Cobra Number 1 up for grabs
Carroll Shelby’s own car looks set to become the most expensive AC of all
The first ever AC Cobra, owned by the Shelby family since new, is coming up for auction this summer, and it is expected to fetch around $10million (£7.7 million).
Legendary American racer and tuner Carroll Shelby kept the car for 50 years until his death in 2012, when it was left to his family.
It is being sold at RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction on 19-20 August during the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance at the world famous week of classic car events at the luxurious Californian resort. Unsurprisingly, the car has already attracted hundreds of potential buyers.
Carroll built the car in 1962 in his small garage in Santa Fe, Texas after the former chicken farmer spotted the AC Ace roadster and decided to give it more potential as a racing car. He shoehorned a Ford small-block V8 engine into the engine bay, and created one of the most fearsome machines of the era.
If it goes for this amount, it will almost double the existing Cobra record. That was $5.5m set in 2007 by Mecum auctions for another of Carroll Shelby’s personal collection.
Shelby Myers, car specialist, RM Sotheby’s says: ‘CSX 2000 was the shot heard around the world – it revolutionised the auto industry.
‘Had Carroll Shelby never decided to squeeze that high performance V8 into the engine bay, there would be no Cobra and certainly no Shelby cars, nor Ford GT40s, nor the others that followed. The automotive landscape and sports cars as we know them would be very different.’
It will be sold in aid of the Carroll Shelby Foundation, which helps fund research into childhood illnesses. ‘It revolutionised not only American racing, but the greater auto industry as a whole’ SHELBY MYERS, RM SOTHEBY’S
Fewer than 1000 ‘original’ Shelby Cobras were made in five years, but thousands of replicas have been spawned since, as well as some genuine continuation models.