Auctions and Brokerage
Jacques Passino, Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, Michigan (acquired new in 1963)Beverly Hills Sports Cars, Beverly Hills, California (acquired from the above in 1965)Tom Ellis, California (acquired from Brant Motors, Walnut Creek, California, in 1967)Alan Lloyd, El Cajon, California (acquired from the above in mid-1970s)Milton Janzen, San Francisco, California (acquired from State Farm Insurance in 1989)John Duffield, Bakersfield, California (acquired from the above in 1993)Jim Carrolo, Steamboat Springs, Colorado (acquired from the above in 1999)Current Owner (acquired in 2015)
SAAC-3, Pasadena, California, August, 1978SAAC-9, Anaheim, California, August, 1984
Of all the great 1960s sports cars, few have become as iconic and influential as the Shelby Cobra. When Le Mans-winning driver Carroll Shelby retired from racing due to health issues, he began realizing his dream of building a sports car of his own. Upon hearing of Ford’s new lightweight, small-block V-8, he seized upon the opportunity to mate it to an AC Ace, and the Cobra was born. The result successfully combined California hot rod know-how with European chassis dynamics, and in competition trim, Cobras achieved an impressive race record. They were a key force in Ford’s dominance of international sports car racing during the period.
According to the Shelby American World Registry, this handsome 1963 example, chassis CSX2135, was shipped on June 27, 1963, to New York, consigned toW.J. Janner, Car Sales Promotion, Ford Motor Co., and sent to the carmaker’s district office in Kansas City. It was invoiced in September 1963 to Jacques Passino, the director of Ford’s impressive racing efforts from 1957 to 1970.
CSX2135 is the ninth rack and pinion car produced, according to the Cobra registry. Being an early example, it is fitted with the attractive Smiths gauges, which were replaced with Stewart Warner units beginning at chassis CSX2200. The Cobra registry also reports that the footbox chassis tag containing engine numbers was not used until approximately CSX2200. As such, for cars prior to approximately CSX2200, engine date codes and casting numbers must be used to identify the engine. According to the consignor, his mechanic recorded every number he could find on the engine, transmission and ancillary components whileCSX2135’s engine was out of the car. A note with his findings remains on file, and states that this Cobra’s engine carries the number C3AE-6015N, which corresponds to a five-bolt, 289 block from 1963. The consignor states that when he shared this engine’s numbers with several Cobra specialists, they indicated that this is a properly date-coded engine for a 1963 Cobra.
CSX2135 was originally painted white with a red interior and was equipped with “Class A” accessories including a luggage rack, and white sidewall tires. The Cobra registry states that the car was used by Ford for its first year, logging 5,300 miles in the Kansas City area. Since it was billed to Ford’s promotional arm, presumably it was used as a demonstrator and promotional vehicle for the new rack and pinion steering. During the summer of 1964, CSX2135 was returned to Shelby American to be reconditioned for sale. Ford work order no. 1077 authorized the car’s refurbishment by Shelby American, which included new white paint, wider (6" versus 5.5") painted wire wheels, a new windshield, rear bumper over-riders, new mufflers, seat belts, a new soft top, side curtains, and carpeting.
Then ready for retail sale, the Cobra was acquired by Beverly Hills Sports Cars in early 1965. Although the details on its first private owner are not known, two years later Tom Ellis, a California resident, bought CSX2135 from Brant Motors in Walnut Creek, California. Mr. Ellis enjoyed the Cobra into the mid-1970s before selling it toAlan Lloyd. By this time, the car had been repainted in Ford’s Emberglo (a copper hue) with black stripes, and the Cobra featured front fender vents. In 1984, after advertising the car for sale and showing it at SAAC-9 in Anaheim, California, Mr. Lloyd reported the car stolen. In 1989, CSX2135 reappeared when Milton Janzen purchased the legal title from State Farm Insurance. Mr. Janzen had it painted dark blue, reupholstered in saddle leather, and fitted with Weber carburetors and PSE reproduction Halibrand wheels. John Duffield acquired CSX2135 in 1993 and treated it to a no-expense-spared restoration completed in 1999, which included an interior color change to black, according to the Cobra registry. In 1999, it was purchased by Jim Carrolo of Colorado, marking the first time on record since 1965 that the Cobra was purchased by a private owner outside California.
The consignor purchased the Cobra in 2015, and it has since resided in his impressive collection of postwar sports cars and been enjoyed sparingly. A testament to the quality of its restoration, CSX2135 still makes a stunning presentation. Although it could serve as the centerpiece of a collection, it would also be a perfect candidate for shows, tours, or Cobra events. The Cobra is accompanied by a set of wire wheels, convertible top, tools, manual, and a Thor knock-off hammer. Presented in a handsome color combination and in excellent condition, CSX2135 has many attributes that will be appreciated by dedicated Cobra enthusiasts: rack and pinion steering, a fascinating history, and a direct connection to Ford’s racing and promotional efforts of the 1960s.