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Carroll Shelby’s Own 427 Cobra to be Auctioned in January

2021 Mecum Kissimmee Auction

Mecum Kissimmee 2021 to auction CSX3178, Carroll Shelby’s 1965 427 Cobra Roadster

Mecum Auctions starts the new year with the hosting of 2021 Kissimmee auction at the Osceola Heritage Park grounds in Florida on Jan. 7-16.

The Mecum Kissimmee 2021 auction is anticipated to observe approximately 3,000 vehicles cross the block during the 10 days of auctioning, with an impressive and wide-ranging lineup.

1965 Shelby GT350R Fastback
1965 Shelby GT350R Fastback

Standout features of the event include the auctioning of Carroll Shelby’s personal Cobra 427 and a 1965 Shelby GT350R Fastback, one of only 34 production R Models.

1965 Shelby 427 Cobra Roadster

One of the most distinguished and loved vehicles of Carroll Shelby’s own collection of cars is his 1965 Shelby 427 Cobra, CSX3178. The car was held by Carroll Shelby from the day it was constructed in March 1966 throughout his life right up to the day of his passing in May 2012.

Carroll Shelby‘s 427 Cobra was one of only five Cobras that were finished in a beautiful Charcoal Gray. The car arrived at Shelby’s LAX building without the engine and transmission (as were all Cobras) and with the interior completed in black.

The work order by Shelby American stipulating “Build 427 Street Cobra CSX3178” was opened on January 7, 1966, and closed on March 3, where it was fitted with a 427 and a 4 speed Toploader Transmission. On completion, it was shipped to Shelby’s home in Dallas.

1965 Shelby 427 Cobra Roadster
427 Cobra

In 1972 Shelby’s CSX3178 was restored and repainted in Guardsman Blue by a friend and distinguished Cobra Specialist, Mike McCluskey.

At some point, Carroll Shelby thought he required greater horsepower from CSX3178 and had an aluminum-head 427 side-oiler engine installed along with an automatic transmission.

interior of AC Cobra

In 2002, CSX3178 had another change in paintwork with the home crew at Shelby American in Las Vegas repainting it red.

In 2016, the consignor purchased the 1965 427 Cobra Roadster from Carroll Shelby’s estate. During this time CSX3178 underwent an extensive concours restoration by Legendary Motorcar Company, a renowned Cobra restorer. In particular, the car was restored to its original Charcoal paint color with a 4-speed manual transmission and its initial 427 configurations.

Engine of 427 Shelby Cobra

Carroll Shelby’s personal 427 Cobra, CSX3178, is the big brother of CSX2000, the first small-block Cobra, which recently sold for $13,750,000 in 2016.

The CSX3178 holds a sacred place in Cobra history being the only 427 Cobra that Carroll Shelby owned his entire life.

Carroll Shelby car

1965 Shelby GT350R Fastback

Serial No. 5R106 is 1 of only 34 examples of Carroll Shelby’s highly successful GT350R SCCA B Production racers. It was raced in Midwest SCCA National events by its initial owner, Richard Jordan.
Dick Jordan1965 Shelby GT350R Fastback

His car was prepared at Ford’s San Jose assembly plant to specs set by GT350 Project Manager Chuck Cantwell. Then on December 21, 1964, the stripped Mustang 2+2 Fastback was sent to Shelby American’s LAX headquarters.

After 6 months Serial No. 5R106 rolled out of the Shelby workshop as an original full-competition R-Model. It came complete with a Shelby-modified 289 HiPo small-block V-8 that was tuned on the Shelby dyno to 325 HP.

back of Shelby car

Only 10 days after Jordan received delivery of his new racer, 5R106 was entered in the B Production class at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, in September 1965.

Additional races the car was involved in include Indiana, Clermont, Lynndale Farms, and Wilmot Raceway, in Wisconsin.

Interior of Ford Shelby Mustang

By the early 1970s, Jordan started winding down his racing career and put 5R106 into long-term storage. The car remained under wraps for many years and was maintained in an as-original condition.

Its next owner, Paul Zimmons, restored 5R106 after acquiring it in 1987 where in 1993 it went on to win the Gold Award in the Competition Class at SAAC-18 at Watkins Glen. In addition, 5R106 was awarded Second Place Popular Vote at SAAC-25 at Lime Rock Park in 2000.

Engine of car

5R106 remains in remarkedly original condition, with only 4,930 original miles. It has retained many significant components such as the R-Model magnesium racing wheels and the original Plexiglas.

The car is offered in race-ready condition with vast documentation that comprises the original Shelby American paperwork.

GT350R Fastback

More information regarding the 2021 Mecum Kissimmee auction can be found at Mecum.

Photos Courtesy of Mecum Auctions, Inc