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Is the First Customer Shelby Cobra Racer Worth $2.2 Million?

Updated April 12, 2015

The first customer Shelby Cobra race car was purchased for $7,471 on Oct. 23, 1962. On May 2, 2015 it’s expected to fetch $2.2 Million at auction. Worth it?

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It was last sold in 2008, for $1.7M and bidding is expected to reach as high as $2.4 Million at RM Auctions in Fort Worth TX on May 2, 2015.

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Shelby Cobra Chassis CSX 2011 was purchased for $7,471 by John A. Everly, of Winfield Kansas, on October 23, 1962, and with that, it became the first Shelby Cobra race car to be sold to the public. Everley, a seasoned racer, traded his Ferrari 375 MM Spider for the Cobra, and it soon replaced the Ferrari as his racing car of choice.

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The car was outfitted for racing with front and rear sway bars, a roll bar, a long-range fuel tank, a flame thrower ignition, and Goodyear T-4 race tires, and it bore oblong “Shelby-AC Cobra” badges, T-handle hood latches, and 5.5″ painted wire wheels. The car was finished in red with a black interior when new, but it was repainted blue and white when it appeared at its first race, the Nassau, Bahamas Speed Week in December 1962.

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Somewhere along the line, the wire wheels were replaced by Shelby alloy knock-off wheels which the car wears today.

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That same year, Everley sold the car to John Archer, of Dallas, Texas, in exchange for the wages he was owed by South West Lotus. Archer removed CSX 2011’s original engine and installed a Gemini-Ford, however Archer soon dropped in a 289 V-8 GT350R engine fitted with dual four-barrel Carter carburetors.

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In 1965, the car was purchased by Ron West, also of Dallas, who decided that he would return CSX 2011 to the track, betting it would prove to be quite competitive with its new motor. In order to adhere to an SCCA regulation, the dual-carburetor setup was replaced with a single four-barrel, and with that setup, CSX 2011 went on to very successful club racing career.

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West continued to own the car until 2007, when it was purchased by a new owner, the car’s first in over 30 years. At the time of purchase, he decided to refresh the car for use, yet he also kept a strict eye on preservation. It was decided that the Cobra would be brought back to the same configuration it appeared in at Daytona in 1964. The owner went to great lengths to preserve the car as much as possible,  and even leaving the scratch it received at Daytona untouched and retaining traces of the car’s original red paint.

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Chris Riley
About Chris Riley

I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. GearHeads.org gives me a chance to give something back to the automobile community.

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