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|AC Cobra 427 Shelby Cobra|
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|1967 AC 427 Shelby Cobra|
S/N CSX 3356
Guardsman Blue with White Stripes and Black Leather
When AC lost their supply of Bristol and later Ford six-cylinder engines, it appeared that they would have to stop building the Ace, whose lightweight attractive aluminum body and sophisticated chassis and suspension made it in many ways the quintessential British sports car. At the same time, Carroll Shelby had recently retired from motor racing and was running a driving school and selling Goodyear tires, but wanted something more exciting. Having always wanted to build his own sports car, he approached the various Detroit manufacturers and was eventually offered a small but light eight cylinder engine by Ford from their pickup truck line. Aware of AC’s predicament, he approached the management with his inimitable flair, and the Cobra was born. The bodies were built by the AC factory in the United Kingdom before being shipped to the Shelby American’s Southern California factory. Initial impressions of the car, which was still in bare aluminum, were extremely favorable. Following its first competition outings, the bugs were gradually ironed out, and the car proved to be a durable, quick, and extremely capable car. The rest, as they say, is history, and the Cobras, in 260cid, 289cid and 427cid versions went on to achieve tremendous racing success, in addition to becoming culturally ingrained as one of the greatest and coolest cars ever made.
This particular car is an absolutely stunning and irrefutably genuine 427cid example that enjoys both excellent history, and outstanding preparation by marque specialist Mike McCluskey of Torrance, California. According to the Shelby American World Registry, CSX 3356 was invoiced to Shelby American in December of 1966, and was first sold through Paradise Ford of Scottsdale, Arizona in October of 1967, finished in blood red with black leather interior, and fitted with a single 4-barrel carburetor atop the 427cid side oiler power plant. In the fall of 1980, the car had moved to San Antonio, Texas were it was advertised as having “7 aluminum wheels, 4 magnesium wheels, chrome side pipes, 200 miles on freshly blueprinted side oiler, special competition transmission. Just painted.” Next, CSX 3356 appeared at Forristall’s GT Cars of Huston, Texas in the Spring of 1981: “Cobra 427, blood red with original black leather. Possibly the finest example in the world, only 17,000 documented miles since new, optional S/C equipment.” The car was sold to Mr. Robert Panella, and long-time customer of Fantasy Junction, who contracted Mike McCluskey to perform and exceptionally high-point restoration during his ownership period.
The restoration was a no-expense spared endeavor and involved virtually every aspect of the car. Detailed records are on file for all work performed. All the cosmetic aspects of the car were address, as well as the mechanical side; a blueprint rebuild of engine and transmission by Dennis Cann, overhaul of the differential unit by McCluskey, disassembly and overhaul of the entire suspension, fuel, cooling, and electrical systems, and complete reassembly from the bare and refinished chassis up. The resulting car is truly magnificent, equipped with desirable S/C options including side pipes, driver’s roll hoop, hood scoop, Halibrand wheels, and outside fuel filler. As part of the restorative works the instruments were rebuilt and the odometer zeroed. The currently shown 1,700 miles reflects distance travelled since the major work was performed. Following the restoration work, Mr. Panella enjoyed the Cobra for several years as part of a varied collection of important automobiles, then in 1996, contracted Fantasy Junction to assist with the sale of CSX 3356 to its next custodian, Mr. Harry Mathews of Arvada, Colorado. In Mr. Mathews’ ownership the Cobra offered here joined the company of what was arguably the world’s most impressive and comprehensive collection of McLaren race and street cars. Mr. Mathews had all regular maintenance work performed in house, using the car sparingly.
Fantasy Junction again had the opportunity to transact CSX 3356 to the current owner in 2007. Still boasting a freshly restored presentation, and with no mechanical needs whatsoever, this wonderful Cobra has been the source of much enjoyment for the present owner in recent years, generally used for short jaunts up and down the California coastline. Fantasy Junction has been responsible for all routine maintenance procedures, still performed in a no-expense spared fashion, and generally contracted to Shelby expert Jack Schroll of Oakland, California.
Cosmetically speaking, the car remains excellent. A handful of minor paint imperfections, mostly in the form of inevitable rock chips to the frontal area, are the most significant flaws accumulated since Mr. McCluskey’s restoration. The engine bay, underside, truck, and interior are all virtually flawless.
As would be expected of a Cobra with such few miles logged on a comprehensive restoration, the car has a tight, precise, and exceedingly high performance feel. The transmission, clutch, braking, steering, and cooling system are operating as designed, and accordingly the driving experience offered by CSX 3356 is as genuine and positive as any we’ve had the opportunity to handle.
This is an exceptional opportunity to acquire an outstanding Cobra, particularly in light of the recent passing of the patriarch of the Cobra community, Carroll Shelby. Shelby is the featured marque during this year’s Pebble Beach and Monterey Historic Reunion weekend in August, giving a unique context to the offering of this wonderful example. CSX 3356 enjoys excellent documented history including detailed restoration notes of the exhaustive work performed. Prior to the restoration, the car was documented in the Shelby World Registry as a clean history, accident free, low mileage example, further adding to its provenance. Included with the sale is an extra set of used tires, a full cockpit tonneau cover and an extra windshield. This car is a stunning example of one of the greatest cars of all time, and is in need of nothing but a new owner to enjoy it.
Sold on the 23.01.2013