A restoration returned it to the original specification.
The Shelby 427 Cobra is an American automotive icon, and Mecum is putting a unique example up for sale at its auction in Kissimmee, Florida, from January 7 through 16. The roadster with serial number CSX3178 belonged to company founder Carroll Shelby from new in March 1966. Shelby still owned the car when he died in 2012, and his estate sold it in 2016.
Over the course of Shelby's ownership, he had this Cobra repainted Guardsman Blue with a gold nose and installed an automatic transmission. In 2002, the car got a red paint job. Following the sale by his estate, there was a restoration back to the original specs in Charcoal Gray and returning to a four-speed manual.
Gallery: 1965 Shelby 427 Cobra Roadster CSX3178 Carroll Shelby's Personal Car
Launched in 1965, the 427 Cobra was Shelby's effort to create an even meaner model than its existing 289 model to be more competitive in racing, but there was also a model for the road. To handle the much bigger engine and its extra power, the roadster received tweaks like thicker chassis tubes for the frame, a wider track with broader fenders, and suspension adjustments. In street trim with two, four-barrel carburetors, the massive powerplant was good for about 425 horsepower (317 kilowattts).
Given the provenance as a 427 Cobra belonging to Shelby for much of his life, we're curious to see what this car brings at Mecum's auction. The closest point of comparison is likely the sale of the very first Cobra in 2016. Shelby also owned that car throughout his life, and it garnered $13.75 million upon crossing the block. At the time, this was a record for an American car until 2018 when a 1935 Duesenberg SSJ went for $22 million.