Meet CSX2427, the Cobra described as "the finest and most correct factory-built Dragonsnake in existence." It's one of only five Cobra Dragonsnakes put together by Carroll Shelby, but it's also the only Stage III customer car ever built. It's as unique as they get, just like the only surviving Super Snake.
The quest for drag strip gloryCarroll was no stranger to racing. Before he was drafted by Ford to develop the iconic GT40, he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans driving an Aston Martin DBR1. So while he envisioned the Cobra as a road-going competitor for the Chevrolet Corvette, he also wanted a track-capable version.
The bundle was made available to Cobra owners, but Shelby also put together a handful of Dragonsnakes at the shop. Six of these cars were built, five fitted with the 289-cubic-inch (4.7-liter) V8 and one equipped with the larger, 427-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) mill. Of the five 289 racers, only one ended up in private hands.
The yellow dragsterThis specific car, chassis no. CSX2427 was ordered by Don Reimer of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The Cobra left the factory in a bright shade of yellow, a rather unusual color for a Shelby car. The finish was applied on Reimer's request, so the Cobra would match his Ford Thunderbird tow car.
Reimer's Cobra wasn't the most successful Dragonsnake. The factory-backed cars had access to better resources and scored far more notable wins. But the yellow, white-striped Dragonsnake became a crowd favorite at local tracks in and around Pennsylvania, especially when it showed up to race against the Corvettes.
Sold, restored, and back on the marketParked after its intense 1965 season, the Dragonsnake was eventually sold off. The CSX2427 bounced around to several owners before it was purchased by Steven Juliano, who restored it to its original specification. Using original and new-old-stock parts, Juliano returned the yellow Dragonsnake to the state it was when it left the Shelby factory in the 1960s.
57 years old as of 2021, CSX2427 is not only the finest Dragonsnake in existence but also one of the most authentic original Cobras ever built. And it is now ready to find a new owner, having been listed by Mecum Auctions as the main attraction for its Kissimmee 2022 event, scheduled in January.
The dragster will probably change hands for millions of dollars, but the important thing here is that it's finally out of storage to tell the story of the tremendous yet ignored Cobra Dragonsnake.