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1963 Shelby Cobra 289

1963 Shelby Cobra 289

Combining the power of Ford’s short-stroke V8 with the nibleness of AC’s sporting chassis, the Cobra was the first largely successful English-American hybrid. The whole project was motivated by legendary driver Carol Shelby, who refined and raced the car with funds from Ford.

In what some have called a desperate move, AC Cars accepted a deal to modify their Ace chassis to accept Ford’s V8 engine. They shipped bare chassis to Shelby American where they were initially fitted Ford’s 260 cu in. engine. The V8 worked well within the spacious engine bay, so much so, Shelby moved to the 289 unit in 1964, and the massive 427 with a new, stronger chassis in 1965.

Since development was relatively simple, the Cobra started winning races from its onset. It had a tremendously good power to weight ratio that bettered with both the 289 and 427 engines. In a short time, the Cobra built up an impressive racing record and a purposeful 427 Coupe won the GT Championship in 1964 and placed fourth at Le Mans in the same year.

Due to the early success of the Cobra, Ford was happy to continue development of their engines and pursue new interests. This lead to GT40, a super low racecar developed in both Britain and USA that upset Ferrari’s dominance in a major way.

The definitive version of the Cobra (and some would argue the Ace as well) was the Cobra 427 S/C. These were full-on competition spec cars that were unable to race due to homologation problems. Shelby sold around 30 of these cars which became America’s most capable and expensive road-going cars.

Specification listed is for the 1964 Cobra 289.

In Detail

submitted by Richard Owen
type Series Production Car
engine Ford 90º V8
position Front Longitudinal
aspiration Natural
valvetrain Pushrod OHV, @ Valves per Cyl
displacement 4727 cc / 288.5 in³
bore 101.6 mm / 4.0 in
stroke 72.9 mm / 2.87 in
power 202.1 kw / 271 bhp @ 6000 rpm
specific output 57.33 bhp per litre
torque 425.73 nm / 314 ft lbs @ 3400 rpm
body / frame Aluminum over Tubular Steel Chassis
driven wheels RWD w/Salisbury LSD
front brakes Discs
rear brakes Discs
f suspension Wishbones w/Coil Springs & Dampers
r suspension Wishbones w/Coil Springs & Dampers
wheelbase 2290 mm / 90.2 in
front track 1380 mm / 54.3 in
rear track 1370 mm / 53.9 in
transmission 4-Speed Manual
top speed ~217.3 kph / 135 mph
0 – 60 mph ~5.5 seconds

Auction Sales History

_V0A6416. ©2014 Chip Riegel / 1964 Shelby 289 Cobra, Chatham New Jersey, 06/18/2014. Photographed for Gooding & Co 2014 Pebble Beach auction.

1964 Shelby 289 Cobra CSX2208 – sold for $902,000 Single Ownership for the Past 47 Years, Just Three Owners from rom New. Documented by Exceptional File Dating to 1971 Offered with Factory Hardtop, Wire Wheels, and More.
Auction Source: The Pebble Beach Auctions 2015 by Gooding and Company

1965 Shelby 289 Cobra CSX2315 – sold for $858,000 From the Peter Klutt Legendary Motorcar Collection. Desirable Dual-Purpose Example of a True Icon. Documented in the Shelby American World Registry. Presented in its Factory-Specified Black on Black Livery. Essential Component of Any Serious Race Car Collection. Prepared as a Longtime Competition Cobra as Shelby Intended.
Auction Source: The Pebble Beach Auctions 2015 by Gooding and Company


1962 Shelby 289 Competition Cobra CSX2011 – sold for $1,980,000 The first racing-specification Shelby Cobra sold to the public. Incredibly well preserved and presented in period livery. Single ownership for over 40 years. A favorite in the Andrews Collection, with numerous vintage rally outings.
Auction Source: Paul & Chris Andrews Collection by RM Sotheby’s

