London

6 September 2017

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Lot 148

1964 Shelby 289 Cobra

  • Chassis no. CSX 2311

£775,000 - £900,000

Documents: Dutch Kentekenbewijs


  • Known ownership from new, with one owner for three decades
  • Finished in its desirable, original colour combination of green and black
  • Believed to be 30,194 miles from new


Combining the best aspects of both British and American automobiles, Carroll Shelby managed to create a legend with the 289 Cobra, cementing his name in the history books for generations to come. Taking an AC chassis and body, and shoehorning in a small-block Ford V-8, Shelby instantly had a hit on his hands. While the first 75 Cobras were fitted with 260-cc V-8 engines, the cars that would follow received a larger 289-cc engine. The Cobra was quoted at 271 bhp and weighed in at only 2,000 lbs., which was nearly 500 lbs. lighter than the Corvette. The old mantra of ‘Race on Sunday, sell on Monday’ proved to be especially true with the Cobra, and while Shelby’s sports cars were finishing at the front of the pack in racing events not only in North America but also in Europe, Cobras proved to be an enormous hit with customers looking for a truly exciting performance car for the street. Less than 600 289 Cobras were built.

Finished new in green over a black interior, chassis number CSX 2311, a desirable rack-and-pinion 289 Cobra with dual four-barrel carburettors, was invoiced to Warren Wooten Ford of Cocoa Beach, Florida, in March of 1964. Rather than being shipped directly to Warren Wooten Ford, according to the 4th edition of the World Registry of Cobras & GT40s, the car was instead picked up at Shelby American in person by its first owner, John Norris of Eau Gaille, Florida. Norris did not own the car for long and listed it for sale in the October 1964 issue of Road & Track, where it was described as having 12,000 miles on its odometer and having never been raced. Later that year it was purchased by Robert L. Eaton, another Floridian.

Eaton went on to keep the car for the next 15 years until a friend of his, Bill Turner, persuaded Eaton to sell the car in 1979, after years of asking. At that time, the car had 27,000 miles on the odometer. Turner decided to have the car cosmetically restored in 1987 by Gary Hunt and, shortly thereafter, it appeared in the October 1988 issue of Super Ford magazine. Chassis number CSX 2311 also appeared at SAAC-15 in 1990, held in Dearborn, Michigan, where it was awarded a trophy in the concours Cobra class.

Although Turner would continue to own the car for the following three decades, it only accumulated 1,000 miles during his ownership. In 2009 it was finally sold and purchased by Jerry Chandler of Rancho Santa Fe, California. After his passing in 2012, the car was sold by his widow to its current owner in August of that year. Remaining in Europe ever since, the car today resides in the Netherlands. It is still in its original colours and presents very well throughout.

Seldom offered for sale in Europe, 289 Cobras have always had a strong following in Europe for their combination of British styling and American muscle. This represents an excellent opportunity to purchase a very well-kept, low-mileage 289 Cobra with known ownership from new.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more