That work is about to pay off. Big time.
Every original Shelby Cobra is special, only some are more special than others. This is one of them. A very rare 1963 Shelby Cobra 289 once used by Ford for demonstration and exhibition purposes will be offered for sale at Mecum Auction's Indy 2020 event this June, and it's also just one of 580 examples built through 1965. Shelby Cobra chassis No. CSX2195 was specially ordered by Ford for various promotional events.
Finished in Guardsman Blue with a black interior, it features those classic white sidewall tires, a chrome luggage rack, extruded rear wings specially designed to accommodate wider tires, and a roll bar. Under its hood is, of course, a Ford 289 V8 rated at 271 horsepower and 312 lb-ft of torque. That power is routed to the rear wheels through a four-speed manual gearbox.
When Ford was done with it in 1964, it was sold to its first owner who repainted it in Gold and took it drag racing. Its next few owners also had the drag racing bug though it was retired from the sport over 30 years ago. It then sat in a private owner's collection from 1985 until last year. But it was in 2006 when the seller began what became a 12-year restoration project. The cost? Unknown, but the results speak for themselves.
Every bit of the car was restored, from the period-correct paint color, interior and exhaust, to the Weber downdraft carburetors. The sale also includes an event program signed by none other than Carroll Shelby, who also included "Chassis CSX2195" to his signature.
Not all original Shelby Cobras went through as much racing like this one, though its recent restoration hides nearly every trace of that. Unfortunately, the auction house doesn't provide an estimated price range for the sale, but previous examples have sold for well into the six-figures, often coming above the $1 million mark.
Back in the day, you could buy one of these for $5,995, which is about $50,500 today. That wouldn't even cover the cost of a 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, for example. Rest assured, though, somebody with deep enough pockets will be more than willing to fork over upwards of seven-figures to be this original 289 Cobra's next owner.