1963 Shelby 289 Cobra CSX 2147 – sold for $990,000 Formerly owned by Ford Special Projects Director Jacques Passino. Original matching-numbers engine. Finished in its original colors. Restored to its original color combination of Guardsman Blue over a black interior.
Auction Source: 2015 Amelia Island by RM Sotheby’s


1964 Shelby 289 Cobra CSX2436 – sold for $979,000 Desirable Late-Production 289 Cobra. Single Ownership for 40 Years. Highly Authentic and Unrestored “Barn Find”. Documented History in the Shelby Registry. An Unqualified Sports Car Legend.
Auction Source: The Scottsdale Auctions 2015 by Gooding & Company
1964 Shelby 289 Cobra CSX2390 – sold for $1,155,000 Highly Original and Unrestored 289 Cobra. Striking Original Color Scheme. Former Owners Include Noted Cobra Collector Lynn Park. Low-Mileage, Carefully Preserved Example. A Fantastic Opportunity to Own a Truly Great 289.
Auction Source: The Scottsdale Auctions 2015 by Gooding & Compa
1965 Shelby 289 Cobra CSX 2567 – sold for $847,000 One of Only 453 Street 289 Cobras. Late-Production, Rack and Pinion Example. Originally Finished in the Rare Color Scheme of Silver over Red. Displaying Plaques from Several West Coast Sports Car Club Events. Offered with Important Original Components.
Auction Source: 2014 Pebble Beach Auctions by Gooding & Company
1965 Shelby 289 Cobra CSX2421 – sold for $990,000 A exciting Cobra “garage find”. Hidden away for 36 years. Clean early history, documented in the SAAC World Registry. Finished in the original colors.
Auction Source: Amelia Island 2014 by RM Auctions
1963 Shelby Cobra 260 CSX2034 – sold for $2,068,000 Incredible time-warp condition. Very early example of Shelby’s Cobra. Documented provenance in the Shelby Registry. Only two owners from new. Great candidate for Preservation Class Concours showings.
Auction Source: 2013 Quail Lodge Auction by Bonhams
1963 Shelby 289 Cobra CSX2044 – sold for $924,000 Offered from the private collection of noted Cobra expert Lynn Park. First Cobra to receive a 289 engine. Two fastidious owners from new; less than 27,000 documented miles. Extensive original documentation, including letters from Pete Brock and Carroll Shelby. Complete preservation of original features.
Auction Source: 2013 Monterey Auction by RM Auctions
1964 Shelby 289 Cobra Competition Roadster CSX2430 – sold for $1,485,000 Ordered New by Ford Special Vehicle Division for Racing. A Desirably Optioned “Team Specification” Competition Roadster. Campaigned by Tom Payne at SCCA and USRRC Events. A Two-Time Entrant in the Bahamas Speed Week.Exactingly Restored by Bill Murray in 1985.
Auction Source: Gooding & Company’s 10th Anniversary 2013 Pebble Beach Auction
1964 Shelby 289 Cobra CSX2393 – sold for $819,500 One of Only 453 Street 289 Cobras. A Desirably Optioned Rack and Pinion 289. Single Ownership for Nearly 40 Years. A Very Pure and Well-Sorted Example. A Well-Documented Shelby Accompanied by Rare Original Literature.
Auction Source: Gooding & Company’s 10th Anniversary 2013 Pebble Beach Auction
1965 Shelby 289 Cobra CSX2538 – sold for $852,500 One of Only 453 Street 289 Cobras. Wonderfully Outfitted Late-Production Car. Delivered New to Florida. Exciting Original Color Scheme and Options. Offered with Top, Top Bows, and Side Curtains. A Well-Documented Example.
Auction Source: The 2013 Amelia Island Auction by Gooding & Company

1962 Shelby ‘Factory Competition-Specification’ Cobra CSX2032 – did not sell for $710,000 Originally owned by Grand Prix driver and Scarab founder Lance Reventlow. Built to factory competition specification with unusual options. Known ownership history from new. Superb, concours quality presentation with numerous purposeful upgrades.
Auction Source: 2013 Arizona Auction by RM


