| Chobham, United Kingdom
- Offered from 17 years of single ownership
- Well preserved, older restoration; an ideal driver’s 289 Cobra
- Finished in its attractive, original colour combination of Princess Blue over Red
- Fitted with several upgrades for added performance and drivability, all reversable
Squeezing American V-8s into British sports cars was not an unheard of practice in the early 1960s. Several companies had experimented with the formula, including Allard, Cunningham, and Nash-Healey, but none proved to be as successful as Carroll Shelby and his Cobra, which combined the lithe and nimble chassis of the AC Ace with eight-pot power courtesy of Ford.
By the time the first 75 cars had been built, the 260-cubic-inch engine had been upgraded to Ford’s new HiPo 289 small-block V-8, offering the perfect balance of handling and power. Rated at 306 horsepower, the 289 Cobra tipped the scales at just over 900 kilograms. It came as no surprise that the Cobra was just as successful on the track as it was in dealer showrooms, beating Ferrari to clinch the FIA International GT Championship in 1965.
Completed in February 1964, this particular Cobra was originally invoiced to Mercer Motors Co. of Princeton, West Virginia on June 10, 1964. Finished in Princess Blue with a Red leather interior, the Mk II example benefitted from sharper rack-and-pinion steering and flared wheel arches to accommodate wider 6-inch wheels. Additionally, the car was fitted with Shelby’s ‘Class A’ accessory kit, a package of performance enhancements that totaled $6,110.65. Despite its impressive specification, the car apparently remained unsold on the Mercer Motors showroom floor until 1966, when it was either sold or traded to another West Virginia dealer, Earl Yeager Ford of nearby Welch, West Virginia, just 40 miles west of Princeton.
The Cobra’s first private owner was Richard Colevard, who sold the car in 1968 to Mike Goodson of Virginia. Goodson kept the car for 20 years, putting some 65,000 miles on the clock prior to rolling the car in 1988. After the accident, the Cobra was acquired by L. Jack Browning of Roanoke, Virginia in December of that same year, and a full body-off restoration commenced. A pre-restoration photograph of the damage is on file; being relatively light, the majority of the car’s sheet metal was straightened and saved.
After the completion of the restoration, the Cobra appeared at SAAC-16 in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1991, finished in its original combination of Princess Blue over Red, where it placed second in the 289 Cobra popular vote class. Offered for sale in June of 1997, it was then purchased by Ed Mazula of Torrance, California, who kept the car for the following nine years. It was acquired in late 2006 by the current owner, who shipped his new Cobra across the Atlantic to the UK, where it has remained ever since.
While in the care of the current owner, the Cobra has been well preserved and seldom driven. In an effort to improve performance and overall drivability, several upgrades have been performed including fitting an aluminium intake and larger carburettor, a sportier stainless steel exhaust, and Koni shock absorbers. Importantly, the original intake, carburettor, exhaust, and shocks will be included in the sale. Further to this, the gearbox has been rebuilt with new syncros, the rear wheel bearings have been replaced, and new spark plugs and leads have been fitted. Finally, the car’s original soft-top, and side windows are included.
Often considered to be one of the greatest sports cars of all time, Shelby’s 289 Cobra combines the best aspects of British and American performance into one unforgettable automotive experience. This lovely, well-kept example would be a thrill to drive and enjoy.