1955 CobraSOLD

RM Auctions - The Ponder Collection - Texas - April 20-21st, 2007

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ESTIMATE: $65,000 - $85,000


$132,000 Sold

Chris-Craft inline six-cylinder engine, Zenith carburetors. Hull material: Philippian Mahogany
Length: 17' 8" Beam: 6'2” Draft: 18" Freeboard Forward: 24" Freeboard Aft: 10" Molded depth: 4'8" Weight: 1,940 – 2140lbs Fuel capacity: 20 us gal.

The Chris-Craft saga began in Algonac, Michigan on the St. Clair River in 1874, when a 13 year-old boy by the name of Christopher Columbus Smith built his first boat. It was a simple lake boat for duck hunting, but it got him and his brother Hank building a succession of wooden boats. From these modest beginnings the brothers established a company that would evolve into one of the world’s most renowned and universally recognized names in boat building. Some dictionaries even list the word Chris-Craft as a synonym for “pleasure boat”.

By the 20th century, Chris Smith’s reputation had begun to spread and he began building speed boats. Experimenting with a variety of hull and gasoline engine combinations, Smith realized that powered boats needed an entirely new type of hull design to ensure efficient movement through water. These new designs led directly a great many victories in boat racing.

Between the two world wars Chris Smith began to build boats that offered comfort, as well as performance. It was during this period that these vessels were nicknamed Chris-Crafts. With the growth of the pleasure boating market, by 1927 Chris-Craft had become the world’s largest manufacturer of mahogany boats.

Following the death of Chris Smith in 1939, his son Jay took over the flourishing company. Chris-Craft would go on to contribute to the war effort by building more than 10,000 landing craft. On June 6, 1944, Chris-Craft LCPLs spearheaded the D-Day landings. And as company officials like to point out, “To this day, Chris-Craft remains the only recreational boat manufacturer to have had its boats tested under fire.”

Following the Second World War, the leisure boating industry experienced a similar boom to that of the automobile industry. People were optimistic about the future, the economy was thriving, and people were willing to pay for the things they enjoyed. This was the climate that prompted Chevrolet to build the Corvette, and likewise, Chris-Craft built a sports model of their own – the Cobra.

Combining a Philippian Mahogany hull, a wrap around windshield, a roadster-like cockpit with a hatch and a large dorsal fin made of fiberglass, the Chris-Craft Cobra artfully blended styling cues from racing boats, sports cars and early jet fighters. Unmistakable, the Cobra is an icon of 1950s speed boating and one of the most cherished Chris-Craft designs of all time.

The 18 foot-long 1955 Chris-Craft Cobra offered here was restored in 1989 by Runabout Restorations Ltd and is known to be one of only 51 examples built that year. The varnished surfaces of the deck and hull remain in excellent condition having suffered no deterioration from salt water or the ultra-violet rays of direct sunlight. The chrome, brass and stainless fittings are all in impeccable condition and appear like jewelry set against the beauty of the natural wood. The gold painted surfaces and white painted waterline are also beautifully finished and emphasize the shapely bow and the Cobra’s prominent dorsal fin.

The original inline six-cylinder engine, fitted with Zenith carburetors, has been completely rebuilt; it starts easily and runs smoothly. The engine was also fully and properly detailed, mirroring the outstanding quality of this vessel.

The stylish, but equally functional, all-vinyl gold and cream interior of the Cobra mirrors the
exterior colors and style. Like new, the inviting, comfortable seats provide ample room for three abreast. The correct, superbly finished black alligator-style dash, with its period Chris-Craft instrumentation and controls will prove to be a delight to any boating enthusiast.
Complete with its Continental tandem axle trailer, the stunningly beautiful 18 foot 1955 Chris-Craft Cobra is an outstanding example of one of the most sought after Chris-Craft of all time.

Please note that this boat is offered on a Bill of Sale only.

Reference Number 7620

as of 2/27/2007

Car 1955 Cobra
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