1965 Shelby 289 Cobra CSX2509 – sold for $1,320,000 One of Only 453 Street 289 Cobras. Wonderfully Undisturbed, Time-Capsule Example. Late-Production Car with Rare Factory Performance Features. Exciting Original Color Scheme and Options. Less than 37,000 Miles and Just Four California Owners from New. Exceptional, Well-Documented History. 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance FIVA Award Winner. Offered with Original Owner’s Handbook, Extensive History File, and Shelby American Paperwork.
Auction Source: The 2013 Scottsdale Auctions by Gooding & Company


1965 Shelby Cobra 289 Roadster CSX2428

Rare highly optioned Cobra. Rebuilt original engine. Rare dual quad induction system. Authentic Cobra 2×4 intake. Two Carter AFB carburetors. OE style air cleaners. Desirable rack and pinion steering system. New clutch and plate. Powdercoated headers and mufflers. New Michelin tires. Hardtop and side curtains. Billed 5/7/64 to Shelby American. Shipped 5/15/64 to LA aboard the SS Alblasserdyk. Invoiced 8/5/64 to Foreign Car Center in Birmingham, AL. Same owner since 1984 and listed in registry.

Auction Source: 2012 Daytime Auction by Mecum

1963 Shelby 289 Cobra Mk II CSX2167 – sold for $627,000 Original Ford New York District Office sales promotion car. Fully-documented with SAAC registry; indicates 30,500 miles from new. Finished in Guardsman Blue/Black interior, with top and side-curtains.
Auction Source: Monterey 2012 by RM Auctions
1963 Shelby 289 Cobra CSX2048 – sold for $522,500 Early “Ford Custom Caravan” history; owners include Ford’s Jacques Passino. Documented in the Shelby American World Registry; single ownership from 1971 – 2011. Freshly and correctly restored by Cobra expert Geoff Howard, of Accurate Restorations. Highly desirable early-production Cobra.
Auction Source: Monterey 2012 by RM Auctions
1965 Shelby 289 Cobra Mk II CSX2356 – sold for $792,000 One lady owner from new, with fully documented history. California black plate car; parked in 1987 with 38,762 original miles. Includes rare factory hardtop, side-curtains, tonneau, some tools, and original spare tire.
Auction Source: Monterey 2012 by RM Auctions
1964 Shelby 289 Competition Cobra CSX2290 – sold for $1,320,000 Early 289 Cobra upgraded for racing by Shelby American in 1964. Extensive privateer racing history and highly documented provenance. Driven by Chuck Parsons for J. Randy Hilton in 1964 and by Monte Shelton in 1965. Completely restored from 1988–1991; presented in 1964 racing livery and specs. Eligible for today’s most prestigious and desirable vintage-racing events.
Auction Source: Monterey 2012 by RM Auctions
1963 Shelby 289 Cobra CSX2197 – did not sell for $540,000 Early 289 Cobra with extensive history. Documented restoration by Cobra expert Bill Kemper. Under 10,000 miles from new, with Class “A” options; MSRP $5,195.
Auction Source: 2011 Monterey Auction by RM
1964 Shelby Cobra 289 Roadster CSX2485

CSX2485 is still equipped with its original soft-top, Smiths heater and Stewart-Warner gauges, among many other original features. While the engine block is not original to the car, it is identical to the original unit, including the correct date codes, and is fitted with the original intake manifold, valve covers and oil pan. The car is currently fitted with period-correct wire-spoke wheels. As offered today, CSX 2485 is an outstanding candidate for complete restoration, or it can simply be preserved “as is.”

