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1963 Shelby 289 Cobra
RM Sotheby's

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United Kingdom


Previously restored by noted Cobra specialist Mike McCluskey of Torrance, California in the early 2000s


Arrived in Los Angeles in spring of 1963; delivered to Coventry Motors of Walnut Creek, California


Powered by desirable replacement 289 cu.-in. V-8 engine paired with a four-speed manual transmission


Documented in Robert D. Walker’s Shelby Cobras, Volume 2 and the SAAC Registry


Acquired by the consignor in 2020 and driven a mere 10 miles since, as of cataloguing time


Well-preserved with gentle patina throughout; an ideal candidate for further touring

While the earliest examples of the Shelby Cobra were fitted with 260-cubic-inch Ford V-8s, the roadster finally came into its own when fitted with Ford’s 289-cubic-inch V-8, which entered production after the first 75 cars were built. Tipping the scales at around 2,000 pounds—some 500 pounds lighter than the archrival Chevrolet Corvette—the increased output paid massive dividends in terms of performance. Not only did the 289 Cobra prove to be an incredible car to drive and enjoy on the street, it also proved to be highly competitive on the track, where it could easily hold its own against competitors in both Europe and North America. According to Robert D. Walker’s Shelby Cobras, Volume 2, chassis number CSX 2095 arrived in Los Angeles in the spring of 1963 and was invoiced to Coventry Motors of Walnut Creek, California in June of that year. Although the car’s early history is unknown, by April of 1972 it was owned by Robert C. Able of Eugene, Oregon, who acquired the car from Arthur Johnstone, of Medford. In 1974, the car was repainted dark blue and the interior was changed from black to red. During this time period, the original five-bolt 289 Hi-Po engine was replaced with a later 289-cubic-inch V-8 fitted with two four-barrel carburetors, while its 5.5-inch painted wire wheels were replaced with 7.5-inch bolt-on American Racing wheels. The fenders were also opened up and reshaped for additional clearance at this time, and small, round taillights inboard of the factory units were added. In 1981 Jim Donofrio (misspelled as “D’Onnofrio” in the Shelby American Automobile Club Registry) of Salem, Oregon acquired the car and by that time it had been repainted black. Donofrio would swap out the 7.5-inch-wide bolt-on wheels with 6.0-inch-wide, chrome-plated Dayton wire wheels with knock-off spinners. He kept the car for over 20 years, finally parting ways with it in the early 2000s. The car’s next owner was Bill Bryan of Winter Park, Florida. Upon purchasing it, Bryan sent CSX 2095 to noted Cobra restorer Mike McCluskey in Torrance, California, who restored the car to its original configuration, replacing incorrect components and returning the fenders to their contours. A Harrison radiator and aluminum expansion tank were also installed, according to the SAAC Registry, and the interior was reupholstered in red leather. During Bryan’s ownership, the Cobra saw extensive use and was reportedly driven in several Cobra tours. The consignor acquired CX 2095 in 2020. It has accumulated a mere 10 miles since and remains in well-preserved condition with gentle patina throughout, an ideal candidate for further touring, in which its next owner can enjoy the full power of its 289-cubic-inch V-8.