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1964 AC Shelby 289 Cobra

Early Rack and Pinion Cobra with Period Race History. Known History to New and Same Owner Since 1971.

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Price $850,000
VIN CSX2201
Exterior Color Blue with White Stripes
Interior Color Black
Mileage 108110 miles
Engine 289 cid V8
Transmission 4-speed manual
Status Inventory
Stock FJ2155

Comments

1963 AC 289 Cobra
s/n CSX 2201
Blue with White Stripes and Black Interior

The Shelby Cobra has become one of the most iconic sports cars of all time. Since its release, the mystique around the Cobra has grown among collectors enthusiasts, and spawned countless modern iterations and replicas. But through it all, the original still reigns supreme.

The Cobra is the result of a unique set of circumstances. AC’s Ace roadster had been powered by Bristol and later Ford Zephyr six-cylinder engines, but when these engines ended production, it appeared they would have to stop making what had become a revered and quintessentially British sports car, thanks to its handsome lightweight aluminum body and sophisticated chassis and suspension. At the same time, Carroll Shelby had recently retired from motor racing, having won Le Mans driving for Aston Martin in 1959. He was running a driving school and selling Goodyear tires, but wanted a more substantial legacy, and had always dreamed of building his own sports cars.

He approached the various Detroit manufacturers and was eventually offered a small but light 260cid eight-cylinder engine by Ford from their pickup truck line. Aware of AC's predicament, he approached the management with his inimitable flair, and the Cobra was born. The bodies were built by the AC factory in the United Kingdom before being shipped to the Shelby American's Southern California factory. Initial impressions of the car, which was still in bare aluminum, were extremely favorable. Following its first competition outings, the bugs were gradually ironed out, and the car proved to be a durable, quick, and extremely capable competition car.

In addition to being a world-class race car, the Cobra became a cultural icon. It was a media darling and was featured in songs, movies, and races all over the US. Car magazines loved the Cobra, offering a bounty of editorial coverage complete with Shelby himself delivering a combination of Southern charm and Hollywood bravado. The unapologetic, brash, thumping American V8 engine powered Cobra delivered 0-60 times in an astonishing 4.9 seconds, besting contemporary sports cars like Jaguars, Aston Martins, and Corvettes by two or three seconds.

The rest, as they say, is history, and the Cobras, in 260cid, 289cid and 427cid versions went on to achieve tremendous racing success, in addition to becoming culturally ingrained as one of the greatest and coolest cars ever made.

This Cobra, CSX2201, was the first of the third production run of 100 cars invoiced to Shelby American on October 11, 1963. With this run, new pricing was introduced, reflecting the use of Ford alternators, Ford wiring harnesses, and Stewart Warner gauges. This car is therefore the first of the more refined 289 series cars. Originally delivered to Los Angeles, the car was invoiced for $5,195.00 on May 13, 1964 to Paradise Ford in Scottsdale, AZ. CSX2201 was delivered with Group A accessories including aluminum rocker covers, WSW tires, and a luggage rack (options raised the price to $5,479.05). Finished in blue with red interior, the car sat on wire wheels with whitewall tires and must have looked very slick indeed. After delivery, the intended owner, a Mr. Bruce Douglas, decided not to purchase the car, and thus, the car remained at Paradise Ford for several months. During this time the aluminum oil pan, speedometer cable, and Cobra trunk emblem were replaced under warranty.

On September 21, 1964 the car was invoiced to Hayward Ford, Hayward, CA for $4,000.00 and subsequently purchased the following month by John C. Braun of Autosports Northwest in Salem, OR. Autosports sold the car in January 1965 to Oregon resident Dr. Linton “Gil” Weed. Dr. Weed modified the car for racing, fitting the car with large front and rear fender flares, 5 spoke American Racing wheels, side exhaust, roll bar, full windscreen, hood scoop, cooling scoops located below the parking lights, and an unusual but clever paint scheme mimicking black and silver snake skin around the front of the car. Weed raced the car in SCCA events in 1965 and 1966, selling it eventually to Francis D. Broderich (also of Oregon), who then sold it to Jerry L. Dryden a few months later. Dryden raced the car with the number 69 in June 1967 at the Rose Cup Races, at Portland Raceway. In the spring of 1968, Ted E. Baufus purchased the car and owned it briefly before selling it to William Bowen, who then offered the car for sale in 1971, at which time it was painted white with a central blue stripe.

The car was purchased by the current owner in Troutdale, Oregon, in May 1971 via Monte Shelton. He proceeded to restore it, painting it red, removing the roll bar and side exhaust, but retaining the fender flares and hood scoop. CSX2201 appears in “The Shelby American” Vol. 4, #6, page 35; Vol. 5, #1, page 45, and #55, page 6. In 1992, attending SAAC – 17 in Portland, Oregon, CSX2201 showed 60k miles wearing the Oregon license plate “COBRA” (which it still retains today). In 1993, the car was repainted blue with white stripes and a white roll bar was installed (Source citation: “World Registry of Cobras & GT 40s, 4th Edition, page 157, 158).

