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RM Sotheby’s | Private Sales – 1965 Shelby 427 S/C Cobra “CSX 4600”


1965 Shelby 427 S/C Cobra “CSX 4600”

$475,000 Lot Location: New York, New York

RM | Private Sales

Chassis No.
CSX 4600
  • Finished in hand-formed bronze
  • Hand-polished, bare-metal body with contrasting brushed stripes
  • 650 hp, 511 cu. in. “427 FE” V-8 engine with Borla Induction throttle-body fuel injection built by the Carroll Shelby Engine Company; five-speed manual transmission
  • Stainless steel side pipes, chrome roll bar, and Halibrand-style knock-off wheels
  • A dazzling interpretation of the legendary Shelby 427 S/C Cobra

When he shoehorned an American V-8 into the shapely, British-built AC Ace, Carroll Shelby knew he was creating a sports car with potent performance both on-and off-track. But he could have scarcely imagined that the first 1962 Shelby Cobra would touch off a sensation that is still going strong today. By 1965, the Cobra had been developed into what is perhaps its most iconic form: 427-cubic-inch Ford V-8-powered Mark III, which featured a new chassis to make better use of its greatly increased output, and, above it, curvy bodywork with wide, flared fenders. Conceived with competition in mind, the 427 S/C, or “semi-competition,” model was also made available for those willing to contend with the Cobra’s raw power on the street.

The enduring popularity of the Shelby Cobra is such that numerous companies supply chassis, bodies, and components, often with home construction in mind. The cost and quality of these products vary, with only the finest replica Cobras—including the “4000 Series” of continuation cars—each earning CSX chassis numbers, offered in either fiberglass or aluminum. But when it comes to building bodies for these special cars, Provo, Utah-based Kirkham Motorsports undoubtedly sits in the upper echelon of suppliers.

Since 1994, Kirkham has offered exacting Cobra replicas in a range of configurations, including street and racing variants of the original 289 and the 427. From the very start, each has featured bodywork hand-crafted by a team of artisans in Poland—an unlikely transatlantic alliance said to have been forged when company founder David Kirkham was called to help repair the damaged nose cone of a recently imported jet fighter!


Kirkham Cobra bodies are typically rendered in lightweight aluminum, but for discriminating enthusiasts in search of something exceptional, it can also create distinctive bodywork in unexpected and challenging materials like copper and, in the case of chassis CSX 4600, bronze. In addition to the eye-catching, unexpected medium, these unpainted bodies reveal any underlying flaws, making them the ultimate demonstration of the quality of Kirkham’s offerings.

CSX 4600’s gleaming bronze bodywork, hand-polished to a mirrorlike finish, is broken only by a pair of racing stripes—here cleverly brushed into the metal surface, rather than applied with paint. Stainless steel side exhaust pipes and a chromed roll bar add contrast, and the car is equipped with Halibrand-style pin-drive knock-off wheels wrapped in Goodyear Eagle “billboard” tires.

The car’s cockpit is suitably minimalistic, featuring tinted sun visors, period-style black leather bucket seats, and a leather-covered dashboard equipped with a suite of Speedhut performance gauges, with the speedometer and tachometer bearing Carroll Shelby’s signature; the center emblem of the wood-rimmed steering wheel is also engraved with Shelby’s signature. The bottle for the onboard fire-suppression system sits below the dash.

This Cobra’s spectacular appearance is matched by its mechanical specification. An impressive aluminum-block 427 FE V-8, built by the Carroll Shelby Engine Company and stroked and bored to 511 cubic inches of displacement, is to be found underneath the hood. Breathing through eight 58-milimeter Borla Induction throttle bodies, this fuel-injected engine produces over 650 horsepower and over 670 pound-feet of torque (as accompanying dynamometer data attests). It is mated to a five-speed manual transmission, which sends power to the rear wheels via a 3.54:1 differential.

Nearly six decades after it first appeared, the Shelby Cobra still makes a powerful statement anywhere it goes—something that is doubly true of this spectacular Cobra 427 S/C “4000 Series.” Crafted in bronze by Kirkham Motorsports, CSX 4600’s dazzling hand-formed body and powerful fuel-injected 427 FE V-8 would make it a prized addition to any collection celebrating American sports car performance.

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The truth behind Shelby’s 1964 “secret weapon” Cobra Daytona Coupe


Like the gnarled reflections in the polished aluminum skin of this faithful recreation of the legendary race car, the tale of Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe, chassis number CSX2286, became distorted over the last 55 years.


The truth behind Shelby’s 1964 “secret weapon” Cobra Daytona Coupe

As the story goes, the truck carrying CSX2286, the one-off Daytona Coupe built special for the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans race, was involved in an accident on the way to the track. Carroll Shelby’s “secret weapon,” as the car would become known, was badly damaged and would not be able to race. According to the legend, the car was powered by an iron-block 427 with aluminum cylinder heads, just like the one the NASCAR boys had been running, and had been tested at Riverside.

