Cobra Num­ber 1 up for grabs

Car­roll Shelby’s own car looks set to be­come the most ex­pen­sive AC of all

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

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.

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