There's hardly any auction house as widely regarded and as popular as the RM Sotheby. Known to routinely make headlines for selling record-breaking classic cars including Ferrari, Mercedes and Bugatti, the Sotheby is ready to take the auction game to a whole new level. RM Sotheby will utilize the Monterey Car Week, to sell a tiny, blue roadster built by a Texas chicken farmer. The car we are talking about is the very first Shelby Cobra, the legendary CSX2000, to be auctioned at the Monterey Car Week.
Manufactured in 1962, this CSX2000 has been in existence for 50+ years now and is completely unrestored. But the obvious sign of ageing has started showing its face on the car in the form of the wear and tear. The shiny blue paint looks good, but has significant chips and nicks throughout. Then there's signs of wear on the Ford Blue valve cover and the lovely patina on the CSX2000 chassis identification badge.
Shelby used the CSX2000 as a promotional tool, painted in different colors to convince the public that production was well underway. The most remarkable thing about the Cobra is how much of the AC Ace is still visible despite Shelby's modifications. The taillights, are from Lucas and bear the designation "Made in England", while the knockoff center lug on the wire wheels also bear AC's logo.
Unlike the exteriors, which, despite its flaws, still looks shiny and good, the interiors are completely disastrous. The cabin is completely worn and torn with leather being torn from everywhere as evident from the images. Reason being, the owner of the original Cobra didn't want it modified or restored. While the ageing signs aren't pretty, they're part of this car's impressive history.
The early and first Cobra from Shelby was completely different from the later examples and modern replicas built. It came with a 4.2-litre V8 under the hood and rested on a skinny little cross-ply tyres in place of fat and grippy radials. According to RM Sotheby's, Road & Track pushed the original Cobra to 100 kmph in just 4.2 seconds. Well, that's definitely very fast today, let alone in 1962, when it was considered unbelievable, with a top speed of 245 kmph.
"Carroll and Rob Myers discussed Cobra #1 many times, and they were good friends. Their agreement that Rob would offer the car for Carroll's Trust, after he was gone, was a very emotional one for both of them," Joe Conway, one of the co-trustees for the Shelby Trust alongside Neil Cummings, told RM Sotheby's.
The charm of selling such classic vehicles, according to Sotheby, is not the engine or the manufacturer or the machine itself, but it is the rich history that makes it distinctive and worth auctioning. The CSX2000 is no different and besides being the first Shelby Cobra ever built, it spent its entire life under the ownership of Carroll Shelby himself.
The Carroll Hall Shelby Trust is selling the iconic and classic CSX2000 because that's what Shelby the man dictated before he died. "Neil Cummings and I are now simply carrying out Carroll's wishes, with no disrespect meant to the other individuals who meant so much to Carroll and did so much for his business and his Foundation over the years," said Cummings.
The RM Sotheby auction will feature many other significantly historic Cobras alongside the CSX2000 during its Monterey auctions, on August 19 and 20. Check this space to check the price is fetched!