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Buy It! Carroll Shelby's personal 427 Cobra being auctioned next month Crossing the block 2021, it could become the most expensive American car ever sold


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The question remains whether or not this vehicle will bring a higher price than the first Cobra ever build, CSX2000, which sold for US$13.75 million.

Carroll Shelby’s personal 427 Cobra will cross the auction block January 2021, and has the potential to be the most expensive American car ever sold.

CSX3178 was Carroll’s personal Cobra; he owned it from the day it rolled out of his own factory in 1965 all the way up to his death in 2012.

The vehicle is quite a rare spec for a Cobra, on top of its vaunted ownership pedigree. No side pipes, no hood scoop, no roll bar, and skinny rear tires are a combination rarely seen for such a serious sports car. It’s also one of only five 427 Cobras painted in Charcoal Gray.

 

Carroll being a hot rodder, however, couldn’t leave his own vehicle well enough alone, and at some point repainted it Guardsman blue, and swapped out the original Ford Top-loader four-speed manual transmission for a C6 automatic. The car would be repainted red at some point during his ownership as well.

CSX3178 was restored in 2019 back to its original specification in Charcoal Grey with a four-speed manual.

 

The vehicle will be auctioned at Mecum’s next sale in Kissimmee the second week of January 2021, and the lot will include detailed documentation, such as a reprint of the original Shelby American invoice, AC Cars invoice, and a picture of Carroll and Dan Gurney posing next to the car.

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That's a really pretty Cobra. Seeing one without stripes and scoops and pipes and hoops is like blackwalls, no Pilot Rays, no trunk on a Full Classic. Just the lines of the car and a great color. The only thing that doesn't work are the skinny rear wheels inside those giant fenders. It's kind of refreshing to see how the guy who built them preferred them to look. They've kind of become a caricature of themselves with all the replicas.

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Here is another Cobra without stripes, scoops, sidepipes and hoops that was at MCACN last year.  Although it has white wall tires, they are the proper narrow bias-ply Goodyears, correct for the era.

 

Craig 

65_Cobra.jpg

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Whats wrong with Florida Ed, to many undesirables there? LOL.

Im with Matt, I can appreciate those cars for what they were/are, but other than that they dont do much for me. I think I have only seen one REAL one in person, and I was quite impressed with what it was and being in its presence. But for the money they garner I could think of at least half a dozen others I would buy.

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Joe Average, can't tell if it is real or a fiberglass replica, so buying to impress the locals is a huge waist of money. The three REAL Cobras that really impressed me were on open trailers behind old pickups on the way south after Laguna Seca, three old geezers that bought them right years ago. Bob 

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1 hour ago, 8E45E said:

Here is another Cobra without stripes, scoops, sidepipes and hoops that was at MCACN last year.  Although it has white wall tires, they are the proper narrow bias-ply Goodyears, correct for the era.

 

Craig 

65_Cobra.jpg

 
 

289 vs 427.

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Think of the Allard’s, Apollo 5000’s, SS1000’s or E types you could have for that kind of money. Not to mention how many Pierce Arrow 12’s or Auburn 12’s or Packard‘s could be in your garage. Cars you could drive and enjoy instead of just being cramped into all that horsepower sheet metal. I guess I’m showing my age by my preferences. 
dave s 

Edited by SC38DLS
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I like any real, rare, and unusual car.  It’s a cool car. Pay 15 million more because it was owned by someone?    Don’t think so. Didn’t he actually own every car that was manufactured?  It’s it worth a premium.......probably. The question is how much.........

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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One of our local members has a Cobra.

His is, quite remarkably, still all original.

He loves racing and high-performance cars,

but he says his car has gone down substantially

in value in recent years.

 

To me, they're a part of history, but I'd rather

own, for example, a '64 Buick Electra for a small

fraction of the price, and glance at someone else's

Cobra on the show field.

 

I do like the subdued look of Mr. Shelby's.

 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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Cars like this are certainly special, and while Ol' Shel' owned a lot of cars, a production 427 built to his specs with unique features and bulletproof documentation is probably going to be a big deal although not $20 million big. I bet it stalls at $6-$8. I think Herbie Hancock's Cobra would bring equally serious money (for a small block car, anyway) should he ever decide to sell it. His is the only Cobra still in its original owner's hands.

 

I'm with Ed--past ownership does nothing for me in terms of making me want to open my wallet wider. The car itself is what matters to me. I don't care whose ass has been in the seat and won't pay a premium to pretend I'm Steve McQueen or Carroll Shelby.

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Notice someone destroyed the original wheel arches?  The early cars had a 1" lip around them....

 

California plates stay with the car, correct?

 

if the plates are correct here is Steve McQueen driving it

Steve McQueen driving borrowed Shelby Cobra lent to him by Carroll Shelby  himself | Steve mcqueen cars, Steve mcqueen, Shelby cobra

 

Looks like it is red in this picture with the original wire wheels and wheel arches.  I hate cars like this, modified many times, who can says what it should look like now?  I would rather have a nice original car.

 

Shelby American Inc. > History

 

With the new wheel arches and wheels must have been modified summer of 65?

From the November 1965 issue of Car and Driver.

