Lot 129

Monterey 2014

1966 Shelby 427 Cobra


$1,705,000 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California



Chassis No.
CSX 3359
  • Only 1,819 original miles
  • The second to last 427 Cobra produced
  • History since new documented by the SAAC Registry
  • An exceptional road going Shelby Cobra
  • Incredibly authentic with unquestioned purity, including original “sunburst” wheels and blue dot tires
  • Formerly owned by noted collectors John Mozart and Lawrence Bowman

Est. 410 bhp, 427 cu. in. Ford V-8 engine with single four-barrel carburetor, four-speed manual transmission, four-wheel coil spring independent suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 90 in.

The thundering Shelby Cobra is unquestionably one of the most important American performance icons of the 20th century. Rooted in the brilliant racing career and boundless grit of its creator Carroll Shelby, the Cobra singlehandedly vaulted Ford Motor Company’s “Total Performance” corporate racing program onto the international stage and marked a crucial step in Ford’s eventual dominance over archrival Ferrari at Le Mans during the 1960s.

Under Shelby’s leadership, the era’s top drivers, and a “dream team” including Ken Miles, Phil Remington, Pete Brock and many other racing luminaries in the background, the Ford-powered, AC Ace-derived Cobra was brutally quick and dead reliable, quickly earning its stripes and winning virtually everywhere it appeared. The Cobra won the U.S. Manufacturer’s Championship three years running in 1963, 1964, and 1965, and with sleek Pete Brock-designed Daytona Coupe bodywork, Shelby American Inc. won the hotly contested 1965 FIA World Manufacturer’s Championship.

Although the 289 Cobra was proven and immensely successful, more power was needed to stay competitive. Since Ford’s 289 V-8 reached its reliability limit at 385 bhp, Shelby’s stalwart driver and engineer, Ken Miles, surmised an even bigger engine might work within the trim confines of the Cobra. If there was any doubt about the need, it evaporated when the Shelby team went to Nassau for the 1963 Speed Week, where Chevrolet’s new Corvette Grand Sports were lapping more than nine seconds quicker than the small-block Cobras!

However, while Shelby was initially promised a new aluminum-block version of Ford’s 390 FE engine, internal resistance from the NASCAR faction within Ford forced a switch to the heavier cast-iron 427. Although powerful, proven, and reliable at 500 bhp and beyond, it was heavier and therefore necessitated a complete redesign of the Cobra’s chassis to ensure proper handling. The new chassis measured five inches wider, with coil springs all around, and with development help from Ford’s engineering department, the 427 Cobra was born.

The cars were brutally fast. Driving one continues to be a mind-bending experience. One of the most memorable stories about the 427 Cobra involves a test arranged for Sports Car Graphic magazine by Shelby’s Ken Miles. A few years earlier, Aston Martin claimed that their DB4 was capable of accelerating from zero to 100 mph and back down to zero in less than 30 seconds. Miles had the idea to restage the test using the new 427 Cobra. The result, according to SCG editor Jerry Titus, was an astounding 13.2 seconds!

Shelby’s big-block cars were never mass-produced, with just over 300 built. In all forms, the 427 Cobra was a mighty racing car and virtually unbeatable on the road.


The Shelby American Automobile Club World Registry documents chassis number CSX 3359 as having been the next-to-last 427 Cobra produced. It was billed to Shelby American on December 14, 1966, equipped with a 427 V-8 with single 4V carburetor and finished in red with black interior. In other words, it was ordered as, and has always remained, a road car, one that has been enjoyed and preserved on the street/ It was then sold to Pletcher Ford, of Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, at $1,000 off dealer cost, and was trucked to Jenkintown on October 16, 1967. Pletcher Ford repair order no. 2020 records minor storage and shipping damage having been incurred, necessitating repair of the left hand rocker panel, the Cobra emblem on the trunk lid, and replacement of the spare wheel and tire at a cost of $211.95.

The Cobra’s first owner was Frank W. Hultslander, of Norristown, Pennsylvania, who rarely drove it before consigning it to Hexagon Motors, of London, in November 1971; Hexagon Motors imported the car “across the pond” and purchased it themselves. It remained in storage from 1972 until 1976, when its existence in England was widely reported, and the car found a new owner in Richard Buxbaum, of Hinsdale, Illinois. Remarkably, when Mr. Buxbaum advertised his Cobra for sale in 1978 at $85,000, it had recorded only 512 original miles!

The car was sold to Jerome A. Shinkay, of Janesville, Wisconsin, who in the early 1980s advertised it for sale. It was passed to James S. Ward, of Atherton, California, who resold it to the Ferrari dealer in Los Gatos. From there, it passed through the hands of Timothy Lewy into the ownership of renowned collector John Mozart, whose stable includes some of the finest performance automobiles ever built. In 1998, the Cobra was acquired by another well-known enthusiast of Ford performance products, Lawrence Bowman, in whose ownership it was pictured on page 111 of John McClellan’s The Classic AC’s.

In 2004, Mr. Bowman elected to have the car restored by the well-known Cobra expert, Mike McCluskey. The entire drivetrain, including engine, transmission, differential, drive and half-shafts, and suspension, was rebuilt to original specifications, with everything pertaining to reliability and drivability being repaired and replaced only as necessary. The body was left on the chassis, so great was its originality, but was stripped to the bare frame and body shell, metal-finished, primered, and repainted the original Monza Red. Much of the interior remains original, including the wonderfully well-preserved seats, vinyl, wheel arches, and doors. Always a well-kept road car, it still wears its original “sunburst” wheels shod in the original Goodyear blue dot tires and is accompanied by a second set of Trigo wheels.

Now recording only 1,819 original miles, this incredible Cobra remains as-restored, in beautiful show-worthy condition and robust running order, having been well cared for in one of the West Coast’s finest collections. As beautiful as it was when new, yet preserving so many of the original features often squandered in even the best restorations, it is an exceptional example worthy of the finest Shelby collection.