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Lot 108

2015   |   Pebble Beach Auctions 2015

1964 Shelby 289 Cobra

SOLD $902,000

Estimate

$900,000 - $1,200,000

Chassis

CSX2208

Car Highlights

One of Only 453 Street 289 Cobras
Rack and Pinion Variant, Originally Finished in Vineyard Green
Single Ownership for the Past 47 Years, Just Three Owners from New
Documented by Exceptional File Dating to 1971
Offered with Factory Hardtop, Wire Wheels, and More

Technical Specs

289 CID OHV Hi-Po V-8 Engine
Single 4-Barrel Carburetor
271 BHP at 6,000 RPM
4-Speed Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Girling Disc Brakes
4-Wheel Independent Suspension with Transverse Leaf Springs and Shock Absorbers

Saleroom Addendum

*Please note this vehicle is titled as a Ford.

Register to Bid

First Owner (acquired via Broad Motors circa 1964)Stanley Spritzler, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (acquired in 1965)Lee Weinstein, Chatham, New Jersey (acquired from the above in 1968)

As the cachet of well-preserved and sympathetically restored classics takes ever greater hold, there is an increasing recognition that a truly desirable collector car embodies not only the pedigree of the manufacturer and model, but also how the automobile was treated in period, and by whom. This superlative early example of the legendary Shelby Cobra is remarkable in all of these considerations, as it was the prized possession of one enthusiastic owner for more than 40 years.

Originally finished in Vineyard Green paint and trimmed with beige leather upholstery, CSX2208 was billed to Shelby American from AC Cars on October 21, 1963, and shipped to Los Angeles aboard the SS Loch Loyal nine days later. After undergoing chassis modifications and drivetrain fitting at Shelby American, the beautiful Cobra roadster was invoiced to Broad Motors of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on January 8, 1964, as noted by Rick Kopec’s definitive World Registry of Cobras & GT40s. The invoice also lists the car’s Class A accessories, which include aluminum rocker covers, chromed wheels mounted with WSW tires, and a luggage rack. It is believed that the Cobra’s first owner only retained possession for a matter of months before the car was sold in 1965 to Philadelphia-based clothier Stanley Spritzler.

In 1968, the lightly used Cobra was purchased by collector Lee Weinstein, of Chatham, New Jersey. Mr. Weinstein went on to own various Lotus, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche automobiles, but none of them could compare to this Shelby 289. As evidenced by CSX2208’s ample documentation, Mr. Weinstein obviously had longed for a Cobra for many years, as the file contains a copy of the August 1964 issue of Car Life magazine, featuring a cover story and road test/comparison between the Shelby Cobra and Chevrolet Corvette.

Mr. Weinstein reportedly purchased this Cobra as a high school graduation gift to himself, and the sports car became his daily driver while attending college. During the early 1970s, he made some minor improvements to the car, such as installing a 427-specification oil cooler, as reflected by various correspondence to automotive vendors, including a letter from AC Cars.

In 1981, Mr. Weinstein commissioned esteemed marque expert Geoff Howard of Danbury, Connecticut, to conduct a complete mechanical restoration, which is documented with handwritten notes listing parts acquired and actions completed. Five years later, CSX2208 received a cosmetic restoration, including new red paint and 6.5" FIA Halibrand wheels. Following its restoration, the Cobra was displayed at local shows and enjoyed on regular weekend outings. In fact, over the past 47 years, this lovely 289 Cobra has always been registered, properly stored, and expertly maintained in good running order – a testament to Mr. Weinstein’s enthusiasm for his prized Shelby.

Now, following Mr. Weinstein’s passing in early 2014, this 289 Cobra is available for the first time in 47 years. It presents itself very well, having benefitted from consistent care by a dedicated enthusiast for nearly five decades. The car comes with numerous spare parts, including a factory hardtop, a set of wire wheels, a soft top with side curtains, and a tonneau cover; and it is also accompanied by service and registration records, various Shelby parts catalogues, an original AC Cobra instruction book, and a copy of the hit 45 rpm record Hey Little Cobra by The Rip Chords.

It is extremely uncommon to encounter such an outstanding Cobra that has been so lovingly maintained and minimally used by one owner for such a long period. This sensational 289 offers all of the finer points of Carroll Shelby’s Cobra legend, with its groundbreaking marriage of the Ford 289 cid Hi-Po motor to the timelessly styled AC Ace Roadster. CSX2208 elevates these classic foundations to even greater heights with its excellent provenance, comprehensive documentation, and ideal specifications. Finer examples of the original leaf-spring Cobra are only seldom offered, making this car’s availability a unique opportunity for Shelby connoisseurs and astute collectors of all tastes.