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1965 Shelby 427 Competition Cobra Is One of Only 23 Built, Selling at No Reserve

Built from 1962 to 1967, the iconic Shelby Cobra was rather short-lived. But this didn't stop Carroll Shelby from rolling out a long list of iterations of the sports car.
1965 Shelby 427 Competition Cobra 12 photos
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From the early cars powered by the 260-cubic-inch (4.3-liter) V8 so the supercharged Super Snake, Shelby developed everything from sporty roadsters to monstrous muscle cars. Likewise, he also built Cobras for track and drag racing, as well as an autocross-spec model.

The 427 Competition Cobra is one of those track-bred roadsters and this particular example went on to score a class win at the 1966 12 Hours of Sebring. And it's set to go under the hammer via Mecum Auctions in May 2022.

The Competition Cobra saw daylight in 1965, right after Shelby introduced the then-new Mark III chassis. Designed in cooperation with Ford, the Competition Cobra got the company's 427-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) FE-series V8. Although it was supposed to hit the race track in 1965, the Mark III missed homologation for that season and had to wait for 1966 to start racing.

Shelby initially planned to produce 100 cars, but only 56 were finished. However, unsold Competition models were detuned and converted for street use. The decision lowered the number of authentic Competition Cobra cars to only 23.

Rated at 500 horsepower, this specific car (chassis number CSX3016) not only won at Sebring, but was also raced at Lime Rock, Bridgehampton, and Watkins Glen in 1966. Following a comprehensive restoration by noted Shelby experts, the Cobra now wears its original Sebring livery combining Silver Mink with red, white, and blue racing stripes.

The car still carries its original 427 V8 and four-speed manual transmission, while the carburetor has been rebuilt. It also sports a new fuel cell bladder and period-correct batteries and fuel filter. Mileage? Believe it or not, the odo shows only 8,299 miles (13,356 km). And as you might have already guessed, most of the distance was covered during the 1966 racing season and at historic racing events.

The race car is being offered on replacement Halibrand wheels wrapped in Goodyear tires. The combo looks fantastic, but should you want to return it to 1966 specifications for display purposes, the sale also includes the original mag wheels and tires.

Like any historic car, this Cobra also comes with full documentation, including a letter from H.R.E. Motorcars, the company that performed the restoration. CSX3016 is also listed in both the Shelby Registry and the Shelby American Guide.

The race car will go under the hammer at Mecum's Indy 2022 auction even, set to place between May 13 and 21. The Cobra will be sold at no reserve, but make no mistake, it won't change hands for pennies. Competition Cobras tend to change owners for more than $1.5 million and certain models are valued at more than $2.5 million.

In 2019, for instance, chassis CSX3010, the car that won the 1968 SCCA A Production Championship, was sold for a whopping $2.25 million.

Mecum doesn't provide an estimate for this Cobra, but the car was auctioned off and failed to sell in 2014. Estimated to fetch between $1.9 and $2.4 million, it remained with its owner following a high bid of $1.7 million. I'm no expert, but given that classic car prices have gone through the roof recently, this Cobra will probably fetch more than $2 million.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.


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