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Documented Independent Competition Cobra | Exceptional RestorationPaul Wood, Birmingham, Alabama (acquired new via Foreign Car Center in 1964)Pat Colletti, Tucson, Arizona (acquired circa 1973)Current Owner (acquired from the above through Marc Hefte in 1976)
SCCA Regional, Louisiana, 1965, Wood, No. 4 (2nd Overall, 1st in A Production)SCCA National, Alabama, 1966, Wood, No. 72 (6th Overall, 2nd in A Production)SCCA Regional, Commissioner’s Cup, Alabama, 1966, Wood, No. 66 (2nd Overall, 1st in A Production)SCCA National, Confederate Grand Prix, Alabama, 1966, Wood, No. 72 (Result Unknown)SCCA National, Alabama, 1966, Wood, No. 72 (Result Unknown)SCCA Regional, Georgia, 1967, Wood (4th in B Production)SCCA Regional, 9th Annual Heart of Dixie, Alabama, 1967, No. 181 (DNS)SCCA Regional, Commissioner’s Cup, Alabama, 1967, Wood/Walker, No. 81 (Result Unknown)
Of all the great 1960s sports cars, few are as influential as the Shelby Cobra. Le Mans-winning driver Carroll Shelby reasoned that Ford’s new lightweight V-8 would make a promising powerplant for a sporting chassis, so he fitted the new engine to an AC Ace. The result, the Cobra, combined California hot rod know-how with European chassis dynamics. In competition trim, Cobras achieved an impressive record, and were a major force in Ford’s dominance of international sports car racing in period.
The sensational 289 Cobra offered here, chassis CSX2448, has been painstakingly restored by a Shelby expert and is one of about 30 examples documented by the Shelby American Automobile Club as an independently prepared race car, denoting that it was raced by a privateer early in its history.
This Cobra was originally purchased in December 1964 by Paul Wood of Birmingham, Alabama. According to the consignor’s research, Wood’s friend Bob Wallace, a top local mechanic, immediately began preparing it for SCCA production-class racing. Wood and Wallace then raced the car in the Southeastern US, as documented by copies of period photos. The consignor’s research revealed that this car’s results included 2nd Overall, 1st in Class at the 1965 SCCA Regional in Baton Rouge; 6th Overall, 2nd in Class at the 1966 SCCA National in Courtland, Alabama; and 2nd Overall, 1st in Class at the 1966 SCCA Regional Commissioner’s Cup in Montgomery.
Pat Colletti of Arizona acquired the car around 1973, and he held it until the consignor purchased it in 1976. Although he originally planned to rebuild the car for vintage racing, the consignor instead kept it in storage in California for the next 30 years. In 2006, he decided it was time to bring CSX2448 back to its former glory, and he entrusted the task to Hall Fabrication & Racing, a highly regarded and very experienced Shelby restorer.
The goal for the restoration was to achieve the absolute highest-quality result, sparing no expense and utilizing period-correct techniques wherever possible. Receipts totaling over $470,000 and numerous photographs document the restoration, and careful attention was paid to preserving CSX2448’s originality. The consignor states that the car retains its original frame and the vast majority of its original body and that its original footboxes remain, with the unrestored chassis tag never having been removed. The Cobra’s hood and trunk lid were restored without removing them from their tube frames, so that the original rivets remained undisturbed. Careful metalwork was performed where needed, and black lacquer paint was chosen to show off the quality of the bodywork.
This Cobra is fitted with numerous rare and desirable parts, such as NOS Shelby American big brakes, twin aluminum fuel tanks, a differential cooler, 6 1/2" and 8 1/2" pin-drive magnesium Halibrand wheels, restored KONI adjustable shocks, anti-roll bars, and Shelby competition steering arms. The engine is a race-specification 289 running on Weber carburetors built by T.O.E. Performance in Suisun City, California. It is a 1964 289 five-bolt bell-housing engine, numbered C4OE-6015, proper for a 1965 Cobra. A rare five-bolt Cobra scatter shield is also fitted, while the consignor reports that the current Shelby road-race headers are the ones that CSX2448 raced with in 1965. A narrow-case Toploader gearbox is fitted for its increased durability, but an original-style BorgWarner unit is also included with the car, as are its production-class hubs and brakes. The consignor’s goal was to produce a restored car that would be competitive both at concours events and in vintage racing, while also affording the experience of driving a competition 289 Cobra on the street. The car is fitted with removable custom baffles for its side pipes, making it a bit quieter for street use, and has only seen minimal use since restoration was completed in 2017.
The offering of CSX2448 represents a rare opportunity to purchase a documented independent-competition Cobra. This car’s known history, including current ownership for over 40 years, and its extraordinary restoration make this example one of the most appealing Cobras that Gooding & Company has encountered. We invite interested parties to view the Cobra’s extensive file and to inspect this impressive example closely.