You read that right. The very first, the original, the mac daddy version of what came to be known as Shelby Cobra, the greatest American sports car of all time, is crossing the auction block at RM Sotheby’s Monterey event in about three weeks from now (August 19-20). You better start cracking those piggybanks!
RM has not yet released an estimate for this unbelievably unique and important piece of automotive history, but rest assured it is well into the seven-figure area. The very first Shelby Cobra is codenamed CSX 2000 and it was built by Carroll Shelby and a handful of his buddies in 1962 in a small garage in Santa Fe Springs, California. Shelby took a British-built AC Ace, modified a little and dropped a 260-cubic inch Ford V8 in it. The rest is history.
What we particularly love about this Shelby Cobra is that despite being one of the most precious cars on the face of the earth, for most of its life it has been in constant, often brutal, use. In the early days it was a testing and development car, then it became the press car and suffered endless beating in the hands of journalists (including a performance test that revealed it can do 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds and reach a top speed of 153 mph). The car even took part in a devious marketing plot in which it was painted a different color for every motor show it went to so as to create the illusion the production of Cobra was in full swing. That Carroll was a motherfreakin’ genius.
Now part of the Shelby Heritage Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, the original Cobra will be auctioned off by Carroll Hall Shelby Trust along with a number of other precious Shelby vehicles including a 1965 Shelby 427 Cobra, a 1999 Shelby Series I Roadster and a 1986 Dodge Shelby GLHS Omni.