1967 Shelby Cobra
Born from the cooperation of the eminent namesake Caroll Shelby and the historic British manufacturer AC cars, the Shelby Cobra, or AC Cobra in Britain, is one of the most recognizable and world-renowned performance vehicles of all time. As the story goes, Carroll Shelby birthed the idea when he wrote to AC cars asking if they would be interested in making him a car capable of housing a V8 engine. AC cars responded, agreeing to fulfill Shelbys request provided that he come up with a worthy engine. Off Shelby went to Chevrolet manufacturers, but the Corvette kingpins refused his request for fear of adding competition against their own baby. History would show their decision was an enormous blunder. Not one to take no for an answer, Shelby met with Ford. Conveniently, Ford had just created the brand new Windsor 221-cubic-inch 3.6L engine: a lightweight, thin-wall cast small block V8. They didnt need much convincing and provided Shelby with two engines. Within a span of 6 months, Shelby took the Cobra from conception to birth, which is pretty commendable for a retired race car driver turned driving school teacher. Construction saw the car assembled, painted, and trimmed at the AC cars factory in Thames Ditten, Surrey, England and shipped to Shelbys workshop in Los Angeles, California. Once there, Shelby would complete the vehicles by installing their engine and gearbox. From beginning to finish, every Shelby Cobra experienced the loving craftsmanship of an international effort to create a truly revolutionary vehicle. Between 1963-1967, the Shelby Cobra would see three different production versions codenamed the MKI, MKII, and MKIII respectively. The MKI was made from 1963-1965. The first 75 models were fitted with a 260 cubic in. 4.3L V8, while the last 51 carried a larger 289 cubic in. 4.7L V8 instead. In late 1962, a change, made by ACs chief engineer Alan Turner, to the cars body allowed for rack and pinion steering. In early 1963, models featuring this change began production and thus came the era of the MKII. It would see the production of a handful of European models as well and MKIIs continued to be made up until 1965, which ends our little history lesson and brings us to the MKIII. Better known as the Cobra 427, this model finally saw Ford get their own chance to have a hand in the design of the Shelby Cobra. The 427 received an entirely new chassis with inch wider tubes and coil spring suspension to replace the transverse leaf spring suspension of earlier builds. Wider fenders and a larger radiator opening were also added. Most significant of all, the smaller and lighter V8 engine was supplanted with a much heavier and more powerful Ford 427 cubic in. 7.0L FE V8 engine, hence the 427 Shelby Cobra moniker of today. This 427 Shelby Cobra is one of the last Cobras ever made, as its chassis number 3356 out of 3360 total production models shows. The car was originally painted in a gory blood red accompanied by black interior and billed to Shelby American on December 14th, 1966. The engine was equipped with a single 4 barrel carburetor and the car was sold to Paradise Ford located in Scottsdale, Arizona. The next 15 years of its history are forever lost to time, but the record picks up in the fall of 1980 when an unidentified owner presented it for sale near San Antonio, Texas: 427 Cobra CSX3356. 7 aluminum wheels, 4 magnesium wheels, chrome side pipes, 200 miles on balanced, blueprinted 427 side-oiler, special competition transmission. Just painted. An exceptional Cobra for someone who is looking for JUST THAT. First time sale since 70. Expensive - serious inquires please. The car resurfaced quite quickly, appearing at Forristalls GT Cars in Houston, TX in the spring of 1981: Cobra 427, blood red, original black leather, CSX3356 . . . possibly the finest example in the world, only 17,000 documented miles since new . . . optional SC equipment. Robert Panella of Stockton, California made the purchase. He then took the 3356 to Mike McCluskey in Torrance, California, who completed a full and thoroughly documented restoration of the vehicle, finishing it with a new metallic blue and white stripe paint. During the restoration, the car was outfitted with full SIC specs, which include a revised dashboard and trunk, early taillights, widened front flares, an oil cooler scoop, and lipped rears. In addition, the battery was placed in the trunk. The odometer was also zeroed at this time. At the end of his stewardship, Robert Panella consigned the car to Fantasy Junction early in 1996. In March of the same year, Harry Mathews of Golden, Colorado became the new owner. Under Mathews eye, the 3356 was placed alongside one of the most impressive collections of McLaren racing and street vehicles in the world. After a decade of service, Mathews returned the car to Fantasy Junction so that it might be auctioned off once more to its current owner. Most recently, the car was serviced once again by McCluskey in August of 2013. Service instructions were limited to a whatever is needed request. Ultimately, this request boiled down to replacing the Stewart Warner fuel pump in the trunk, removing the fuel tank and repairing two cracks, replacing the clutch slave cylinder, replacing the inner spherical bearing in the right rear A-arm, aligning the rear suspension, replacing the water temperature sending unit, changing the engine, transmission, and differential oil, replacing the hood jamb rubber, replacing the air filter, and changing the brake fluid. The vehicle received an inspection and small maintenance in October of 2020 at Prestige Racing. Spark plugs and engine oil were replaced and a compression check was performed. Needless to say, the CSX3356 remains in absolutely pristine condition. Furthermore, the Shelby World Registry serves as proof of the vehicles flawless and nearly unparalleled state. The thrill of being behind the wheel of this sleek and peerless 427 Shelby Cobra soon makes you forget that your life might be in imminent danger. The amount of Cobras that have been as well-maintained as the CSX3356 is next to none, but, if youre reading this, you probably dont need us to inform you. The CSX3356 isnt just a testament to Carroll Shelby and AC cars; its a testimony to the passion of car enthusiasts. Whoever is lucky enough to own the CSX3356 next will have the privilege of adding their name to this leaving, breathing fossil's long line of caring custodians.