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.
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.