In reality, the car was never finished. Despite the best efforts of John Ohlsen, one of Shelby’s trusted fabricators, CSX2286 was still missing major components in June 1964 and wasn’t ready to race. Despite the “story,” it was never put on a truck headed for Le Mans. Instead it remained under construction in a dark and dusty corner of Carrozzeria Grand Sport, an Italian body shop in Modena often used by Shelby.

“I think this story was invented by Shelby as an answer to why it never arrived in France for the race,” says Peter Brock, who designed the Cobra Daytona Coupe for Shelby in 1964. “It couldn’t have, as it was never completed and never ran. Since some people knew of Shelby’s plan to embarrass Ferrari with a prototype Daytona Coupe at Le Mans and it never showed, he had the story released that it had been crashed on the way to France.”

Months earlier, Shelby asked Ohlsen to yank the coupe’s 289 small-block, lengthen its chassis three inches and install an all-aluminum 427. He wanted a big-block to take on Ferrari in the Prototype Class. “The idea was that it would have the power of a big block with the lightweight of the 289,” Brock says.

Ohlsen modified the chassis at Shelby’s shop in Venice, California, and then shipped the car to Italy where he would oversee the body modifications and install the larger engine. Only Ford wouldn’t make Shelby an aluminum 427. “They said the bore spacing and thin walls of the block would cause overheating,” says Brock, who is now 82. “Instead, they sent us an aluminum 390 block, which Ohlsen installed.”

Unfortunately, time ran out. “The car was maybe 70-percent completed,” Brock says. “He was waiting on a long list of parts from Ford, including a clutch.” Shelby must have been disappointed. With more than 500 horsepower and weighing just 2200 pounds, the sleek, aerodynamic coupe would have been the fastest car on the three-mile long Mulsanne Straight that year. “We were running 197 mph in the 289 car,” Brock says. “So it would have easily passed 200 mph.”

Enzo must have had a laugh when he heard of his rival’s misfortune, and his team did win big that year, with Ferraris taking all three podium spots. But Shelby’s crew was a scrappy bunch, and a small-block Daytona Coupe, CSX229—with Ohlsen as crew chief and driven by Bob Bondurant and Dan Gurney—finished fourth, winning the GT class over Enzo’s GTOs.

After Le Mans, Ohlsen hoped to get the car ready for the final race of the season at Monza. “We even started calling it ‘The Monza Coupe,’ as opposed to the Daytona Coupe,” Brock says with a laugh. But factions inside Ford didn’t want the car competing with the company’s new GT40 and the parts never arrived.

Incomplete, CSX2286 was finally shipped back to California, where it was returned to its original short wheelbase, small-block configuration. It was then raced, only once, competing at Le Mans the following year, driven by Gurney and Jerry Grant. Due to clutch trouble it failed to finish.

In 1981, the car was tested by Car and Driver. With its small-block engine, the Daytona hit 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, 100 mph in a just 10.5 seconds, and tore through the quarter in 12.7 seconds at 111 mph.

Today, the storied blue Cobra Coupe, one of only six ever built, survives in the collection of Rob Walton, heir to the Walmart fortune. “That car is worth more than $15,000,000,” says Lance Stander, CEO of Shelby Legendary Cars. “Our car only costs half a million.”

Stander is in the replica Cobra business. The native of South Africa has owned Superformance for 13 years and Shelby Legendary Cars for about 12 months (after changing the company name from Hillbank Motor Corporation), and a $495,000 recreation of Shelby’s 1964 big-block-powered Cobra Daytona Coupe is one of his newest and most expensive products.

The guy is a walking encyclopedia on the subject, from the cars to the drivers of the era, and he’s excited that his cars will appear in the upcoming Ford vs. Ferrari movie, which was filmed with Matt Damon as Shelby and Christian Bale as his driver Ken Miles.

“The movie should come out next summer,” he says with a smile. “We loaned a few Superformance Cobras to the production, which they wrapped multiple times so they looked like the old race cars. They shot a bunch of scenes out at Willow Springs Raceway, which is where Shelby did a lot of testing back then.”

The first of just six to be built, the “Secret Weapon” replica was completed about a year ago and given the chassis number CSX2603, making it the first in the CSX2000 Series since the 1960s. It was then quickly sold to Craig Hansen of Des Moines, Iowa. “Craig buys one of everything we do,” Stander says. “He’s bought about $3.5 million in cars from us in the last three and a half years.”

Hansen, however, never drives the car. It lives at Stander’s facility along with several others that belong to him. “The kind of owners that buy these are just buying them for show to look pretty,” Stander says while opening the coupe’s polished aluminum door. “Not to drive. Maybe just to a cars and coffee.”

I poke my nose into the Coupe’s stark interior. The odometer reads 21 miles. Stander can see the shock and disappointment on my face. To buy this car and never drive it does seem crazy. “Trust me, you don’t want to drive this car on the street,” he says. “It’s too hot. Too small inside.”

Climbing behind the wheel, I can see his point. I don’t really fit in the car. My left shoulder is pinned against the door and the sliding plexiglass window is just an inch or so from my face. Hard and flat, the seat is fixed in position up against the left rear wheel well and my right knee is jammed into the sheetmetal of the dash. The shifter is too far away, and the pedals, which require significant muscle to operate, are too close together. Radically offset, the glossy wood steering wheel is aimed at my right shoulder. There are no soft surfaces. The ceiling is raw aluminum and my word’s echo inside the cabin like I’m sitting in a coffee can.

