Iconic Shelby Cobra 289

At Bonhams Quail Lodge Sale

This 1964 Shelby Cobra 289 is a striking example of Carroll Shelby’s potent intercontinental sports car. At first glance one immediately notices the sporty red paint, correctly painted wire-wheel, and appropriate white sidewall tires – all of which are described in the original specifications and early pictures of CSX2328.

According to this Cobra’s extensive history file, Mr. Dodge Olmstead purchased CSX2328 on October 29th, 1964 from Cherner Motor Company in in Washington, DC. As the copy of the original invoice states, the Roadster was very well optioned, including white sidewall tires, a luggage rack, wind wings, seatbelts, a radio, and an external rearview mirror, totaling $5791.75. Mr. Olmstead kept his red Cobra for about 2 years before trading it in February of 1966 towards a 427 Cobra, CSX3173, through Archway Motors in Baltimore, Maryland. The next owner, Army Lieutenant Robert Whittacker, brought CSX2328 to Florida and painted the car a flamboyant metallic green before 1972, when it was acquired by Michigander Mr. Ray Angus, who chose a demurer silver for this Cobra. In the spring of 1974, noted Cobra expert and restorer Mr. Bill Kemper acquired this Shelby and returned it to its original red paintwork. Over the next decade, this car passed through several collections before finding a long-term home in 1986.

In 1986, Mr. Seymour Levin acquired this special Shelby Cobra and kept it in his collection in Pennsylvania for 24 years, before finally parting with it in 2010. That year, this car was given a sympathetic mechanical refresh before being sold to another enthusiast. The consignor purchased CSX2328 and made the decision to restore the very authentic Cobra to its original splendor. Importantly, the Cobra remained in original condition and there are no records or signs of damage or misuse. The original aluminum bodywork was returned to bare metal and repainted in the original red over a new black interior, complete with seatbelts, Stewart Warner gauges, and the original, unrestored steering wheel. The original drivetrain operates wonderfully, mated with rebuilt suspension and braking systems, lending to the drivability of this fine Cobra 289. Being a late production 289, this car is equipped with more desirable, robust rack and pinion steering, factory side vents, Ford electrics with Stewart Warner gauges, a combination considered the most desirable of all 289 Cobras. As one might imagine given the extent of the restoration, this car is beautifully presented throughout. The aluminum body is very straight and the vibrant red paintwork envelops the curvy lines beautifully with a great luster. The exterior is capped off by the car’s original accessories, resplendent with an external rear view mirror, wind wings, wire wheels, front bumper, and white sidewall tires.

CSX2328 is an excellent, numbers-matching example of the iconic Cobra, complete with an extensive history file, including; picture of the car brand new with its original owner, Shelby American order sheet specific to this car, original customer copy of the bill of sale, canceled check for payment in full, original factory brochure, factory invoices, and is noted in the Shelby American World Registry. Few cars have the iconic status of the original Cobra, and combined with the drivability and condition of this example, this 289 is a great opportunity to acquire a timeless classic. Learn more


  • 1964 SHELBY COBRA 289
  • US$ 1,050,000 – 1,250,000
  • €900,000 – 1,100,000
  • Chassis no. CSX2328
  • Engine no. PA4539



Report by bonhams.com

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