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1965 AC 289 Cobra

Restored to FIA specification with Four Webers, Outside Fuel Filler, and Factory Original Hard Top, Raced at Goodwood Revival 2015. Excellent Value.

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Price $650,000
VIN COB6024
Exterior Color Princess Blue
Interior Color Red Leather
Engine 289 c.i. V8
Transmission 4-speed
Status Inventory
Stock FJ2184

Comments

1965 AC 289 Cobra
s/n COB6024
Princess Blue with Red Interior

Secured in motorsports history as a legendary car, the Shelby Cobra remains as one of the most iconic sports cars of all time. Since its release, the mystique around the Cobra, has continuously captivated enthusiasts, and spawned several modern iterations and replicas. But through it all, the original still reigns supreme.

In 1961 when Carroll Shelby and AC motors launched the Cobra, it was both an immediate success, and a media darling, featured in songs, movies, and races all over the US. Car magazines loved the Cobra, offering a bounty of editorial coverage complete with Shelby himself serving up his unique blend of Southern charm and Hollywood bravado. The unapologetic, brash Cobra delivered 0-60 times in an astonishing 4.9 seconds, besting both Jaguar and Aston Martin by 2 seconds. Even the production V8 Corvette was a full 3 seconds slower. Following its first competition outings, the Cobra proved to be a durable, quick, and extremely capable car evolving from the 260cid to the 289cid and eventually 427cid variants, all of which went on to achieve tremendous racing successes.

According to the authoritative World Registry of Cobras & GT40s, 4th edition, AC Cobra COB6024, was originally constructed by AC Cars and completed for delivery in Princess Blue with Red Interior. The car was then consigned to Chequered Flag of Middlesex, England, on October 17, 1964. Unlike North American bound CSX left hand drive cars, this Cobra wears the correct COB designation for specifically built British delivery cars in right hand drive configuration. The World Registry information for COB6024 continues with additional attributed details assigned through the 4th edition. However, new information recently presented from the British AC Owner’s Club suggests that a clerical error (perhaps due to transposed numbers) may have resulted in the racing history of COB6042 becoming assigned to COB6024. While some racing history is likely attributable to COB6024, as evidenced by the numerous modifications, at present, specific details of racing history previously attributed to COB6024 remain under review. What is certain, and wholly without dispute, is that this specific car is in fact COB6024, as correct English ownership papers for this car were surrendered in Washington State and a legal title assigned to the car in 1979 by Duncan Stewart of Enumclaw, Washington.

Stewart, having discovered COB6024 in England in 1970s, was excited about the project, yet it was clear the car would need a full restoration. Based on Stewart’s observations, the car had sustained damage to the front end in the late 60s or early 70s, likely from racing. The car would require construction to the forward portion of the chassis and other front components. Importantly however, COB6024 retained the original rear body and trunk lid attached to the rear frame. Stewart immediately recognized the hammered rear upright frame sections, which had been flattened to allow for wider racing tires. Conveniently, having been recently been appointed as a North American AC Cars body panel supplier, Stewart began acquiring components suitable for an accurate restoration, including a pair of aluminum doors, acquired directly from AC Cars. Stewart planned to fully restore the car, but as happens with so many projects, time passed and Stewart subsequently sold the car.

In 2014 a team of marque experts embark on a year long restoration utilizing accurate construction, careful measurements from existing Cobras and expert historic documentation. Contemporary front portion framework was precisely fabricated using correct diameter tubing, proper construction techniques, and attention to accurate period details. For the bodywork, only the front fenders and nose required fabrication, performed using detailed dimensions from other Cobras.

Original bodywork retained during the restoration included the original hood, portions of the cowl, and the entire rear section, including the original trunk lid. The doors were replaced using NOS Cobra parts obtained from AC Cars, England. During the restoration, the rear of the body was removed to inspect and prepare the frame. At this time, the original rear frame sections revealed hand-hammered segments, which had been modified in period to accommodate wider rear tires. The owner and restorer decided to leave these original construction sections in place (photo documentation included). Further in the restoration process, the decision was made to complete the car with racing features reflective of the period.

