1962 Shelby 260 Cobra "CSX 2000"
If you ask any car enthusiast the name of the person who has been the most influential to the automotive world, nine times out of ten you’ll get the answer “Carroll Shelby.” And, rightfully so – Carroll Shelby had an amazing automotive legacy. And, that legacy all started out with the car you see here: a 1962 Shelby Cobra CSX 2000. While all early Cobras are special in their own right, this one is excessively special because it was the first Cobra built. Ever. It came to be at the hands of Carroll Shelby and a few other people in a small garage in California.
There’s a lot more to this specific Cobra, though. See, this Cobra was built by Carroll Shelby and was owned solely by him. Furthermore, there is a funny story behind it. When the car was complete, it was shown at a number of different venues used by the motoring press and used for testing and development. The funny part is that Shelby had the world convinced that Cobra production was running at full force when in fact the CSX 2000 was the only Cobra at the time. To pull this off, the car was repainted prior to most appearances to give the illusion that there was more than just one for the first seven months of its existence.
With that said, this specific Cobra is ready to go home with a new owner and is being auctioned off by RM Sotheby’s in Monterey in August of 2016. It is being offered by the Carroll Hall Shelby Trust and, as such, should come with proof of authenticity. The car isn’t exactly in the best condition it has ever been in – there is definitely wear here and there. But, that is a part of the car’s history. So, let’s take a good look at it before it goes under the hammer in a couple of months.
Update 08-21-2016: This gorgeous car just broke the record for an American car sold at Auction. Check out the Prices section below for all the details.
Keep reading for our full review of this very special Cobra
Carroll Shelby is and will always remain a legend in the automotive industry. He took skill, dedication, and a little bit of good luck to produce some of the most amazing muscle cars that will ever be produced, from the very first Shelby Mustang produced in 1965. What Shelby did to Ford’s new Mustang was transform it from a less-than-stellar pony car to a limited edition Shelby GT350 R
The Mustangs built for the 1965-1966 model years were powered by a K-Code 271 engine modified to produce 306 HP, but the GT350 was a car not built for comfort or ease of driving, so the right place for it was the race track. This decision lead Ford to Shelby for the development of the Shelby GT350 R for the SCCA races.
Shelby American only built 34 units of these GT350R models, even though the SCCA rules required a total of 100 units to be built and raced. However, during an SCCA race weekend, the GT 350R proved what an amazing car it was as it competed at the highest level.
Hit the jump to read more about the 1965 Shelby GT350 R.
After we lost racing and general automotive legend, Carroll Shelby on May 10th, a squabble ensued over his remains. His estranged wife, Cleo, claimed that she had the rights to his remains and the documentation that his children had, which requested that he be cremated and his ashes split between his children and his burial plot in Texas, was forged.
According to reports, Shelby had filed for an annulment of the marriage, citing that his wife had lied about her background and even her name, just before he died. Unfortunately, the annulment was not awarded posthumously, so it appeared as if the only other way to settle the dispute was in court.
Fortunately, the two sides managed to keep the case out of court by coming to an agreement on Monday and Mr. Shelby’s body will be laid to rest in the way that he requested, except for one minor compromise. The minor compromise is the fact that his estranged wife gets part of his ashes.
We’re glad to hear that the issue is settled, though we would have preferred to see his wife completely cut out of it. The most important thing, however, is that the issue is done and this legend can now be laid to rest peacefully and his children can hold their heads high that their father was laid to rest in the way he requested, though his son Michael says that they are still not happy with the results.
To say we absolutely love every Shelby Cobra to death is an understatement. This also breeds a little hatred in our hearts for those that take a hacksaw to them and start modifying stuff. However, here are some modifications to Shelby Cobras that we can stomach and some that we completely fall in love with at first sight. Magnis Jinstrand’s modified Shelby Cobra just happens to fall squarely in the latter classification…
This beautiful example of automotive genius boasts a disgustingly sexy 6.0-liter Mercedes V-12 with an equally disgusting loud-mouthed supercharger strapped to its intake. There’s no information on the power pushed out by this mean machine, but judging by the above video, we would have to estimate it to be in the 700-horsepower range.
The exposed supercharger really just does it for us. Not only does it look awesome, but it is about the only whining that I can say I want to hear while driving a car. This blower obliges by providing plenty of it in audible goodness.
We are unsure what other modifications this Cobra has on it and we are also unsure if this is actually a real AC Cobra or not. Chances are that it’s a kit car sitting on a custom chassis, especially given how well it handles. Regardless of its authenticity, it is still one sexy beast. We will update you if we happen to come up with any of the vehicle’s specs. Until then, crank your speakers up and enjoy.
Every automotive enthusiast has heard about Carroll Shelby and knows about his huge contribution to the automotive industry. He began his racing career as an amateur, and in 1959, won Europe’s prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 1962, he tested his first Ford-powered AC 260 Roadster – the car that would become the Shelby Cobra. This was the beginning of his extremely impressive career, but unfortunately, on May 10, 2012, this legend died at the age of 89.
"Today, we have lost a legend in Ford Motor Company’s history, and my family and I have lost a dear friend. Carroll Shelby is one of the most recognized names in performance car history, and he’s been successful at everything he’s done. Whether helping Ford dominate the 1960s racing scene or building some of the most famous Mustangs, his enthusiasm and passion for great automobiles over six decades has truly inspired everyone who worked with him. He was a great innovator whose legend at Ford never will be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends," said Edsel B. Ford II, member of the Board of Directors of Ford Motor Company and great-grandson of Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company.
RIP Carroll Shelby. The automotive industry has lost an inspiration and will surely miss you.
Hit the jump to read more about key moments in the history of Carroll Shelby.
It’s quite possible that the Mercer name may not spark any type of recognition with the younger crowd. After all, this company was an American automobile manufacturer that produced cars before World War II and are probably not mentioned in any of the history books handed out in most classrooms. For the short version of the story, Mercer was responsible for the Mercer 35 Raceabout which was produced back in 1910 and considered the most admired sports cars of the decade. This vehicle was capable of hitting a top speed of 90 mph, which at the time was quite a feat, and was admired so much that Carrozzeria Sibona-Basano ended up building a modern interpretation of it in 1965.
The Mercer Cobra Roadster was a one-off vehicle commissioned by the Copper Development Association from Virgil Exner’s designs in Esquire. Its design was drawn up by Virgil Exner and Virgil Exner, Jr. and was built using a Cobra chassis, number CSX2451.
The special Mercer-Cobra Roadster will be put to auction on August 20, 2011 in Monterey with an expected draw of $800,000-$1,200,000.
See what makes up a 1.2M Mercer Cobra after the jump.