Estimate: $1,000,000 - $1,150,000
- Original 289-cid, 271-hp V-8 engine
- Date-coded aluminum case T10 four-speed manual transmission
- Beautifully restored as originally presented
- Completed by second owner, has had Cobra for 50 years
- Original seat leather, as is dash fascia & instruments
- Doors, trunk & hood latch all stamped 2442
- Original AC Cars tag & stamped chassis
- Original Impact competition belts
- Original Elliott windshield
- Factory hardtop
- Many additional original aspects
- Outstanding throughout
The Shelby AC Cobra represents one of the last of the old-style large front engine sports cars. The notion of producing a crossbreed sports car in the 1960s was, at its core, quite simple. While British manufacturers retained the edge in styling, road holding, and superb braking, American firms held a distinct horsepower advantage. This “best of both worlds” concept was, of course, nothing new. Postwar Allards, Cunninghams, and Nash-Healeys used the same basic premise. Carroll Shelby, however, considered chassis from Austin-Healey, Jensen, and Bristol before settling on AC, after hearing that the builders of the stylish and sturdy Ace had lost their engine supplier when Bristol ceased production.
Attractive, lightweight, and proven, the AC Ace could, by Shelby’s thinking, be turned into a successful production racer by replacing its aging six-cylinder engine with a powerful, deep-breathing V-8. In September 1961, Shelby wrote Charles Hurlock, of AC Cars, to propose a hybrid car using the AC sports car body and chassis. “I’m interested,” wrote Hurlock, “if a suitable V-8 could be found.” Shelby moved quickly when Editor Ray Brock, of Hot Rod magazine, told him of Ford’s new, lightweight small block V-8. Soon after, Shelby had an early 221-cubic inch example installed in a stock AC Ace. In fact, the V-8 weighed just slightly more than the six-cylinder Bristol.
Ford engineer Dave Evans then offered Shelby an even better solution. A high-performance 260-cid small-block V-8 was already in production for Ford’s Falcon, and two engines would be on the way to him soon. They were immediately sent by airfreight overseas, and on February 1, 1962, Carroll Shelby flew to England to test drive the new Shelby “Cobra.” The rest, as they say, is history.
According to the fourth edition of the World Registry of Cobras & GT 40s, the 1965 Shelby Cobra, CSX 2442, was originally billed to Shelby American on April 14, 1964, and it was shipped to Los Angeles on May 26 aboard the SS Diemerdyk. Cobra CSX 2442 was invoiced on August 19, 1964 to Rossetter Ford, Inc. in Peoria, Illinois. The Registry continues with “ 1 Cobra-Ford, chassis #CSX 2442, Red/black” at a price of $5,195.00 with Class A accessories, including a luggage rack, wire wheels (the Registry states “chrome,” but it is shared that this car has actually had painted wire wheels from day one), whitewall tires, a hardtop, side curtains and freight for a total of $6,070.05. The car was delivered to Illinois via Shelby transporter. The car’s record continues that 2442 was sold to Lyle D. Groenwold of Peoria, Illinois on October 30, 1965.
Fairly early on, CSX 2442 experienced a minor accident in the front end. The original owner didn’t get the damage repaired, and the Registry mentions the car being repossessed. The next caretaker of the Shelby would have the car for nearly 50 years; he conveys that he acquired CSX 2442 from the bank. At the time he got the Cobra in August 1966; it was still damaged, painted blue and had competition wheel flares.
The long term caretaker of this exceptional machine was an experienced paint and body man and did the repair work. At that time he painted the car a 1961 Chevrolet metallic copper shade. Along with the wheel flares, the Cobra had a rollbar and fuel cell and was driven in this configuration for approximately seven years when the owner moved west to Arizona and CSX2442 was put in storage with 21,000 miles on the odometer in 1973. Forty-three years on, the odometer now reads only 25,952 miles.
It is reported to have remained there until the 1990s when it was retrieved for a restoration by this same caring owner. The car appeared for sale in the fall of 1998 listed as being “from the ground up” restored back to its original colors, with original engine and the equipment in place. He decided against selling CSX 2442 at that time and the Shelby ended up with 50 years of ownership from this single owner, and it continues to be presented in the form as originally intended.
Presented in an outstanding manner throughout; CSX 2442 runs with its original 289-cid, 271-hp V-8 engine fitted with an original Ford cast-iron intake manifold with Autolite carburetor. The engine block number is the one on the original AC Cars chassis tag. The transmission is a four-speed manual with the aluminum T10 date-coded case (3-30-64); the brakes are four-wheel discs fitted with painted knock-off wire wheels with AC two-eared spinners. The AC Cars chassis tag with CSX 2442 is in the engine compartment, plus the trunk latch and driver’s side hood latch both are stamped with “2442,” as are the doors.
In every quarter looked, CSX 2442 has original components in abundance. Beginning with the original grease gun mounted in the engine bay, there is also the original Elliott windshield, original leather seats, original dashboard leather, original Stewart-Warner instruments (plus clock), original AC wood-rimmed steering wheel, original Impact competition seatbelts, windwings (both with Cobra markings) , shaded Cobra-labeled sunvisors, AC brake and clutch pedals, side curtains, soft-top with top irons, factory hardtop, tonneau cover, luggage rack, factory-style original exhaust tips, cockpit mirror, cockpit grab bar, eggcrate grille, front and rear bumpers with guards, AC Chassis Instruction book, jack and handle.
Exceptionally well-presented and restored by the man who has had it since nearly new; CSX 2442 has been devotedly cared for and is one of but a few Shelby AC Cobras that has experienced such long term ownership. Any Shelby AC Cobra is certainly worthy of inclusion in the collections of discerning aficionados of postwar American muscle; CSX 2442 has all the ingredients to be welcomed amongst the finest.