During the restoration, the original hardtop had been mercifully preserved including the original headliner. It was professionally cleaned and reinstalled on the car and is retained today. The red leather interior and carpeting were replaced using original stitching and correct pleating and the original Smiths gauges were removed and restored as new. A race legal and properly prepared 289 engine with Weber carburetors was comprehensively rebuilt and dyno tested to 300 hp. A proper T-10 transmission and 22-gallon fuel cell were installed. Every effort was made to install correct NOS parts throughout the restoration including period correct Lucas headlights, a proper charging system with generator and voltage regulator, and correct finishes and hardware throughout the engine compartment and interior features. When completed, COB6024 returned to England and attended the 2015 Goodwood Revival placing 9th with a recorded lap time of 1.27.723, just two seconds behind the winner. Celebrated racing champion Arie Luyendyk shared the driving duties, which is captured in HD video footage using an in-car camera.

Today COB6024 presents in beautifully restored condition. The metallic Princess Blue paint is remarkably nice with excellent gloss and attention to detail enhancing the aluminum body. The additional touches throughout the car, including the nicely formed hood louvers and fender flares, add a distinctive and aggressive touch to the exterior of the car, while still delivering an elegant period racing look. The exterior trim, including the windscreen trim and glass are all in excellent condition. The lights, lenses, and emblems are also in excellent condition as well showing virtually no evidence of use. The wheels are well preserved, displaying a raw casting finish, giving a purposeful look to the car. The stance is simply perfect, filling the flared fenders with ample rubber, delivering a competition look but still retaining elegant lines. The original hardtop sits in place, anchored to the body and windshield, concealing the full-length period roll bar, which proudly displays a nicely placed sticker from the 2015 Goodwood Revival.

The interior has been faithfully restored with correct materials and stitching in red leather, with red carpeting and door panels. The dashboard and instruments are properly arrayed with correctly restored original dial faces displaying beautiful details and chrome trim. Updates to the interior include a contemporary five-point seat belt and fire suppression system. The steering wheel has a handsome warm wood tone with just the right amount of natural satin, not overdone. Carefully restored Cobras often have a tendency to feel overdone, in the case of this car it offers a nice blend of competition verve and composure, captured in a well-thought out restoration.

Under the hood, the car reveals a gloriously restored 289 with a fantastic array of Weber carburetors and correctly finished details. The engine compartment and engine properly display correct finishes, again with attention to detail and purity befitting the racing history. The same is true of the trunk area, which is clean and properly finished in raw aluminum with side mounted fuel pumps and correct fuel lines. The underside of the car is also correctly finished and detailed with a few allowances for modern improvement and safety.

The car fires up easily, instantly generating a thumping growl and performance lope. The side exit exhaust cuts through conversation, demanding your attention. Once behind the wheel, a quick flick into first gear sets you on your way. Surprisingly nimble and manageable, the car opens up smoothly and rapidly as you begin to feel more at ease at the wheel. Handling and ride are quite composed and surprisingly well dialed in. Though it is set up for racing, the driving manners, cornering and braking are still suitable for street use. The car is accompanied by restoration photos documenting the year long process, period photos of the car when originally raced, dyno sheets, receipts for restoration and parts, and a copy of the Goodwood track video.

This 289 Shelby Cobra represents one of the rare and original COB delivery cars offered when new. With unique looks and impeccable restoration to high standards, COB6024 is ready for enjoyable showing, historic events, tours, or simply to use as one of the most innovative performance cars of a decade long gone, but kept very much alive through dedicated craftsmen, restoration artisans, and the enthusiasts who endeavored to thoughtfully preserve this historic car.

Ownership is transferred on a Washington State title with the year model showing 1965.

 


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Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA

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