1965 Shelby CobraSOLD

Three owner

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In the early 1960’s Shelby’s new Cobra was the dream of almost every gearhead in the country and Lewis Downs was no exception. He had been reading all the road tests, going to all the races, and saving for the day when he could buy one of his own. In 1965 he was finally ready and purchased his new Cobra from Hayward Ford. He flew down to Los Angeles to take delivery and drove the car home to Castro Valley CA.

Reference Number 43882

as of 5/19/2009

Overview
Car 1965 Shelby Cobra
VIN CSX-2493 
Exterior / Interior Color      Green 
Condition Exceptional 
Mileage 39,488 miles 
Configuration Left Hand Drive (LHD) 
Transmission Automatic 
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Known History

1965 289 Cobra

Chassis No.: CSX-2493

Miles: 39488

 

In the early 1960’s Shelby’s new Cobra was the dream of almost every gearhead in the country and Lewis Downs was no exception. He had been reading all the road tests, going to all the races, and saving for the day when he could buy one of his own. In 1965 he was finally ready and purchased his new Cobra from Hayward Ford. He flew down to Los Angeles to take delivery and drove the car home to Castro Valley CA.

 

Downs used the car for his daily transportation for the next year. Always the Hot Rodder (he had a cool 39 Ford Hot Rod while in High School) Downs added a Factory chrome roll bar and hood scoop. He also sold the original wire wheels and fitted American mags. The fenders were slightly flared to accommodate the wider Goodyear Blue Streak tires. To improve the handling he lowered the front and fabricated custom front and rear anti-roll bars.

 

Downs was working in the Hi-Fi industry and became involved with a number of the major rock bands in San Francisco such as Jefferson Airplane. He sold his Cobra and became a ‘roadie” all the while thinking he could always get another Cobra.

 

The Cobra came back to Hayward Ford and was purchased by Tom Barbour of Modesto CA in late 1966. Barbour also owned a GT350 at the time and was an active autocrosser with the Shelby club. Barbour had the engine rebuilt by Chuck Bell (Ray Elder’s NASCAR engine builder). Very rare Crane heads and a Crower flat tappet cam were installed. The carburetor was modified to make it function as a double pumper. A larger radiator and Cobra scattershield was also fitted along with Belanger headers. The fenders were flared even more to accommodate larger tires and the car was painted Fire Mist Green (a Cadillac color). In addition all the chrome was re-plated.

 

Barbour autocrossed the car from 1967 to 1970 winning almost every event he entered. The car was retired at the end of 1970 and put into storage. It remained untouched and un-driven for the next 36 years!

 

Barbour sold the car to its third owner in 2006. The new owner felt that a full restoration could erase the history and originality of the car and elected to perform a mechanical restoration so the car could be driven again. The body and interior were thoroughly cleaned but left essentially just as found. All of the mechanical components were carefully removed from the car and the chassis was inspected and refinished in the proper factory satin black. The suspension and brakes were completely rebuilt and restored to new condition. Spax adjustable shocks were installed along with all new ball joints and wheel bearings. Down’s front and rear anti-roll bars were retained, as was the lowered front suspension.

 

The original engine, transmission and differential were completely rebuilt. Tony Oddo rebuilt the engine. The Belanger headers were restored and refitted to the car along with new exhaust system from the headers on back. The Belanger headers can be “un-corked” when the car is run in competition by removing the end caps.

 

No mechanical component was overlooked including rebuilding the pedals and even the wiper assembly. A new aluminum gas tank was fabricated along with all new fuel lines and filters. All the original hardware was re-plated to new condition.

 

The car comes equipped with a very rare hard top and the original tonneau cover that was custom made to fit the roll bar. A convertible top, side curtains, top bows, and jack are included as well as the original spare wire wheel which is still fitted with a Bruce’s Recap racing tire from 1966! The car comes complete with historic documentation, registrations, invoices, and photographs.

 

Since the work was completed to bring the Cobra back to life it has only been driven 300 miles. Mechanically perfect while still retaining all its patina this Cobra is really a “blast from the past”!