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1964 Shelby Cobra 289 MKII

Girardo & Co. Ltd

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 MKII
Girardo & Co. Ltd
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SH ID

24-0408014

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FEATURED BY SPEEDHOLICS

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In Stock

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United Kingdom

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Dealer

A beautifully maintained and highly original example of the Anglo-American cult-classic sports car, retaining its original chassis, engine and interior

 

Retaining its ultra-rare original Shelby American hard top, soft top and side screens

 

Accompanied by copies of its original Shelby American and AC sales invoices

 

Extensively documented in the Shelby American World Registry

 

Offered directly from one of the world’s most historically significant collections

 

Road-registered in the United Kingdom

Description

If ever there was a person who needed convincing of the appeal of the Shelby Cobra, we’d position them on the outside of Lavant corner at the Goodwood Revival during the RAC TT Celebration race and leave them to watch as the train of competing Cobra 289s squirm and slither round virtually the entire lap on opposite lock. It’s a spectacle which treads the line between majestic and savage – an awe-inspiring recipe of brute force and deft skill. As the Texan chicken farmer turned Le Mans winner Carroll Shelby had the foresight to install a powerful American V8 into the lightweight and nimble chassis of the British AC Ace, so one of the all-time great sports cars was born: the Cobra. And it’s not difficult to understand why this Anglo-American creation has captured the imagination of so many millions of people over the decades. “The Cobra has everything you want in a sports car: striking good looks, commanding power, comparatively delicate poise and agility and a hair-raising annoy-the-hell-out-of-your-neighbours exhaust note.” Thinking about it, the Cobra has everything you want in a sports car. Striking good looks, commanding power, comparatively delicate poise and agility and a hair-raising annoy-the-hell-out-of-your-neighbours exhaust note. What’s more, because of the relatively straightforward underpinnings and the bulletproof nature of Ford’s small- and big-block V8s, the Cobra was reliable. It’s small wonder that Shelby enjoyed so much success with the Cobra 289 on the racetracks of North America. Beyond the Cobra’s credentials as a physical sports car, it embodies a greater philosophy – that of Carroll Shelby’s unrelenting American Dream. Of the myriad road and race AC- and Shelby-badged Cobras built between 1962 and ’67, the magnificent example we’re delighted to be offering is a Shelby 289 MKII, which started life in 1964. Chassis number CSX 2475 Thursday 2 July 1964. The SS Pacific Fortune sets sail from England bound for Los Angeles on the West Coast of America. Onboard? A raft of AC chassis, awaiting their transformation into snarling Ford V8-powered Cobra 289s in the hands of the Stetson-wearing engineers at the Shelby American skunkworks. Among them was the car we’re so excited to be offering today: chassis number CSX 2475. Ultimately finished in White over a black interior, CSX 2475 left Shelby American in November of 1964, specified with a number of ‘Class-A’ accessories including tinted sun-visors, adjustable wind wings, white-side-wall tyres, a rear-view mirror, a hard-top and side screens. Quite remarkably, the sun-visors, wind wings, hard-top and the side screens remain with the car today, almost 60 years later. This Cobra was transported from Los Angelese to Knoxville Cobra Sales Co. in Tennessee, where it was acquired by its first owner, one Jack Armstrong from Massachusetts. “CSX 2475 was specified with a number of ‘Class-A’ accessories including tinted sun-visors, adjustable wind wings, white-side-wall tyres, a rear-view mirror, a hard-top and side screens.” With a view to contesting autocross events, it’s believed Armstrong made a number of motorsport-minded modifications including the addition of Crane heads, a remote oil-cooler, an aluminium oil pan, competition seatbelts and a full-width removable roll bar (which, once again, remains with the car today). Chassis CSX 2475 stayed in Massachusetts until 1982, when it was acquired by Donald E. Escolas from Georgia. Escolas recalled the memorable experience of collecting his new Cobra from Gus Zuidema’s Competition Automotive outfit. “Gus insisted on a road test, and although his driveway was under construction and a mess of mud, he drove my immaculate Cobra through it with a big grin!” So commenced a 24-year love affair between Escolas and CSX 2475, during which the car was cherished, enjoyed as intended and shared with the world. In 1987, the Cobra was featured on the cover of the definitive Shelby American World Registry and later starred in commercial adverts on the MTV and ESPN television channels. In 2004, the car was noted as ‘retaining its original seat and dashboard coverings, hardtop and side curtains, with an odometer just short of 40k original miles’. This Shelby Cobra passed through the hands of three further US-based owners and as the myriad accompanying maintenance invoices attest, they picked up right where Escolas left off with regards to properly looking after the car. Chassis CSX 2475 finally made the trip back across the Atlantic in January of 2017, joining the distinguished collection of Prince Rahim Aga Khan. The Cobra was subsequently registered in the United Kingdom with the number it retains to this day. “Today, it’s the condition – and, more specifically, the beguiling patina - of this unrestored Cobra that dazzles the most.” This Shelby was acquired by its current UK-based owner – a man with an extraordinary collection of historically significant road and competition cars including a Ferrari 250 GTO - in February of 2019 and has since only been used seldomly. Today, it’s the condition – and, more specifically, the beguiling patina - of this unrestored Cobra that dazzles the most. The exterior paintwork, applied by Gus Zuidema in 1980, has stood the test of time beautifully, showing wear commensurate with its age and only small signs of discolouration and blistering. The original black upholstery has accrued a deep shine with age and, despite the 45,000 miles on the odometer, has not worn excessively or torn. Even the competition seat belts, which were added by the car’s first owner, remain in place. As previously mentioned, the original factory hard top, soft top (including frames) side screens and roll bar accompany the car. The original Stewart-Warner gauges are all present and correct, including the rare additional SW fuel-pressure gauge which is noted in the Shelby American World Registry. Beneath the bonnet the original white paint is present on the firewall and, amazingly, the original wrapping remains around the front leaf springs. Suffice to say, chassis CSX 2475 wears its years of diligent care and enjoyment with pride. And from behind the wheel, it’s every bit as enjoyable as it is to ogle – fizzing with feel and that silky smooth and unresistant feel of an old car that’s never been completely apart. It’s an incredibly special car that deserves to be seen in the metal to be truly appreciated.