Auction Source: 2011 Monterey Auction by RM

1963 Shelby Cobra 289 Factory Team Car CSX2129 – sold for $2,585,000 The Ken Miles and Bob Bondurant Cobra. An Exceptionally Original Factory-Team Car. Superb Racing History with Podium Finishes and Class Wins in FIA, USRRC and SCCA Competition. 2nd Overall at the Bridgehampton FIA Double 500. Displayed by Ford at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Just One Owner Since 1968. Exceptional Restoration to Period-Correct Presentation. Mostly Original Aluminum Bodywork. One of the Most Significant Competition Cobras.
Auction Source: 2011 Pebble Beach Auctions by Gooding & Company


1963 Shelby Cobra CSX2096 – sold for $490,000 The Shelby Demonstrator. Kept by Shelby as a demo for 15 months. Finished with Group A accessories. Chrome knock-off wheels. Early Flathead Cobra emblems. Retains early production shifter knob. Documented in the Shelby Registry.
Auction Source: 2011 Mecum Indy Spring Classic
1965 Shelby 289 Cobra CSX2485

As presented, CSX 2485 displays a lovely patina, representative of its storied and well-known history.
Moreover, the car is still equipped with its original soft-top, Smiths heater and Stewart Warner gauges, among many other original features. While the engine block is not original to the car, it is identical to the original, including the correct date codes, and is fitted with the original intake manifold, valve covers and oil pan. For a period of time the car was fitted with Halibrand wheels, but they have been replaced with period-correct wire wheels and tires. CSX 2485 is an outstanding candidate for complete restoration or simply to be preserved as is.

Auction Source: 2011 Amelia Island Auction by RM Auctions

1962 AC Cobra CSX2025 – did not sell for $400,000 The 1962 Paris and London Show Car. Noteworthy European Motor-Show History. Originally Finished in Steel Grey over Blue. Interesting SCCA Racing Pedigree. A One-Owner Car for the Past 35 Years. Retains Many Early-Production Features. Offered with Weather Equipment and Extensive History File. Documented by the World Registry of Cobras & GT40s. Very Honest and Genuine Example of the Early Cobra.
Auction Source: 2011 Amelia Island Auction by Gooding & Company


964 Shelby 289 Cobra CSX2289

CSX 2289 was sent to Shelby American in January 1964. This rack-and-pinion car was just one of 22 to be finished with this striking bright blue exterior over red leather. The car, however, remained with Shelby for just over a year in service as a company demonstrator. CSX 2289 was used in various promotional capacities that included running demonstration laps at Southern California’s Riverside Raceway.

Auction Source: 2011 Scottsdale Auction by Gooding & Company

1964 Shelby Cobra USRRC Roadster CSX2557

Ex-Shelby Team car. One of only six USRRC cars built. One of the most original and unmolested of all the famed Shelby Cobra 289 race cars. One of only two of the USRRC Cobras completed with dual side pipes on each side of the car, it was entered in the season-ending FIA race, the Bridgehampton Double 500 in September 1964. Driven there by Charlie Hayes, it failed to finish when a carburetor drain plug worked loose, dumping its fuel on the track and emptying the tank on lap 48 of the 110-lap race. Thereafter, it was retained by Shelby American as a spare until it was sold in April 1966 to Richard Roe, who raced it in SCCA A/Production during 1966 and then sold it to Murray Kellner in Locanto, Florida, who continued its U.S. racing although with unknown results. Its subsequent history is known and documented in the “SAAC World Registry.”

Auction Source: RM Auctions’ 2010 Sports & Classics of Monterey

This superbly efficient Cobra, with the first chassis export number, was delivered new to Chardonnet in France, and shown at the Paris Motor Show the same year. Its first owner was Mr Leman. It was subsequently with Mr Afchain, who had it fully restored in his workshops. It must have had another owner in the meantime. Mr Afchain consigned it for auction with Poulain-Le Fur in December 1992, when it was bought by its current owner.

Auction Source: 2010 Artcurial Sport & GTs au Mans Classic

1963 Shelby Cobra 289 – sold for $550,000 Beautifully Presented And Complete With An Extensive History File. A Well-Known And Highly Competitive Cobra Race Car. A Fully Documented, Well-Sorted Cobra Ready For The Best Vintage Racing Events. Shelby’s Most Desirable Sports Racing Car.
Auction Source: 2008 Monterey Preview