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1964 Shelby 289 Cobra
RM Sotheby's

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In Stock

United Kingdom


Engine number 3162


Documents US Title


Desirable late-production 289 Cobra with rack-and-pinion steering; factory-equipped with dual four-barrel carburetors


History documented in the Shelby American Automobile Club registry


Retains its numbers-matching engine according to chassis plate


Extensively serviced in 2022 by noted Cobra specialists Rare Drive of East Kingston, New Hampshire


Factory-optioned with Class “A” accessories including white sidewall tires and no luggage rack, an outside rearview mirror, and radio with antenna; accompanied by side curtains, jack, spare, grease gun, convertible top, and tonneau cover

By 1961, Carroll Shelby had established his reputation as a first-rank racing driver (having won LeMans outright in 1959 with co-pilot Roy Salvadori) and, ready to kick it up a notch, he set out to build his own racecar. Impressed by the combined agility and power of borrowed Cad-Allards, he set out to create the ultimate Anglo-American hybrid. AC Cars of Thames Ditton, England provided a nimble tubular frame and aluminum body from their Ace, highly reputed for its dexterity on the European circuit. Desirous of the visceral power of a Detroit V-8, Shelby persuaded Ford to furnish their short-stroke 260-cubic-inch engine to complete the perfect union. In 1962, a brilliant yellow Shelby Cobra was unveiled at the New York Motor Show. The prototype, chassis CSX 2000, weighed in at just 2,100 pounds and was campaigned across the United States, usually in a different color each weekend. In 1963, Shelby upped the ante with the Cobra Mk II, notably upgrading the original Cobra to rack-and-pinion steering and then with a high-output 289-cubic-inch V-8 capable of 271 horsepower. The new powerplant made the 289 Cobra capable of rocketing from 0-60 mph in under 6 seconds on its way to a 130-mph top speed. The superb power-to-weight ratio enabled the newcomer to record numerous, impressive victories on the international sportscar circuit while dominating SCCA racing, cementing Carrol Shelby’s place in the pantheon of American automotive luminaries. The Shelby 289 Cobra presented here was billed to Shelby American from AC Cars on 20 December 1963 and dispatched to Los Angeles 2 January 1964 aboard the SS Dongedyk. After receiving its engine and chassis upgrades from Shelby, CSX 2274 was invoiced to Noble Motor Company of Danville, Illinois on 20 March 1964. Factory-finished in white over black trim, the Cobra was equipped with the Class “A” accessory group including white-sidewall tires and no luggage rack, an outside rearview mirror, radio antenna, anti-freeze, plus the rare twin four-barrel carburetor option for a finished price of $5,943.25. The Shelby American Automobile Club Leaf Spring Cobra Registry reports that following CSX 2274’s arrival in Illinois, it was sold to its first owner, Clint Sandusky, Jr. in June of 1964. The car is then known to have been accepted on trade by Bill Watkins Ford of Scottsdale, Arizona at some point in 1970. In October 1972 James Wagner of Dayton, Ohio purchased the car, described at the time as “near concours condition… always garage-kept and stored winters.” CSX 2274 would grace the cover of the first Cobra World Registry in 1974 under Wagner’s ownership. Wagner added five-spoke American wheels and a hood scoop before selling the car in late 1975. The Cobra then passed through a series of caretakers and was repainted in its current, classic livery of blue with white stripes at a point in the 1980s. In the late 1990s, CSX 2274 landed in the esteemed Paul Montrone Bayberry Collection, where it would remain for over two decades. Importantly, the registry does not record any accidents, incidents, or unsightly modifications. In 2022, the Cobra was entrusted to noted marque specialists Rare Drive of East Kingston, New Hampshire for an extensive freshening. Accompanying service invoices document a full rebuild of the braking and suspension systems, engine tuning, and an extensive diagnosis of the fuel and electrical systems to ensure this Cobra performs correctly. Inspection of its chassis plate, which is believed to be original to the car, confirms that the car retains its numbers-matching engine. Likewise, stampings on the door and trunk latches match the chassis number. Benefitting from exhaustive mechanical sorting and a period-correct appearance, CSX 2274 would make an ideal entry into any number of vintage tours and rallies. It is accompanied by side curtains, convertible top and tonneau cover, a grease gun, jack, and spare wire wheel. Shelby 289 Cobras are rightly prized by true enthusiasts for their remarkable performance and superior agility, resulting in a famously visceral driving experience. This example, with rare specification and a known history from new, presents an excellent opportunity to become one of the lucky few to experience proper Cobra ownershi