This is one of just 25 examples of the Shelby Cobra CSX1000 that were ever made, the series was an official, Shelby-sanctioned continuation series of the original Shelby Cobra from the 1960s, with power provided by 427 cubic inch V8.

Also known as the AC Cobra, the Shelby Cobra is an Anglo-American sports car that was created with Carroll Shelby and his team modified an AC Ace from England with a Ford V8 and a slew of upgrades. It created one of the fastest roadsters of its time, and became a legend in its own lifetime.

Fast Facts – The Shelby Cobra CSX1000

  • The Shelby Cobra, also known as the AC Cobra, debuted in 1962. It was essentially an AC Ace from England that had been modified with a Ford V8 and a series of other changes, turning it into one of the quickest roadsters of its day and an unstoppable force on the race tracks of North America.
  • The Shelby Cobra was originally sold across two major generations from 1962 to 1967. The earlier 289 (and earlier still 260) cubic inch version, and the later 427 (and rarer 428) cubic inch version.
  • The Cobra would become one of the most unbeatable sports cars in its class in the 1960s. The low curb weight of 916 kgs (2,019 lbs) combined with the engine producing upwards of 195 bhp and 285 lb ft of torque gave it one of the best power-to-weight ratios in its class in the world at the time.
  • The 427 cubic inch V8-powered Shelby Cobra would debut in 1965 with an all new and much stronger chassis, uprated suspension and brakes, and revised bodywork to fit the new larger wheels and tires under the arches. This model weighed a little more at 1,068 kgs (2,355 lbs), but the 427 V8 was putting out 425 bhp and 480 lb ft of torque, giving it giant-killing performance.
  • In later years a series of officially sanctioned continuation cars would be produced by Shelby American or under their licensing. These cars were developed to keep the spirit of the originals alive while offering a number of improvements, and they typically offer a less-expensive path into Shelby Cobra ownership.

Carroll Shelby And The AC Ace

It’s known exactly where Carroll Shelby saw the AC Ace for the first time, but it seems possible that it was at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959. Shelby was there competing as a driver in the Aston Martin DBR1 alongside English driver Roy Salvadori, the men would win Le Mans outright that year, and Shelby would later say: “winning the Twenty-four Hours was probably the greatest thrill I ever got out of racing.”

Carroll Shelby

Image DescriptionHere we see Carroll Shelby in his later years with a Shelby Cobra 427. He would later partner with a number of automakers on special edition vehicles, perhaps most famously with Ford on the Shelby Mustangs. Image courtesy of Shelby American.

Although Shelby and Salvadori won the top prize at Le Mans, there were also a number of class winners, in categories with lower engine displacement and less power. One of these was the GT 2.0 class, for cars with engines under 2.0 liters. This class would be won in 1959 by British drivers Ted Whiteaway and John Turner driving an AC Ace.

Shelby would certainly have been aware of the Ace from this event if he hadn’t been already, but he couldn’t possibly have known as this time just how much the little British roadster would change his life. Within just five years Shelby would have retired from racing and become a celebrated specialty sports car manufacturer, using the AC Ace as his platform.

The Shelby Cobra Arrives

In 1961 Shelby contacted Charles Hurlock of AC Cars in England with an idea to use the Ace body and chassis, but add an American drivetrain. Hurlock agreed to provide an engineless Ace on credit, a major coup for Shelby, and the car was shipped over to California, to the garage where Shelby was renting space from Dean Moon.

Chevrolet had refused to provide V8 engines for the car, fearing it would cannibalize sales of their own Corvette, so Shelby instead secured a supply of Ford V8s – Ford being more than happy to see Shelby give the Corvette a black eye using Ford drivetrains.

Shelby Cobra CSX1000 11

Image DescriptionWith 425 bhp and 480 lb ft and a curb weight of only 1,068 kgs (2,355 lbs), the 427 V8 version of the Shelby Cobra offers staggering performance even by modern standards.

Ford sent a pair of their new V8 engines to the garage, and the engineless AC Ace arrived a short while later. Moon and Shelby fitted a Ford V8 and a Borg-Warner T-10 4-speed manual transmission into the car, and the Shelby Cobra was born.

The first Cobras were fitted with the Ford 260 cubic inch V8 with later examples getting the higher displacement 289 cubic inch version of the same engine. From 1965 the 427 Cobra would be offered, this was a largely reengineered car with a new chassis, uprated suspension and brakes, and a body modified to fit larger wheels and tires.

The 427 Cobra was one of the most ludicrous sports cars of the 1960s, offering 425 bhp and 480 lb ft in a car that weighed just 1,068 kgs (2,355 lbs). Even today almost 60 years later, the 427 Cobra offers one of the most extreme analogue driving experiences in the world.

The Shelby Cobra CSX1000 Shown Here

The car you see here is one of just 25 examples of the Shelby Cobra CSX1000, a series of official continuation Cobras that debuted in the early 2000s. These cars all have hand-rolled aluminum bodywork from England and most importantly, they’re powered by the Ford 427 V8.

Shelby Cobra CSX1000 16

Image DescriptionBefore the original 427 V8 version of the Cobra could enter production, a whole new chassis needed to be developed to handle the performance upgrade over the earlier 289 V8.

Just like the originals, these continuation Cobras have stiff tubular steel chassis, independent front and rear suspension, side pipes, seating for two, lap belts, a wood-rimmed steering wheel, and a roll hoop behind the driver. It also has four wheel disc brakes, 15″ Halibrand-style wheels with Goodyear Eagle Sport Car Special tires, and the dashboard carries the signature of Carroll Shelby.

The car is now being offered for sale out of Brownsburg, Indiana on Bring a Trailer. Amazingly the car has accumulated just 45 miles on the odometer since it was built approximately 20 years ago, and it comes with a clean Oklahoma title describing the vehicle as a 1965 Shelby Cobra. If you’d like to read more about it or place a bid you can visit the listing here.

Shelby Cobra CSX1000 14 Shelby Cobra CSX1000 18 Shelby Cobra CSX1000 17 Shelby Cobra CSX1000 15 Shelby Cobra CSX1000 13 Shelby Cobra CSX1000 12 Shelby Cobra CSX1000 9 Shelby Cobra CSX1000 8 Shelby Cobra CSX1000 7 Shelby Cobra CSX1000 6 Shelby Cobra CSX1000 5 Shelby Cobra CSX1000 4 Shelby Cobra CSX1000 3 Shelby Cobra CSX1000 2 Shelby Cobra CSX1000 1

Images courtesy of Bring a Trailer

Published by Ben Branch -