Grizzly bear mauls beautiful Shelby Cobra 289!

The 289 Shelby Cobra has a lot of fans around the world, including a hungry Alaskan bear who fancied a piece of it - literally

If you drive something a bit special your imagination likely goes to wild when you park it in an unfamiliar spot.

The endless list of 'what if XYZ happens' and inevitable worry plays on your mind, but we bet your concerns are unlikely to contain a bear. Sadly, an Alaskan grizzly bear took a liking to a 289 Shelby Cobra with devastating consequences.

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Tom Cotter, host of Hagerty’s Barn Find Hunter show, was enjoying an incredible Alaskan road trip with three other Cobra owners in his own ’65 sports car. The trip was going great with the quartet of Cobras heading for a small fishing town called Whittier.

With the only passage available via a railroad tunnel, vinyl tops on the AC-based cars in convey needed to be raised in case small rocks fell from the roof. Tom hadn’t deployed the roof in some time, but he eventually wrestled it into place — which later transpires to be a good thing.

The gang and their Cobras motored on to a hotel in Girdwood where they stayed the night to get some rest. The following morning Tom was woken by his fellow road trippers exclaiming that he needed to get to his car.

What he found wasn't a pretty sight. The vinyl roof had been caved-in and some bodywork damaged. Who would do such a thing? Well, after the police investigated, that 'who' became a 'what'.

Examining stray fur and claw marks left behind, police concluded that one of Alaska’s resident grizzly bears had attempted to get in, likely after any food that had been left in the car. While terrible, we think that if the roof was down, and a bear had been able to freely climb inside, the damage could have been much worse.

Adding insult to injury, Tom’s Shelby also suffered hydraulic issues, so he’s currently patching up the Cobra before continuing his road trip - hopefully with fewer bears.

Photos courtesy of Hagerty / David Karpik

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