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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Cobra Barn Find Could be Next Million Dollar Shelby


A little dust, a little dirt – eh, it isn’t so bad, especially when it’s covering an object as holy as this. In 1974, a trade between friends brought this incredible 1964 Shelby Cobra 289 into the hands of Vermont resident Sy Allen. He soon placed the car delicately on stands and locked it up in his barn, where it has slept – out of sight – for 40 years. 
Now, the Cobra is out of its cage and it goes up for sale at Gooding & Company’s Scottsdale Auction next week, expected to bring a whole chunk of change. We could be looking at the world’s next million dollar Shelby.


And though we’ve all heard the Shelby story, it’s a tale worth retelling. With a desire to put his name on his own world-beating sports car, Carroll Shelby searched high and low for a potential donor – a sports car in which he could shoehorn a big, powerful, and reliable American V8.

 Given the strong racing performance of the little AC Ace, Shelby made the call, and thanks to a new compact Ford V8, Shelby had his sports car. He called it the ‘Cobra’, and we haven’t stopped talking about it since.

This particular 289 Cobra, numbered CSX 2436, is a later production example, and as such retains a whole host of upgrades that came with the breed’s evolution, including rack-and-pinion steering, a Ford alternator, dual-reservoir master cylinder, and Stewart-Warner gauges.

 The 289 shipped to Shelby in Los Angeles on May 26, 1964, then to Greenwich, Connecticut’s Town & Country Motors a few months later. Total cost with options included: $5,812.


CSX 2436 sold on December 9 and exchange hands a few times over the next decade, before ending up at the home of Sy Allen in 1974…now painted black instead of its original Rouge Iris coat. It’s a true time capsule on wheels, and is said to be in running condition. We’ll let you just daydream about that for a little while…

Photo Credit: Mike Maez