It seems that the coveted barn find has been making a resurgence of late, with the huge French haul late last year, and now this. It’s a 1964 Shelby Cobra 289 — one of only 579 produced — and was found, in the condition in which you see it, in a Vermont barn.
Verified as CSX 2436 in the Shelby American World Registry, the Cobra was originally finished in rouge iris with beige upholstery, and was billed to Shelby American on May 14, 1964.
Almost perfectly preserved, considering it has been in storage for four decades, the original rouge iris finish is still visible where the black paint covering it has flaked off. The 289ci small block has been serviced and returned to running condition and sits in an unrestored engine bay. The interior is similarly unrestored, and the upshot of the car’s unrestored condition is that it retains almost all of the original factory touches, usually replaced during restoration.
Looking to build a car of his own, the AC Ace looked perfect for Carroll Shelby, especially with AC nearing the end of their engine supply from Bristol. Thinking that the attractive and nimble AC Ace could be made into a seriously competitive race car with the addition of a V8, he wrote to Charles Hurlock of AC Cars with this idea. Hurlock was all ears, on the proviso that a suitable V8 engine was available. Shelby found this suitable engine in Ford’s then-new small block V8, and the rest is history. Shelby American produced only 654 small block-powered Cobras, of which 579 came with the 289ci and only 75 with the 260ci.
With its genuine rarity verified, the Cobra is to be offered for auction in Scottsdale for upwards of $1.4m — better get your bank manager on the phone sooner rather than later!