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Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale August 16th- 18th, 2012 at Russo and Steele’s 12th Annual Monterey California Auction. Please contact us for more information.
After retiring from professional racing due to a heart condition, Carroll Shelby pursued a lifelong dream of building his own sports car. The first hand experienced gained following many years behind the racing steering wheel; Carroll Shelby knew what worked and what didn’t work in a race car. Shelby dreamed of combining all these traits for a ‘best of both worlds’ concept.
It is clear that Shelby was not the first to implement this fundamental concept – Allard, Cunningham and Nash-Healey all utilized the American V8 mated to a European vehicle – but, in true Shelby style, he did it better than anyone before (and arguably thereafter). While considering Austin-Healey, Jensen and Bristol, he heard that AC, builders of the stylish and sturdy Ace-Bristol Sports Cars, had lost their engine supplier when Bristol ceased production. Timing was everything, and in September of 1961 Shelby wrote Charles Hurlock of AC Cars to inquire if a car modified to accept a V8 engine could be produced. Hurlock replied by saying “if a suitable V8 could be found.”
With AC’s acknowledgment, Shelby moved quickly when editor, Ray Brock, of ‘Hot Rod’ magazine told him of Ford’s new lightweight V-8. It didn’t take Shelby long to acquire and install an early 221ci variant in a stock AC Ace Bristol.
It was good fortune that the Ford mill weighed only a few more pounds than the six-cylinder Bristol. Ford engineer Dave Evans offered Shelby more good news, a high performance 260 cubic inch version was already in production for Ford’s Falcon and two engines would be on the way to him soon. These were immediately sent by air freight overseas and on February 1, 1962, Carroll Shelby flew to England to test drive the new Shelby version of the AC. From that day forward, the fantastic 289 Cobras were born offering enthusiasts the pure-bred feel with looks that need not sacrifice any speed or quickness. Best of all, their simplicity allowed for an added dimension of comfort, ease and style.
The well-documented, matching-numbers 1965 Shelby Cobra s/n CSX2538 offered here was delivered new finished with a red exterior with black interior and Class “A” accessories; which included the chrome wheels. As with all the most desirable “late production” Cobras, CSX2538 features the larger 289 cubic inch power plant (verses early 260 ci engines) the vastly superior rack and pinion steering set up, Ford electrical system with alternator (verses early generator equipped cars) and Stewart Warner dash gauges all culminating in the “best of the best” engineering refinements of the last cars in the production run.
CSX2538 is equipped with the venerable Ford 289 high performance engine and is fitted with the Shelby American optional twin-4-barrel Carter AFB carburetors. Recently serviced in June and October of 2011 this nicely detailed 1965 Shelby Cobra has a new radiator core, new oil cooler, new oil lines, new radiator hoses, new electric fuel pump, new wiper blades, new headlights, repairs to the header tank, door adjustments, updated air filters and an oil/fluids service. In addition to it being well maintained CSX2538 comes with the side curtains, the top bows, black canvas top, jack kit and a correct chrome wheel spare.
CSX2538 is very original, well sorted and fully documented; ready for this year’s “Cobra 50th Anniversary” at the Monterey Motorsports Reunion weekend. Like all Cobra 289s, CSX2538 is beautiful example of one of the most iconic cars of all time and an excellent weekend or event car for any enthusiast looking to own a piece of Shelby American automotive history.