The men that raced these cars had guts. Visibility is horrible in all directions and the spindly-looking roll bar is formed from 1.5-inch tubing. There’s zero side protection, the doors are hollow and seem to weigh just a few ounces. “That’s exactly how they were,” Stander says. “The whole car is just as it would have been in 1964, from its FIA legal Girling disc brakes to its Toploader four-speed to its hand formed aluminum body.”

Shaped at Thomas Kirkham’s place in Utah, the car’s skin, like the rest of the machine, is a work of art and an exacting reproduction of the original. Lift the enormous clamshell hood and the welded seams are revealed on its underside, just as it would have been in 1964. Although Hansen’s is polished like a Tiffany tea set and wears number 4 and a couple of white stripes, Stander will paint yours any way you’d like.

The truth behind Shelby’s 1964 “secret weapon” Cobra Daytona Coupe

The truth behind Shelby’s 1964 “secret weapon” Cobra Daytona Coupe

Also unique to the “secret weapon” is a large hood scoop to clear the big FE Ford’s four downdraft Webers. The scoop is open in the rear, and from the driver’s seat, with the hood down, I can clearly see the carbs. Also in sight a single small windshield wiper and yards of polished aluminum. The Daytona’s hood seems to go on for city block.

Fifty-five years ago Ohlsen pushed the coupe’s front wheels forward, stretching the race car’s wheelbase to 93 inches. Stander and his crew have done the same, recreating the coupes chassis in the same spec of round steel tubing and square stock as Shelby. And remember, the Daytona Coupes were based on 289 Cobras, so they had transverse leaf springs front and rear. Shelby finally switched to coil overs for the 427 Cobra roadsters. The control arms and the differential, with 3.54 gears and an oil cooler, are aluminum.

Although visually correct, the Shelby’s engine is the least authentic part of the car, measuring 468 cubic inches. Like the original’s 390, it features an aluminum block, and the headers are just like they were in 1964, hand welded to perfection, dumping side-pipe style under the doors. There’s also an aluminum radiator and an oil cooler. It’s a wet sump engine, but the oil filter is remote.

With a twist of the key, the big-block thunders to life, sending a violent shiver through the Daytona. Supplied by the Shelby Engine Company in Windsor, California, the big Ford packs a hydraulic roller cam, steel rocker arms with roller tips, a steel crank, forged rods, and a heady compression ratio. The company sells a similar crate engine with a Holley four-barrel for $28,299.99 it rates at 550 hp and 580 lb-ft of torque.

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RM Sotheby’s – Subasta de un SHELBY COBRA DAYTONA COUPE 2013


Seis Daytonas Shelby Cobra se hicieron entre 1964 y 1965 con un objetivo: vencer a Ferrari en la competencia internacional de autos deportivos. El Daytona se llevó a casa las victorias de clase en Le Mans, Sebring y Daytona, y se llevó a casa el Campeonato Internacional de la FIA para fabricantes de GT en 1965.

RM Sotheby’sSubasta de SHELBY COBRA DAYTONA COUPE 2013

$130,000 – $160,000


Auction Closes on 26 March 2020

Shelby American realizó una serie limitada de Daytonas utilizando los números de serie CSX9000 originales, y este ejemplo se completó en 2013 Si bien no es una continuación en el sentido más estricto, este automóvil es muy fiel al original. 

Un chasis de marco de tubo mejorado acuna un Ford 427 V8 construido por Rousch, que genera alrededor de 550 caballos de fuerza y ​​casi 600 lb-pie de torque. Este Daytona también incluye comodidades impensables como ventanas eléctricas y aire acondicionado, algo que nunca encontrarás en los originales. Con menos de mil millas en el reloj, este es un clásico vintage con comodidades modernas.

Carroll Shelby es, sin duda, uno de los diseñadores de automóviles más prolíficos e influyentes que jamás haya existido. Si bien es más conocido por su trabajo en el Ford GT, Mustangs y Cobras, el Shelby Cobra Dayona es uno de nuestros trabajos favoritos de él porque, además de ser uno de los autos más geniales de los que probablemente nunca haya oído hablar, representa una búsqueda hermosa y singular de un objetivo: aplastar absolutamente a su rival Ferrari.

 El original lo logró en 1965 antes de ser eclipsado por el Ford GT, pero sigue siendo una pieza gloriosa de la historia del automóvil que amamos. Este paseo en particular es parte de la serie de continuación CSX9000 del legendario Shelby Cobra Daytona que está acabado en negro con rayas plateadas de Le Mans y alimentado por un Ford V-8 de 427 pulgadas cúbicas construido por Roush. Este es el coche de carreras en el que Bruce Wayne bombardea cuando no conduce el Tumbler o el Lambo. El Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe 2013 está programado para cruzar el bloque de subastas este fin de semana durante la subasta de RM Sotheby’s Palm Beach. Se espera que alcance entre $ 130,000 y $ 160,000, pero con menos de mil millas en el odómetro podríamos ver que aumenta significativamente.