Extremely Significant, Early Shelby Cobra Roadster an Exceptional Featured Automobile for Monterey With his AC Ace-derived, Ford-powered Cobra, Carroll Shelby and his racing team spearheaded Ford’s “Total Performance” campaign of the 1960s on the world stage and ended Ferrari’s dominance of the Wor
News-Antique.com - Jun 12,2013 - With his AC Ace-derived, Ford-powered Cobra, Carroll Shelby and his racing team spearheaded Ford’s “Total Performance” campaign of the 1960s on the world stage and ended Ferrari’s dominance of the World Sportscar Championship for GT cars by 1965. This stellar example, CSX2012, is particularly significant as the first Cobra sold to the public from Shelby American’s West Coast operations in Venice, California.
With highly documented and fascinating history including its sale when new to Robert Neville, a friend of Carroll Shelby, for whom Shelby American installed a 289 High-Performance engine as they became available in early 1963, Mr. Neville drove CSX2012 on an early PR trip from Los Angeles to Sebring, Florida. Under subsequent owners Dr. Louis Sellyei and Bill Rudd, both respected racers, the Cobra was a regular competitor on the west coast and it was driven by Mr. Rudd at the inaugural Monterey Historic Races in 1974. Next, Bill Rudd acquired CSX2012 from Dr. Sellyei in trade for a Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa and the Cobra was competition-prepped with Dunlop alloy wheels, widened fender flares, side vents, Weber carburetors, a driver’s roll bar, and a hood scoop, while the Cobra’s original worm-and-sector steering gear and rare early “Shelby-AC-Cobra” identification badges were retained. As such, the Shelby American World Register lists CSX2012 as one of only 31 “Independently Prepared Competition Cobras.”
Highly successful on the track, CSX2012 was campaigned by Bill Rudd in VARA, HMSA, and other events. At the 1976 Monterey Historics, Rudd wheeled CSX2012 to second in class and set fastest lap against the Cobra’s old archrivals, the famed Grand Sport Corvettes. Under next owner Jim Mapson, CSX2012 was raced to great effect for 10 years with particularly noteworthy results at Monterey including 4th in class for 1986 and winning in 1987 from pole position while leading every lap. Never significantly damaged, fastidiously maintained by well-known experts and beautifully presented, CSX2012 is accompanied at auction by an incomparable selection of original parts, much documentation including period and contemporary photos and a personal letter from Carroll Shelby. Additionally, all of the Cobra’s chassis and body parts retain their factory-appropriate identification stampings.
Depicted in several respected texts by experts Richard J. Kopec, Dave Friedman, and Colin Comer, in addition to the Shelby American World Register, CSX2012 is currently licensed and registered in California. Accompanied by full and unbroken history from new including just four owners with three of them for the long term, CSX2012 stands proudly as a highly documented and very well known Southwestern example from new that has resided entirely within Southern California since 1980. In short, CSX2012 simply “ticks all the boxes” for exceptional, investment-grade Cobra ownership.
Russo and Steele’s 13th Annual Sports and Muscle Monterey Auction event, held August 15-17, 2013, is located at its new auction venue that remains conveniently located in the heart of downtown, but was switched to the waterfront near Fisherman’s Wharf in 2012. The auction company has earned a reputation of offering quality automobiles such as this 1963 Shelby Cobra,