Today the car remains with the same owner who purchased it from Oregon motorsports racing enthusiast Monte Shelton in 1971. Shelton, recalling in conversation recently, confirmed that it was painted white with blue stripes and a black interior when he sold it to the current owner. Shelton, good friends with Dr. Gil Weed, reflected on the integrity of the car, stating, “the body was never damaged in any way and the hood scoop and fender flares were done very professionally.” Knowing the car to be sound, Shelton purchased it with the hopes of racing, but found he did not fit properly in the car, deciding shortly after to sell it to the current owner. Over the next 46 years, the car would be used for family outings and west coast car shows (including Portland, Seattle, Northern California, and Monterey to name a few). Most often however, the current owner drove the car back and forth to work as an Oregon Air National Guard pilot. A Cobra-driving jet pilot certainly brings to mind legends of Hollywood movies, but in the case of this car, it was true. The current owner treated the car carefully, storing it indoors, occasionally servicing it in his garage or with professional experts when required. In 1993, CSX 2201 was professionally repainted metallic blue with white stripes, retaining the 1965 fender flares and hood scoop.

Currently, CSX2201 remains as it was restored in 1993 with vivid metallic blue paint accented by dual white stripes. The paint finish is remarkably preserved given the age, showing very nicely with excellent gloss and attention to detail enhancing the factory aluminum body. Some areas are showing evidence of use including some light paint cracking at the lower rear under the trunk lid. A few areas of minor road chips and light scratching dot the car in typical areas, but do not detract from an otherwise strong visual presence. The exterior trim, while limited, is in very good condition overall including the windscreen trim and glass. The lights, lenses, and emblems are all in very good to excellent condition. The wheels are well preserved, having been replaced several years ago allowing for a wider stance, filling the flared fenders with ample rubber, appearing more like a competition 289 at first glance.

The interior was converted to black prior to 1971 and much of this interior remains the same today. The seats have a wonderfully settled patina, which is slightly weathered but still retains snug and supple feel when one is nestled in the driver’s seat. The dashboard and instruments are properly arrayed with correct dial faces, which are nicely preserved. The Stewart Warner gauges are an iconic part of the 289’s identity, and this car is further distinguished by its recognizable Ford ignition switch, dash clock, and switches for the lights, choke etc., all of which will look familiar to someone who has spent time inside a mid-1960s Ford. The steering wheel has been preserved over the years and maintains a remarkable warm wood tone with just the right amount of wear, reflecting the years of enthusiastic use. While by no means a show car with a recent full restoration, this Cobra offers something truly more engaging. CSX2201 reveals its storied past in a way that no freshly built replica can, with drivable integrity and genuine delight directly at your fingertips - driving as Shelby himself originally intended for all his cars.

Releasing the hood locks and raising the hood, the 2201 number is revealed on the hood latch, indicating the original factory aluminum hood remains with the car. The original engine was replaced some time ago but the current 289 in the car is a correct block, which was rebuilt and properly outfitted with correct Cobra series parts. Some allowances have been made with contemporary ignition wires and hardware, but the engine compartment and engine reflect proper care and attention to originality in general, as with the interior the finishes reflect a car that can be enjoyed without hesitation, eschewing the fussiness of a meticulous show car in exchange for the delights of very nicely outfitted drivers car.

The trunk compartment is easily opened twisting the original factory latch also revealing number 2201, indicating the correct factory deck lid, further authenticating the integrity of this car. Inside the trunk area is a clean and tidy representation of the original finishes along with a full sized spare. The underside of the car is very nicely finished and quite clean, with good attention to detail and excellent presentation. The clean and well-maintained underside is again reflective of the preservation and use dedicated to this car over the near half century of singular ownership. Further examining the underside, one is impressed with the bodywork when the fender flares were formed to the car in 1965.

CSX2201 fires up easily, instantly booming the thumping growl of a 289 that means business. The rear exit exhaust creates a nice taper to the sound, but one still feels the power rippling through the car, and yes, it does rock when you blip the throttle. Reaching inside to open the inner door latch, and easily nestling into the well-formed seat, the view over the twin-striped hood reflects decades of motorsports history. Once behind the wheel, an easy reach latches the updated competition seatbelts, and with a quick flick into first gear, you’re ready for the drive of a lifetime. Even if you’ve driven a Cobra before, every drive is a revelation. It opens up smoothly and rapidly as first gear becomes a howling invitation to capture second gear. Within seconds you are enjoying freeway speeds amidst a symphony of sounds and sensations virtually unrepeatable in any other car. Handling and ride are part of the challenge and delight – one doesn’t drive a Cobra, rather it drives you. The gearing is relatively short and the acceleration is searing in every gear. Finally at rest, shutting the car off, the car quietly ticks and settles, the aluminum whispering to you, and a moment of realization…you’ve just driven a Cobra.

This 289 Shelby Cobra comes with a host of original components including the original aluminum formed grille, several spare parts, a spare engine, and numerous documents outlining the decades of service and thoughtful ownership all of which have preserved this wonderful car. Capable of visual and driving delights like no other car, CSX2001 is ready for enjoyable showing, driving, events, tours, or enjoyable use just as the current owner has done for nearly half a century.

 


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Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA

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