1965 Shelby Cobra 427 – Road Test – Car and Driver

 

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@Graham Man That is actually 3 different plates in the 3 pictures you posted.

First car has 1D 013, second has 1H 013 and the third has 2N 013.

So it could very well be 3 different cars.

Not to mention that manufacturer's plates are not really assigned to a particular car, per se.

They are assigned to the manufacturer and can be swapped out between cars without doing DMV paperwork, much like dealer plates.

At least that is my understanding from over 30 years ago when a friend's Dad had a used car lot and had dealer plates he would throw on a car so it would be legal to drive it for a smog check, test drive or even as a demo car.

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Easy way to tell a real Cobra from a replica. If the underside of the hood is glossy, it's a replica.

Also see three different grilles and grill surrounds (or no).

 

Show cars are often updated to reflect the current year. Didn't Shelby start with recoloring one car to look like many ?

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Also, in the original pic the tag is 1a 013. Do you suppose that the 013 is Shelby's dealer plate no. and the number/letter combination on the left side is the plate no?  I consider 13 my lucky number and it would be pretty cool to have one of those plates, but I would surmise that one would sell north of 5 figures alone!!!

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My experience with Cobras is rather limited.  Back in 72 the foreign car garage that I worked at had one in for a clutch.  When the clutch was in, the boss said "Dave, we have to test this out".  We went out and tested it.  Wheee!  It was only a 289 Cobra but it was still a lot of fun.  Very noisy!  I will still spend my millions in other places.

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9 hours ago, 1937hd45 said:

Whatever it sells for you could have spent the same money and have a Running Duesenberg, an L Head Mercer, a 1932 Ford of any body style and the rest of the money to live on for the rest of your life. 

 

Bob 

 

That makes sense to us Bob,  but remember   "there is an ass for every seat".   Everybody has their own thing.   Way back when the 427 cars were relatively cheap I pondered the idea,  but thought to myself it was stupid to pay good money for a car that everyone will assume is fiberglass.    But yeah,  I would rather have a the Model J or a 540K Cab A for 1/2 the money.

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Maybe 15 years ago, I saw an original aluminum body Cobra

at the January Devereaux Show in Sarasota FL.  What made it 

stand out was that it was polished aluminum.   AWSOME  !!

Looked like Chrome.  The owner spent the day polishing finger

prints off the car dispite many "DO NOT TOUCH" signs.

I'll look for a picture.

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Most of the Kirkham replicas seem to be polished. I think the buyers of those cars want to show off that their cars are real aluminum--there's most definitely a snob effect in the Cobra replica world and the Kirkham guys like to make sure people know their cars are not fiberglass. They can't afford a real Cobra, but they want everyone to know that they can afford the most expensive replica. Seems like a lot of labor to maintain and after you've seen one polished Cobra, well, you've seen the polished Cobras. What else is new?

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4 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

Seems like a lot of labor to maintain and after you've seen one polished Cobra, well, you've seen the polished Cobras. What else is new?

One can say the same for stainless steel DeLoreans and polished aluminum Airstreams.  

 

Craig

Edited by 8E45E (see edit history)
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I was given the opportunity to sit in a gorgeous original a few years back and had an embarrassing time trying to get in and out of it. Not a car that the long legged can look cool hopping in and out of. I'll have to remember that should I hit the lottery. 

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2 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

"...there's most definitely a snob effect in the Cobra replica world and the Kirkham guys like to make sure people know their cars are not fiberglass. They can't afford a real Cobra, but they want everyone to know that they can afford the most expensive replica."

And, they display the world's largest cubic zirconium next to it...

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On 12/11/2020 at 11:07 PM, Mark Gregory said:

The question remains whether or not this vehicle will bring a higher price than the first Cobra ever build, CSX2000, which sold for US$13.75 million.

Carroll Shelby’s personal 427 Cobra will cross the auction block January 2021, and has the potential to be the most expensive American car ever sold.

CSX3178 was Carroll’s personal Cobra; he owned it from the day it rolled out of his own factory in 1965 all the way up to his death in 2012.

The vehicle is quite a rare spec for a Cobra, on top of its vaunted ownership pedigree. No side pipes, no hood scoop, no roll bar, and skinny rear tires are a combination rarely seen for such a serious sports car. It’s also one of only five 427 Cobras painted in Charcoal Gray.

 

Carroll being a hot rodder, however, couldn’t leave his own vehicle well enough alone, and at some point repainted it Guardsman blue, and swapped out the original Ford Top-loader four-speed manual transmission for a C6 automatic. The car would be repainted red at some point during his ownership as well.

CSX3178 was restored in 2019 back to its original specification in Charcoal Grey with a four-speed manual.

 

The vehicle will be auctioned at Mecum’s next sale in Kissimmee the second week of January 2021, and the lot will include detailed documentation, such as a reprint of the original Shelby American invoice, AC Cars invoice, and a picture of Carroll and Dan Gurney posing next to the car.

Concerning the color changes on this particular car, some years ago I read an article about when Mr. Carroll Shelby first started out being with little funds, he would change the paint color on the one or two cobras he had so people were seeing all these different cars around town. The article went on to say how excited people were seeing all these cars and couldn't wait to buy one a particular color. If this happened, he (Carroll Shelby) was very smart.

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