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Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale August 15th-17th at Russo and Steele’s 13th Annual Monterey, California Auction. Please contact us for more information
Offered for sale for the first time since 1984, this early-production Cobra, CSX2012, is the first Cobra ever sold to the public from Shelby American’s West Coast operations in Venice, California. Accompanied by fully documented history with just four owners from new and three long-term, CSX2012 was purchased new on November 12, 1962 by Robert and Sylvia Neville, who were friends of Carroll Shelby. The Nevilles returned the car to Shelby American in January 1963 to have its originally-installed 260 V-8 replaced by Ford’s larger, more powerful, and newly-available High-Performance 289, and a set of back-up lights was installed, custom-made using a set of clear Lucas parking-light lenses. Soon after, Bob Neville drove CSX2012 on a public relations trip from Los Angeles to Sebring, Florida to “demonstrate its practicality.”
During the early 1970s, the Nevilles advertised CSX2012 for sale with a stated 12,000 miles and the ad also stated the Cobra’s cylinder heads had been ported by Californian racing legend Joe Mondello. Around 1972, the Nevilles moved to Reno, Nevada, taking CSX2012 with them and placing the car into storage before selling the car to Dr. Louis Sellyei. Following his purchase, Dr. Sellyei wrote to Carroll Shelby, who replied that CSX2012 was “…the second Cobra ever made and the first one sold to the public.” As we all know, the first Cobra built was the Shelby prototype, CSX 2000, and while research continues, we do know with certainty that CSX2012 was indeed the first Cobra ever sold to the public from Shelby’s West Coast operations.
Dr. Sellyei campaigned CSX2012 with Bill Rudd, with both men known and respected racers. Under them, the Cobra was driven by Mr. Rudd at the inaugural Monterey Historic Races in 1974. Next, Bill Rudd acquired CSX2012 from Dr. Sellyei and the Cobra was competition-prepped with Dunlop alloy wheels, widened fender flares, side vents, Weber carburetors, a driver’s roll bar, and a hood scoop, while the Cobra’s original worm-and-sector steering gear and rare early “Shelby-AC-Cobra” identification badges were retained. As such, the Shelby American World Register lists CSX2012 as one of only 31 “Independently Prepared Competition Cobras.”
Highly successful on the track, CSX2012 continued to be extensively raced by Bill Rudd in SCCA, VARA, HMSA, and other events. Under next owners Jim and Diane Mapson, who acquired the Cobra in 1984, it was expertly refreshed and updated by John Collins, a former Shelby American crewmember, in Santa Ana, California. Jim Mapson fastidiously maintained this Cobra in superior racing condition and raced it over the next 10 years with strong results at the Monterey Historics including winning in 1987 from pole while leading every racing lap.
In 1993, the Cobra was retired from racing and from this point, it was exercised but no longer taken to the track. In 1990, the Cobra suffered a small shunt to the left rear, damaging a small area around the driver’s side taillight. Wayne Williams Metal Fabrication, a well-known, high quality shop in Orange, California performed the necessary repairs, with the Cobra receiving a bare-metal repaint and the work completed in 2004. A recent inspection of CSX2012 reveals no indications of accident damage to the body and chassis, other than the aforementioned item, and it has been confirmed that the Cobra’s body and chassis parts retain their factory identification stampings where appropriate.
As offered, CSX2012 remains in wonderful racing specification and retains the circa-1976 competition modifications completed by Bill Rudd. Fitted with the original steering wheel, the Cobra is accompanied by many original items and parts, as received by Jim Mapson from Bill Rudd in 1984. Excellent recent work performed under the current owner could best be summarized as an expert and meticulous “going over” of all mechanical systems, with an estimated $40,000 invested over the past three months to ensure the Cobra is fully sorted and ready to go for the new owner to enjoy with confidence. Never significantly damaged, always fastidiously maintained by known experts, and simply beautiful, CSX2012 has been depicted in several texts in addition to the Shelby American World Register and it is currently licensed and registered in California and blessed with full and unbroken history from new.
CAR TITLE READS 1963 SHELBY