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Showroom Location: 1145 Park Avenue • Emeryville, California 94608 USA

1964 AC / Shelby American 289 Cobra

See New Pricing! Rack and Pinion 289 Cobra with Few Owners

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Exterior Color Dark Blue Metallic
Interior Color Black Leather
Mileage 28647 Miles
Engine 289 cid V8
Transmission 4-speed manual
Status Sold
Stock FJ700


1964 Shelby American 289 AC Cobra
s/n CSX 2317
Dark Blue Metallic with Black Leather Interior

When AC lost their supply of Bristol and later Ford six-cylinder engines it appeared that they would have to stop building the Ace, whose lightweight attractive aluminum body and sophisticated chassis and suspension made it in many ways the quintessential British sports car. At the same time, Carroll Shelby had recently retired from motor racing and was running a driving school and selling Goodyear tires, but wanted something more exciting. Having always wanted to build his own sports car, he approached the various Detroit manufacturers and was eventually offered a small but light eight cylinder engine by Ford from their pickup truck line. Aware of AC`s predicament, he approached the management with his inimitable flair, and the Cobra was born. The bodies were built by the AC factory in the United Kingdom before being shipped to the Shelby American`s Southern California factory. Initial impressions of the car, which was still in bare aluminum, were extremely favorable. Following its first competition outings, the bugs were gradually ironed out, and the car proved to be a durable, quick, and extremely capable car. The rest, as they say, is history, and the Cobras, in 260cid, 289cid and 427cid versions went on to achieve tremendous racing success, in addition to becoming culturally ingrained as one of the greatest and coolest cars ever made.

Like all Cobras, the body of this example was constructed at AC's factory in the United Kingdom before being shipped to Shelby American for completion. When it left the United Kingdom, it was green, but was repainted before delivery to its current dark metallic blue, which has some purple overtones in certain light. The car also received rolled fenders and magnesium Halibrand large pin drive wheels suggesting that it was a comp car. The car is also equipped with its original five bolt bell housing. The car was originally equipped with a roll bar and now has a modern three point bar installed for improved safety. At that point, a safety loop was also fitted for the driveshaft. The current owner has had the cylinder heads freshened, and believes it is a stage IV motor as originally specified for B production. The magnesium wheels were found to be failing and were replaced with reproduction aluminum Halibrand units. The car was also fitted with a top-loader transmission and the original crated rebuilt T10 unit is also included, along with the original shift linkage. The car also has its original bumpers.

This matching numbers car was sold new in Southern California and is believed to have remained in California since new. The current owner has had the car for about twelve years, having bought it from a woman who acquired it through a divorce. Her ex-husband acquired the car in 1972 and during all of that time, the car was never repainted. It was featured in the Tom Cotter book "Hemi in a Barn". Thus, the paint is quite possibly original, and regardless, it is in excellent condition for being over thirty-five years old. There are a few surface imperfections and cracks but the overall condition of the paint is great. The panels are very straight and free of corrosion. The car is fitted with Hella halogen headlamps, which are excellent, and the remaining glass and lamps are in very good condition. The windscreen has light wear associated with use and is delaminating very slightly in the corners.

The interior is excellent, with superb leather upholstery. The carpets are in fine shape, with a small hole in the driver`s heel area. They are wool and are otherwise excellent. The wood-rimmed steering wheel is in very good condition, and the Stewart Warner instruments (aside from the tachometer which is an Auto Meter item, though the original non operative Stewart Warner item is included) are in very good original condition. The trim and switches are in very fine shape as well.

The engine compartment is very tidy. The engine itself is very clean and has obviously seen some refurbishment. The firewall, inner fenders, and suspension are unrestored however, and well-preserved. The springs retain their original fabric wrappings, which is very unusual to see these days. The grease gun is also present, as are the chalk marks from manufacture.

The trunk is very spare, with no carpets. The spare is included as well, along with the original Stewart Warner tachometer, top, bows, and side curtains. The car drives wonderfully, with a strong motor, and a very tight feel overall.

This is an excellent opportunity to acquire a very usable example of one of the most iconic cars of all time. The 289cid examples have enjoyed considerable appreciation in recent years, and thanks to their more refined proportions and easier more pleasant driving experience, many enthusiasts prefer them to the overkill of the 427cid cars. This particular example has known California history from new and is a lovely usable blend of originality and properly done restoration work. It is very complete as well, in addition to being a unique color ensuring that even among connoisseurs, this car will garner attention. 

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

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