1966 Shelby 427 CobraSOLD

1966 Shelby 427 Cobra

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To be offered at auction at RM Sotheby's Monterey event, August 13-15, 2015. To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/.

Chassis No.
CSX 3259

Estimate:
$1,200,000 - $1,400,000

Est. 410 bhp, 427 cu. in. side-oiler V-8 engine, Ford Toploader four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with unequal-length upper and lower wishbones, coil springs, and telescopic dampers, independent rear suspension with unequal-length upper and lower wishbones with additional lower trailing links, coil springs, and telescopic dampers, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 90 in.


Known ownership history; documented in the SAAC World Registry
Formerly owned by Frank Sytner
Recent cosmetic restoration to original condition by Cobra expert Mike McCluskey
An outstanding road going 427 Cobra

The odyssey of the Shelby Cobra is defined by the contributions of many people, marked by many important cars and by even more important moments. They weave a rich fabric of creativity, determination, and persistence in the face of limited resources and epic challenges.

With 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, earning its stripes and winning virtually everywhere it appeared. The Cobra won the U.S. Manufacturers' Championship three years running in 1963, 1964, and 1965, and with the sleek Pete Brock-designed Daytona coupe, Shelby American Inc. won the hotly contested 1965 FIA World Manufacturers' Championship.

THE 427 COBRA

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 horsepower, Shelby's stalwart driver and engineer, Ken Miles, surmised that 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 brake horsepower and beyond, it was heavier and therefore necessitated a 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 fiercely quick. 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!

CSX 3259

The 427 Cobra presented here, chassis number CSX 3259, is a stunning, genuine street Cobra that enjoys both excellent history and outstanding preparation. According to the Shelby American World Registry, it was originally billed by AC Cars to Shelby American on April 12, 1966, before being invoiced to Stark Hickey Ford, of Royal Oak, Michigan, in suburban Detroit, for $6,275 on June 30. It was sold to its original owner, Jim Rayl, of Kokomo, Indiana, in August 1966 and proceeded to remain in the United States until the 1970s. It is known to have accumulated only 21,700 miles by 1979. It appeared at the First Annual Brown County, Indiana, Shelby American Automobile Club meet in 1978.

In 1979, the car was exported to England and was sold in 1982 to Michael Burgel, of Germany, who registered it in that country as BO-W8. While mostly street-driven, it was also raced occasionally in European Cobra events. Later, it was acquired by Frank Sytner, the 1988 British Touring Car Champion, before its return to the United States.

In 2003, the car was acquired by Doug Johnson, and the chassis was prepared for entry into the Monterey Historics. Unfortunately, it made contact with a guardrail in competition. Following the incident, the Cobra was completely restored and has since been shown numerous times. Photo-documentation of the accident damage and repair is available for review upon request, as part of a documentation file that also includes an old California pink slip, numerous California state inspection receipts dating back to 1970, a copy of the original invoice from AC to Shelby America, photographs of the body stamp in various locations, and receipts from the car's European ownership period in England and Germany.

In its present ownership, the Cobra has undergone a comprehensive cosmetic restoration by noted Shelby guru Mike McCluskey, of California. It has been finished to its original street car configuration in red over black (as when new), with proper Smiths gauges in a stock dashboard and correct new seat upholstery and carpeting. The 427 side-oiler under the hood, described by an RM Sotheby's specialist as being extremely powerful, has been fitted with proper Holley side-winder intake and exhaust manifolds, as well as correct carburetors and exhaust pipes. All of the under-panels and the gas tank are correct as well, and the car still rolls on its original Halibrand wheels shod in proper BF Goodrich tires.

This is an exceptional opportunity to acquire an outstanding 427 Cobra with excellent documented history, invoices dating back nearly 40 years, and presentation to the highest standards.

Reference Number 364194

as of 8/19/2015

Overview
Car 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra
VIN CSX 3259 
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