First Ever Shelby Cobra to Hit the Auction Block

The annual RM Sotheby’s auction at Monterey Car Week this year already has its star feature lined up – a tiny blue roadster built by Texas chicken farmer-turned-racecar driver and iconic automotive designer Carroll Shelby. Per his posthumous wishes, Shelby’s first automotive creation, the original Shelby Cobra CSX2000, will go up for auction, alongside a number of other historically significant Shelby Cobras during the Monterey auctions slated for August 19 and 20.

Shelby created this historic ride in 1962, essentially shoehorning a 260-cubic-inch Ford VA between the wheel wells of a British-made AC Ace. Instantly, a legend was born. The car remained with Shelby throughout his life and, over time, he used for development and testing, occasionally loaned it to media, and often used it as a promotional tool, painting it different colors to convince the public that production was well underway.

Today, the CSX2000 is completely unrestored with the paint job showing obvious signs of damage with significant chips and nicks throughout and a mess of a worn-and-torn leather interior. For many, those flaws are perhaps a draw, as they bear witness to the car’s legendary creator. And its planned sale by the Carroll Hall Shelby Trust fulfills the designer’s wishes.

"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. "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."

If you submitted the winning bid for the original Shelby Cobra, would you restore or leave it as is with Shelby’s stylistic and historic fingerprints intact? Post your thoughts on the E3 Spark Plugs Facebook Fan Page.