Lot 121

Arizona 2024

1966 Shelby 427 Cobra

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$1,100,000 - $1,300,000 USD | Not Sold

United States Flag | Phoenix, Arizona

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language
Chassis No.
CSX 3237
Documents
Canadian Registration
  • Previously restored to a high standard by Curt Vogt’s Cobra Automotive
  • Beautifully finished in original colors of red over black leather
  • Upgraded with a side-oiler 427-cu.-in. V-8 engine
  • Documented in the SAAC Registry
  • Accompanied by a convertible top with irons, side curtains, tonneau cover, reproduction owner’s manual, jack, grease gun, can of paint, spare set of Halibrand-style wheels, and a spare, correct-type 428-cu.-in. Cobra Jet engine
  • Ready for touring and concours events

Slotting a Ford V-8 engine into the chassis of an AC Ace proved to be a brilliant idea for Carroll Shelby. The thundering Cobra—rooted in the impressive racing career and boundless grit of its creator—singlehandedly vaulted Ford Motor Company’s corporate racing program onto the international stage and marked a crucial step in its eventual dominance over archrival Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the 1960s. Under Shelby’s leadership, and with the help of a dream team of racing luminaries that included Ken Miles, Phil Remington, Pete Brock, and many others, Ford-powered Cobras won virtually anywhere and everywhere they raced. Brutally fast and dead-reliable, the Cobra clinched the US 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.

Uncompromising and fiercely aggressive on the racetrack, the 289 Cobra, with its 289-cubic-inch V-8, was an instant icon, yet Shelby knew that to stay competitive, it was essential to continually increase power. Enter Ford’s mighty 427 engine: a big-block monster of almost otherworldly power. Shelby was initially promised a new aluminum-block version of Ford’s 390 FE engine, but corporate infighting at Dearborn left him with an allotment of the heavier cast-iron-block 427. The new Cobra creation debuted at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1964, driven by Ken Miles. While early handling challenges clearly needed addressing, the tremendous performance potential was unmistakable.

Shelby’s team then set about creating a chassis capable of handling the 427-cubic-inch behemoth’s increased power and weight. The revised design featured a four-inch tube frame and seven-inch wider body with larger fenders. Using the same computer as on the GT40, Ford engineers crafted a highly sophisticated coil-over suspension, all within the original 90-inch wheelbase. Dubbed the 427 Cobra in a staff meeting on 7 April 1965, Shelby’s big-block beasts were never mass-produced, with just over 300 built. The cars were incomprehensibly fast, and driving one today is as mind-bending of an experience as ever.

Built in May of 1966, chassis number CSX 3237 was originally finished in red with a black interior and fitted with a 428-cubic-inch Cobra Jet V-8 engine. The car’s first known owner was J. Rhoades Moore of Enid, Oklahoma, according to the Shelby American Automobile Club Registry. The car remained with Moore until it was sold to another Oklahoma-based owner, French Hickman, in the early 1970s, at which time it was reported to have been refinished in blue.

In the 1980s, CSX 3237 was refinished in red and equipped with a handful of updates, including an oil cooler, hood scoop, quick jacks, black side pipes, and custom roll bar. Passing through a few subsequent owners, the car was finally purchased by Phil Combs of California in December of that year. At that time the car was sent to renowned Cobra restorer Mike McCluskey for a full restoration to factory-original specification. Afterwards CSX 3237 was sold to an owner in Japan in the 1990s, where it remained for a few years before returning to the United States.

Purchased by noted collector David Fonvielle in the mid-2010s, CSX 3237 was shipped to the renowned Cobra specialists at Curt Vogt’s Cobra Automotive in Wallingford, Connecticut for another full restoration. No expense was spared in bringing this Cobra to brilliant condition, with the goal of not only creating a show winner but also making it ready to drive and enjoy on long-distance tours at a moment’s notice. All original components were rebuilt or upgraded during the restoration, and the car was fitted with proper leather seats, correct Wilton carpeting, the original steering wheel and air splitter, as well as custom exhaust headers. After the engine was rebuilt for high performance and touring, a dyno test showed 460 brake horsepower at the crankshaft.

Acquired by the consignor in July of 2021, CSX 3237 has remained incredibly well cared for with very few miles driven under current ownership. It rides on original Sunburst wheels with Avon tires and includes a spare in the trunk. Notably, the car is accompanied by a convertible top with irons, side curtains, tonneau cover, reproduction owner’s manual, jack, grease gun, a can of paint, a spare set of Halibrand-style wheels mounted with tires, and a spare 428-cu.-in. Cobra Jet engine, the block for which has a date code that is correct for this model year of Cobra. A true performance-car icon in every sense, this well-prepared 427 Cobra will surely excel at whatever its next owner has in store, be it long-distance cruising or the concours lawn.