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HomeAutoHunterA Closer Look at This 1966 Shelby Cobra

A Closer Look at This 1966 Shelby Cobra

CSX3195: a destiny fulfilled

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Shelby American was the little company that could — sure, Ford took control of Shelby Mustang production starting in 1968, but the can-do attitude by the small operation created a romantic narrative on parity with David vs. Goliath. Talent and luck were permeating a certain hangar in Venice, California in spades, and the products that emerged from the blood and sweat have earned top status among enthusiasts for decades.

So is it any wonder that there is so much online enthusiasm for this fantastic 1966 Shelby Cobra that is being auctioned on AutoHunter on February 13, 2023? You may have read about this car already, but there’s still more to tell. CSX3195 is a fun Cobra. It revels in the fact that it’s not some Pebble Beach prima donna — rather, it’s across the street hangin’ out at Laguna Seca doing what its birthright suggests (plus note the Road America and Watkins Glen notches on its belt). If this Cobra was in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” Cameron would have gladly accepted being peer-pressured to go joy-riding along Lakeshore Drive.

The original order for the car began on October 27, 1965 and the car was finally processed on January 25, 1966 as a black-on-black 427 Cobra. After arriving at Johnny Bolton Ford in Maitland, Florida, it listed for $6,383. Its most interesting history begins in 1985 when Mac Archer bought CSX3195 and, with the help of Eric Bernhard of Entropy Racing, the Cobra was outfitted with Halibrand wheels, racing windshield, side pipes, hood scoop and race-tuned 427 for vintage racing duty. Wearing the number 22, CSX3195 won several races under Archer’s tutelage. In 2003, Archer commissioned sheet metal specialist Bruce Terry to refresh the body work (much of it by hand) and straighten the frame; it then was painted red by David Smith.

Come 2012, off the Cobra went to a new caretaker in California. That same year, it was raced at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and, come November, it was traded to Jim Farley of FoMoCo fame. The body was stripped and repainted blue with white racing stripes, which matched the Ford executive’s FIA Cobra 289. He drove CSX3195 at Laguna Seca and exhibited it at events on behalf of Ford. As with Archer, the car was maintained by Eric Bernhard.

By 2015, CSX3195 headed to the Texas border for a new owner. A standard windscreen replaced the racing unit but has deviated little otherwise. At the time, the “side-oiler” 427 had been modified for track use (complete with 13.5 compression) by Bob Corn of Roush Industries; the new owner had the big ol’ FE iron block rebuilt to be more street-friendly. With 550 horsepower, it’s still the monster it once was, but now can run on 93 octane. Of course, power is handled by Ford’s mightly “Toploader” four-speed, though you can imagine the rear tires have a strained relationship with the pair. Michael Grubbs, in contrast, has had a splendid relationship with CSX3195. As the owner of Grubbs Motorsports in Garland, Texas, Michael has maintained the Cobra for the owner, saying this this particular vehicle is “the gold standard for a car from the ‘60s” and that it “drives better than any other car from the ‘60s they’ve worked on over the years.”

The winner of this AutoHunter auction will receive the following:

  • CSX3195
  • Owner’s manual
  • Mac Archer’s racing logbook with entries spanning 1985-2006 at tracks that include Road America, Laguna Seca and Watkins Glen
  • Reportedly original speedometer/odometer that shows approximately 14,000 miles
  • Black Halibrand wheels with racing tires
  • Racing windscreen
  • Original 1966 seats that were in the car when Mac Archer competed with it
  • Jim Farley’s racing seats and personalized car cover
  • Tool roll
  • Driving gloves
  • Books, magazines and calendar that feature CSX3195

The auction will end on February 13, 2023 at 5:00 pm (MST). When you first hop in and drive CSX3195, you’ll get all giggly and realize why you’ve been wasting your time eyeing trailer queens when Carroll Shelby created the ultimate transportation device. Your time has come.

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Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in metropolitan Phoenix.

1 COMMENT

  1. It’s great to see a car made to be driven hard, well, driven hard. I am often sad for the museum and auction investment cars, that never get to bellow in anger and trade paint with their hated rivals. I wonder what they dream…

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