HomeThe MarketDragonsnake, Monical cars lead Worldwide's Arlington auction

Dragonsnake, Monical cars lead Worldwide’s Arlington auction


This 1963 Shelby 289 Cobra ‘Dragonsnake’ was independently built but is officially recognized | Worldwide Auctioneers photos

Cars built and collected by Texans highlight Worldwide Auctioneers’ 16th annual Texas auction, which moves to a new venue for its April 21-22 sale. Instead of the Houston area, the Texas Classic Auction will be held at the Arlington Convention Center between Dallas and Fort Worth.

The move coincides with the location for the sixth annual Concours d’Elegance of Texas, scheduled for April 23.

The two-part sale begins Friday by offering at no reserve the collection assembled over 44 years by Texan Bobby Monical. The actual Texas Classic sale is Saturday and features not only one of the few 1963 Shelby 289 Cobra Dragonsnake drag racing specials, but the winningest of them.

According to Worldwide, Shelby American, based in California but founded by Texan Carroll Shelby, built two Dragonsnakes for factory drag racing and three more for customers. Three others were built to the same specifications by others and are classified by the Shelby American Automobile Club as “independently prepared drag Cobras.”

Being offered at the Texas Classic is the most successful of those independently prepare cars, CSX2093. Hank Hillard of York, Pennsylvania, bought the car new from Larson Ford of New York. Later, with 5,000 miles on its odometer, it was sold to Jim Costilow, who raced it on road courses and hill climbs before linking with drag racer Bruce Larson and, with sprint car racer Lynn Paxton, turned the Cobra into a Dragonsnake.

Larson dominated the A/SP class in the Northeast with the car and set records at the NHRA Winternationals, Springnationals and U.S. Nationals, as well as at the World Finals.

They sold the car in 1966 and the next owner, Ed Hedrick, continued to race it, winning the U.S. Nationals and the World Championship. The car was sold again in 1969 and in the mid-’70s it was reconfigured for driving on the street.

1961 Chrysler 300G convertible is part of the Monical collection

The Cobra went through several owners — including two periods in the possession of Greek shipping magnate Peter Livanos — and from 1991-98 it was owned again by Larson. In 2015, the car was displayed at the Concours of America in Michigan.

Another Cobra Dragonsnake (CSX2472) sold for $1.3 million in 2015 at Worldwide’s hometown sale in Auburn, Indiana.

Among others star cars for the Texas auction are a 1969 Chevrolet Corvette L-88 roadster with Bloomington Gold Survivor status; a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTS; a 1972 Maserati Ghibli 4.9 SS; a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster, offered after 42 years in the same collection; and a 1958 Porsche 356A Speedster.

Meanwhile, the Monical collection will include a 1912 Cadillac Model 30 four-passenger touring that has had only two owners since 1935; a 1951 Chevrolet Suburban 3100 Carryall wagon with a history that includes 55 years with the same ownership; half a dozen 1956 and 1957 Chevrolets Bel Airs, including a Nomad wagon; a 1964 Chevrolet Impala SS 409 hardtop; several vintage Corvettes; a long list of vintage Fords; and many more.

For details, visit the Worldwide Auctioneers website.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.
  1. I saw this car run in competition with factory sponsored 427 Corvette at Sanford Dragway Sanford ,Maine. The Corvette came with an army of GM techs., one of the first public appearances of the 427 Vett. GM did not want to get beat by the Cobra.The Corvette was worked on and tweaked all day. The Cobra stayed on the trailer. After much hype from the announcer as well as all over New England the cars were scheduled to run late in the afternoon.. The Vett came to the line first, and did multiple attention getting burnouts.The Cobra was finally backed off the trailer. It did not sound radical, everyone including myself was expecting a walk a way win for the Corvette Both cars came to the line, the Corvette again doing some spectacular G.M. approved burnouts, to everyone’s approval. The Cobra came to the line, nothing, I mean nothing! It really looked like Cobra didn’t have a clue what they were doing ! The tree went down and the Vett came unglued, it came off the line like a 427 Vett comes off the line!!!!! So help me God the Cobra just sat there. I’m thinking to my self, rank amateurs, not prepared etc.
    The Corvette was probably a quarter of the way down the strip, and the Cobra finally launched.I will estimate the Cobra maybe burned rubber maybe 15 feet or less. The back end slammed down and it was gone. He passed the Vett so fast it was not a race. I saw brake lights on the Cobra and the Corvette was still trying. To this day I have never seen a race as good as that. I’am a full fledged Carroll Shelby and COBRA fan. Carrol may he Rest In Peace

    Lance Anderson
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    207 213 0840

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