1964 Shelby 289 "Lindauer Cobra"
Sold For $1,100,000Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.
- Single-family ownership; less than 15,500 original miles
- Highly original throughout, including engine, transmission, and upholstery
- One of the very best Cobras in existence
- A truly special and unmolested example
As a true Anglo-American sports car hybrid with firm roots in motorsport, it should be no surprise that many of Carroll Shelby’s Cobras were driven hard and put away wet by professionals and privateers alike. With such success on racetracks and dragstrips around the world, especially in the United States, finding a wholly original and unmolested small-block Cobra – offered from its original family, no less – is akin to searching for and finding a needle in a haystack. An avid collector could easily scour the globe for such a car for years and come back empty-handed.
The 289 Cobra offered here, chassis number CSX 2344, is that proverbial needle.
Cobra CSX 2344 was originally delivered to Warren Wooten Ford of Cocoa, Florida, finished in Princess Blue over black leather interior. It was sold new to Robert Lindauer Sr. on 24 July 1964, who traded in a 1963 Corvette convertible on this Cobra. Within Lindauer’s first month of ownership, the car was driven over four thousand miles, which included a trip to Chicago to visit his parents and to New York for the 1964 World’s Fair. It is noted in the fourth edition of the World Registry of Cobras and GT40s that this would be the last time the car would leave the state of Florida for nearly 40 years.
Even though Lindauer’s Cobra was advertised for sale in the July 1965 issue of Car & Driver and once more in 1969, he decided not to part with the car, and it would remain in Cocoa Beach, Florida, for the foreseeable future. Other than for road use, Lindauer occasionally drove the car in gymkhana events in Florida, where it proved to be quite successful. It is important to note that in July 1970, the car was involved in a road accident where it sustained some cosmetic damage and was repaired with parts sourced from Shelby directly. Ultimately, Lindauer looked after the car himself, and as a trained engineer working as a fuel cell and cryogenics engineer on the Apollo program at NASA during a pivotal time in the space race, the Cobra was in more than qualified hands in his own garage.
In 1974, the Cobra was placed into storage in a climate-controlled garage on jack stands and run occasionally in order to make sure it remained in running order for the rest of his life. Upon Mr. Lindauer’s passing in March 2001, his Cobra was trailered from Florida to North Carolina, where his son resides. There, just as his father before him, Robert Lindauer Jr. put the car up onto jack stands in a climate-controlled storage unit to ensure further safekeeping. After deciding that it was time for the car to get back on the road in 2010, CSX 2344 was brought to Charlotte, where it was entrusted to Lee Holman of Holman-Moody fame. Holman focused on bringing the car mechanically back to running condition, leaving the cosmetics untouched and just as it left the factory in 1964.
CSX 2344’s level of originality simply cannot be overstated. Not only does it boast its original engine, transmission, and upholstery, the car still has its original carpeting, convertible top, tonneau cover, top irons (wrapped in newspaper from 1970), seat belts, owner’s manual, jack, grease gun, original spare tire, original intake manifold, carburetor, water pump, fuel pump, fan belt, and the original keys on their original Shelby keychain. The car even retains a complete original tool kit, virtually unobtainable in the Cobra community. The combination of these seldom seen original accessories alongside such an original car adds to its already exceptional provenance. Open the hood or slide into the nicely worn driver’s seat, and that originality is instantly palpable; from the gentle creasing and cracking in the leather seats to the slightly faded lettering on the gauges, the patina showcases its supreme level of preservation mixed with regular use to make sure that everything is working just as it should be.
It is only fitting that such a well-kept Cobra would be accompanied by an equally well-kept history file. Practically every piece of documentation relevant to the car was kept by Lindauer and remains with the file, from the car’s original financing papers, maintenance receipts from throughout its life, including detailed documents and photographs regarding the car’s aforementioned accident and repairs, warranty papers, period photographs, dealership stock sticker, gymkhana trophies, original invoice and a letter from Warren Wooten Ford, and even Lindauer’s ticket from the car’s trip to the 1964 New York World’s Fair.
Lovingly referred to as the “Lindauer Cobra” and known for decades as one of the most original examples on the planet, the opportunity to acquire CSX 2344 is truly a landmark occasion, and perhaps the only chance for a Shelby collector to find that needle in the haystack.