First ever Shelby Cobra heading to auction

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The first Cobra ever built by Carroll Shelby is going under the hammer.

VIN number CSX 2000 was built by the legendary automotive engineer in 1962 in a small garage in Santa Fe Spring, California. Shelby was joined by a group of car-mod crazy friends, and together they managed to fit Ford's then-new 4.3-litre V8 under the bonnet of an AC Ace.
The Ace was a small, lightweight British sports car, and with the big hunk of American muscle now built into its chassis, it was transformed. It was the beginning of the Shelby American company, which has grown into one of the most famous aftermarket tuners in the world.

The Cobra was fast, even by today's standards. American magazine Road & Track tested the Shelby Cobra in 1962, and recorded a 0-60mph sprint of 4.2 seconds, a standing quarter-mile run of 13.8 seconds at 112mph and a top speed of 153mph.

This particular car, being the first of its kind, was used in a multitude of promotional roles. It was a development vehicle and was driven by members of the motoring press.

First ever Shelby Cobra goes up for auction

First ever Shelby Cobra goes up for auction


Perhaps its most interesting role, however, was as a display vehicle in cities around America. The team painted it a different colour each time it was displayed to give the illusion of a big company selling a car that was already in full production. In reality, it was the only Cobra in Shelby American's inventory for the seven months after it was finished.

The car is being sold by RM Sotheby's at its Monterey auction in August. Although an estimate hasn't been listed, two Shelby Cobras sold for in excess of $1 million each earlier this year, so expect CSX 2000 to go for well in excess of that.