. Road Racing Championships. Throughout Shelby’s career, he was able to build 75 260 cid Cobras, 580 Cobra 289 V8 and 348 of the historic 427 Cobra, which has the most number of replicas.
According to RM Sotheby’s, the Monterey auction will celebrate the Shelby Cobra together with several other historic cars such as two other Cobras that came from Tucson, Arizona Ford dealer and veteran racer Jim Click who also has a 1966 Ford GT40 Series 1 racer car, a 1965 Shelby Mustang GT350, and a couple of legendary Mustang racers, all of which will also be auctioned.
The Cobra with the chassis number CSX2473 is popularly known as “the winningest Cobra” due to its amazing record of victories that it received while being driven by Don Roberts.
The one and only Shelby Cobra #1 CSX2000 has no pre-auction price but 8 figures is expected.
“It is, without exception, the single most important and history-rewriting sports car ever offered at auction, after over 50 years of ownership and without ever leaving the care of its founding father,” says Shelby Myer. “Supremely original and with extraordinary history, we’re beyond thrilled to celebrate and present this national treasure in Monterey this August.”
Reference & Photo Credits: