The Shelby Cobra is such a significant automobile that it stands to reason we will write more about it as a historically significant car more in the future. But today we are going to focus our attention on one very specific version of the timeless car. The 1963 Shelby 289 Competition Cobra, chassis CSX2011. This one deserves it's own day in the sun, because on October 23, 1962, it became the first Shelby Cobra Competition model to be sold to the general public.
John Everly of Winfield Kansas was a seasoned racer. On that day in October 1962, he purchased the Cobra for $7,471 - trading in his Ferrari 375 MM spider for this car. Clearly a decision that would have made Carroll Shelby smile.
The car was fitted with front and rear sway bars, a roll bar, an endurance range fuel tank, and Goodyear T-4 race tires. It originally came equipped with 5.5 inch wide painted wire wheels. It delivered to Everly with a red exterior paint job and a black interior. When it appeared at its first competition outing at the Nassau, Bahamas Speed Week two months later in December, it was wearing the blue and white livery the car wears to this day.
Everly did not experience much success with the Cobra. In the series of events held in Nassau, he never finished better than third in class.In the string of events that followed, the car would experience a string of DNFs. In 1964, Everly sold the car to John Archer of Dallas Texas.
Archer did not own the car for long, but in the time he owned it, he installed a racing spec GT350 engine equipped with dual four barrel Carter carburetors. In 1965, Archer sold the car to Ron West, also of Dallas, who immediately tracked the car with its new motor. West experienced significantly more success than Everly had, finishing several races in the top five, and a handful of overall victories.
In 1967, West was invited to participate in the American Road Race of Champions at Daytona. In order to comply with SCCA regulations, the dual carburetor setup was replaced with a single four barrel. In the new trim, CSX2011 finished in eighth place.
The car was allegedly seeing some time on the streets of Dallas causing mischief before West placed the car in long-term storage at his home. Occasionally he would show it in and unrestored condition, still wearing the inspection sticker from the Bahamas Speed Week from 1963. West sold the car in 2007. The new owner went to great lengths to preserve the car as much as possible, even going so far as to leave the scratch it received at Daytona that unveiled traces of the original red paint.
In it's current trim, CSX2011 is estimated to produce 340 hp from it's 289 ci engine. It's been re-fitted with two Carter four-barrel carburetors, and is still equipped with it's four-speed Borg Warner T-10 transmission, independent front and rear suspension with A-arms, transverse leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes.
In January, 2008, this exact car sold for $1.73 million. This incredibly significant car is going to be auctioned again on May 2nd by RM Auctions. In this era, where unrestored cars are commanding a premium, it will be very interesting to see what Cobra CSX2011 will bring this time.