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After commanding USD $5.94 million at auction this week, has Carroll Shelby’s 1965 Shelby 427 Cobra Roadster set a new record for the most expensive car sale?

According to Money Mag, investing in cars is an asset class that has quietly risen 467% in just ten short years. As many have seen, vehicles can double in value in as little as twelve months providing that you choose the right model. While the appeal of classic cars vary depending on who you talk to, it’s no secret that classic car enthusiasts all speak the same language, and all share the same passion for the vehicles of a bygone era.

Carroll Hall Shelby was an American automotive designer, racing driver, and entrepreneur. Shelby is best known for his involvement with the AC Cobra and Mustang for Ford Motor Company, which he modified during the late 1960s and early 2000s. Thus, industry insiders weren’t all that surprised to see that Shelby’s very own 1965 Shelby 427 Cobra Roadster sold at auction early this year for a whopping USD$ 5.94 million. Along with acquiring a new set of wheels, the lucky buyer at Mecum’s auction held in Kissimmee, Florida, also took home a piece of history.

Bearing serial number CSX3178, the car was owned by Shelby himself from the moment it rolled off the production line. Despite being registered as a 1965 model, it actually wasn’t built until the following year. According to Mecum, a work order was opened on January 7, 1966, and closed on March 3, signifying the car’s completion. 

Following the car receiving it’s finishing touches, it was then shipped from Shelby American’s LAX workshop in California to his Dallas home. Featuring the big block style 427-cubic-inch V8, dual 4-barrel carburetors, a Toploader 4-speed manual transmission, and Sunburst knockoff wheels, the 1965 Shelby 427 Cobra Roadster was painted Charcoal Gray – one of just five originally painted in that hue.

Mike McCluskey, a Cobra specialist and friend of Shelby, restored the 1965 Shelby 427 Cobra Roadster in 1972. Along with getting it back up to scratch mechanically, it also included changing the car’s colour to Guardsman Blue with a gold nose. Shelby then went on to install an aluminium-head side-oiler 427 and an automatic transmission. In 2002, the Shelby American shop in Las Vegas gave it yet another facelift, and repainted the car red.

Shelby retained ownership of CSX3718 until his death in 2012. The car was purchased from Shelby’s estate by the consigner in 2016, and was restored to its factory configuration in 2019 by Legendary Motorcar Company. Now in the hands of expert restorer Peter Klutt, he went on to spend an estimated 3,000 hours on it before it finally went up for public auction in 2021. 

Did The 427 Cobra Set A New Sales Record?

While USD $5.94 million dollars might sound like an obscene amount of money for a car, it’s actually not the highest price on record for the same model. 

CSX2000 – the first Cobra – sold for USD $13.75 million not too long ago in 2016. There was also CSX2601, which was the Daytona Cobra Coupe that became the first American car to win an international title, which also sold for USD $7.25 million in 2009. While the price obtained for Shelby’s 1965 Shelby 427 Cobra Roadster is still enough to make the average Joe’s eyes water, given the car’s history and reputation, it’s actually quite reasonable according to industry experts. 

Whether the intentions of the new owner of Shelby’s 1965 Shelby 427 Cobra Roadster was to showcase his or her wealth, own a piece of history, or to simply add to a potential vintage car collection, we’ll never know. Either way, we’re all but certain that the vehicle is sure to hold its value and more in the years to come. 

Sourcing Brisbane Classic Cars

Finding a fellow vintage auto enthusiast can feel a bit like finding a needle in a haystack, but rest assured that Classic’s Garage understands the thrill more than most. Having spent forty years collecting anything and everything from matchbox cars to hub caps, he’s successfully followed his passion to source, collect and stock beautiful and low mileage classic automobiles from around the world. With extensive experience in the automotive industry, it was only a matter of time before Wayne expanded on his love of vintage, iconic vehicles to share his knowledge and passion with the public.

Although his passion is for automobiles built before 1978, with a particular love for Buicks, Cadillacs, Lincolns, Oldsmobiles and even Fords, Wayne is just as passionate about the stories of the owners. Just like the cars, he has found that his fellow classic car enthusiasts all have wildly different attractions and logic behind their passion or hobby, and this often translates into how the car is presented. If it’s even remotely different, rare or just plain unusual, Wayne will overcome the relevant logistical and geographical challenges of bringing the cars to his showroom in Australia. 

Classic’s Garage is a showroom conveniently located at Seventeen Mile Rocks, that specialises in the restoration and sales of vintage automobiles. If you’re on the hunt for Brisbane classic cars – quite simply, Wayne is your man. If you would like to arrange a viewing or inspect any other of our classic vehicles, please get in touch with us today.