An authentic 1964 Shelby 289 Cobra

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The 1964 Cobra was one of the originals built by Carroll Shelby's team

With the release of Ford v. Ferrari, I thought it appropriate that a Shelby should be Pick of the Day since the tall Texan played such a big part in the Ford effort at winning Le Mans.

Basically, if you are any kind of car enthusiast you know about Carroll Shelby. If you want to learn more, go see the new movie, then read A.J. Baime’s book Go Like Hell. The movie is excellent and the book is the best document of the era presented in the film.

Cobra

You could buy any number of used replica Cobras today for as little as $30,000. Instead, let’s focus on the authentic article: an actual 1964 Shelby 289 Cobra advertised on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in Morgantown, Pennsylvania.

This Cobra carries the number CSX 2133 and was finished originally in Bright Blue paint with black leather, according to the seller. The body and chassis were built by AC Cars in England, then shipped to Shelby American in Los Angeles for installation of the Ford 289 V8 drivetrain.

cobra

According to the car’s records, it was then shipped to Michigan, where it was invoiced to Jaques Passino of Ford Motor Company as number 2133 with what was called the Class A accessories, which included a luggage rack, and whitewall tires.

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The seller states that was the first Cobra known to have been built with the final-style small, round Cobra badges on the front and rear. It is also said to have served as a test car for an article in Sports Car Graphic magazine.

Like many Shelby Cobras, it passed through a number of hands, with various owners making a few modifications along the way. One of the best things about this car is that it appears to have a very complete ownership history, thanks largely to the Shelby American Automobile Club.

If you are bitten by the Shelby bug after seeing Ford v. Ferrari and have a hefty checkbook, the asking price is $925,000, which is on the higher end of the range in today’s market. With the new movie, the prices on these cars could well go up, so this might be a good time to buy.

A real Shelby Cobra like this is the icon that begat all that came afterwards and is likely to be a true “Blue Chip” collector car forever. It is a true touchstone to the era.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

12 COMMENTS

    • Yes, most of the street Cobras had wire wheels and whitewall tires, much narroer than those on this car. Those tires usually had a short life because it was so easy to induce wheelspin. When I bought my ’64 in ’68 the tires had been replaced by Goodyear Bluestreaks.

    • It is so refreshing to see a car that was enjoyed and has not been over restored. If it were my car I would do a sympathetic restoration and focus only on keeping the mechanics fresh. I wouldn’t touch the interior and keep the original seats with the beautiful patina.

  1. How can a passenger sit on the seat with that roll bar brace? It also looks like it would impede the shifter and emergency brake

  2. The summer following my HS graduation in 1964, i came across a1963 289 Cobra on a used car dealers lot in Annandale, VA. Dealer let me sit in it but no test drive of course. Price was $5000, a princely sum at the time!

  3. My 289 Cobra was CSX 2434 black with black leather when I got it but originally British racing green with tan leather. It had an interesting group of options including engine dress up kit aluminum radiator aluminum oil pan roll bar Chrome wires and white wall tires

  4. Although this version may have been in the movie. The slabside version was featured more with Carroll (Matt Damon) driving around in it.

  5. How bout a 100pt. concourse 1967 ( real) 427 Cobra for 14g ? !
    The year 1970. I was 16yo and begged my dad to buy it. He said : HOW MUCH ?!!! WHADDYA’ WANT WITH THAT THING ?!! IT ONLY FITS 2 PEOPLE !!! HOW MUCH ?!!
    GET THE HELL OUTTA HERE !!

    I’m just about over it

  6. I’ve seen this car in person. It’s pretty weak in condition and originality. From just outward appearances, it needs substantial restoration to make it a nice car. For the asking price, a much better Cobra could be purchased

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