"There was never anything else built like it." - Carroll Shelby
The last time this particular 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 went up for auction it sold for $5.5 million. That was in 2007 and there's a good chance it'll go for far more when it crosses the stage at Barrett-Jackson's Scottsdale, Arizona event this March. The most expensive Shelby Cobra sold at auction to date is the very first example, which went for $12.5 million in 2016. Shelby's personal 1965 Cobra 427 sold for over $5 million last month.
And like those two cars, this 1966 example is no ordinary Cobra. CSX 305 is equipped with two Paxton superchargers and dual Holley four-barrel carburetors parked on top of a cross-ram intake manifold. Installing these superchargers was not an easy process. It required specially fabricated mounting brackets and belt drives. A new hood was also necessary so that the scoop would be big enough to clear the air from those blowers.
An automatic transmission was chosen over a manual because it was better capable of handling the estimated 800 horsepower. However, the car began life as a 427 Cobra Competition used for a 1966 European promotional tour. Its transformation started the following year and was renamed Cobra Semi-Competition upon completion.
It lacked mufflers, a windshield, and bumpers at the time and was not street-legal. A one-example street version (CSX 3303) was built but got destroyed when its owner accidentally drove it off a cliff. The guy went into the Pacific Ocean with the car and sadly died.
After its overseas tour, CSX 3015 underwent a full inspection and when compared to other Cobras it was determined to be a full Competition Roadster. It still has the original date coded 1965 Competition Girling CR and BR brake calipers.
Additional original components include the rear end oil cooler and pumps, date-coded engine block, and headers with chrome-sided pipes, which have been spray-painted flat black. CSX 3015 is so period correct that it's not even officially listed as restored.
"It's a special car. There was never anything else built like it," Shelby told a crowded Scottsdale audience 14 years ago. The icon himself personally drove it to 190 mph as well. Although it's easy to go out and buy a Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, that simply wouldn't be good enough for serious (and wealthy) collectors. This is definitely an auction to watch and could be one of the most exciting of the year.