1963 Shelby Cobra 289 ‘Dragonsnake’
Shelby offered the Dragonsnake as a ¼-mile drag car that came equipped with several distinct racing options. Around $8,000 USD, this option was not cheap and only 8 cars came ordered with the drag pack.
Included was a competition-spec engine, modified Koni shock absorbers, Goodyear Drag Slicks, 4.54:1 rear end, air scoop on the hood, relocated battery behind the passenger seat, heavy-duty half shafts and an NHRA-approved roll bar.
The engine was completed to a very thorough specification. “Every clearance and dimension has been checked and set to minimum specification. Clearances of all bearings in the lower end of the engine have been set for high rpm. All moving parts of the engine assembly have been balanced, including the cam followers, the push rods, the rocker arms, the valves, and spring retaining washers.”
“The cylinder heads are cast aluminum and have lightened competition valves installed. The ports and combustion chambers are not polished to comply with N.H.R.A. rules for Stock Sports class. The cam can be either advanced or retarded to customer specification.”
“The rear and front spring assemblies are modified slightly to create better ground contact on the rear springs and better lift characteristics on the front springs. A hood scoop is also fitted to ensure cool, efficient air intake to the carburetors.”
Shelby offered the car with three levels of carburation. Stage I was a single 4-barrel carburettor while the $688 Stage II option included two units. Only one car, CSX2427, was original ordered with the Stage III Weber carburetor setup which was fitted later to most of the cars.
In total only eight Dragonsnakes were produced by Shelby including CSX3198 which was the only 427-equipped model. Our feature car, CSX2093, is the winningest competition Cobra in drag history and won 7 NHRA National events with Bruce Larson or Ed Hedrick driving. It was offered by Mecum at their Kissimmee, FL Auction on January 26-30, 2011.
|submitted by||Richard Owen|
|price $||$ 7,500|
|engine||Ford 90 Degree V8|
|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||RWD w/Salisbury LSD|
|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|
|top speed||~217.3 kph / 135 mph|
|0 – 60 mph||~5.5 seconds|
Auction Sales History
1963 Shelby Cobra Dragon Snake CSX2093 – did not sell for $825,000
Auction Source: 2011 Monterey Daytime Auction by Mecum
1963 Shelby Cobra DragonSnake Costilow/Larson, CSX2093 – sold for $875,000
The winningest competition Cobra in history. National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) record holder in retired classes AA, A, B, C/ sports. Won 7 NHRA National events with Bruce Larson or Ed Hedrick driving. Won the 1966 NHRA World Championship while owned and driven by Ed Hedrick. Show quality full and accurate restoration by Ziegler Coach, LA. Undisputed best winning record for the 6 factory and independently prepared Dragonsnakes.
Offered with full documentation of its NHRA national records, this is not only the most famous and successful of the eight Shelby Dragonsnakes; it is in fact the winningest competition Cobra in history.
Auction Source: 2011 Mecum Kissimmee, FL Auction