Make no mistake, this auction is going to be one for the history books folks. Where do you even begin to explain the caliber of a car such as this? By jumping right into it, of course. Get ready for a laundry list of accolades, folks. This is one of the rarest Shelby Cobras we’ve ever seen.
First, this 1965 Shelby Cobra (dubbed CSX2588 by its serial number) was the second to last 289 Hi-Po-powered roadster built and sold to the public. Naturally, none other than Carroll Shelby kept the last one (CSX2589) for himself.
Woah. If that last statement wasn’t enough to prove this Cobra’s prestige, then you’ll be happy to know that it was also the last four-speed, 289-powered Cobra ever produced, as Shelby’s personal version was fitted with an automatic transmission from the factory per his preference.
Finished in Rouge Iris Maroon, CSX2588 retains its original aluminum-and-fiberglass body, chassis, engine and transmission from the factory. A professional repaint was performed in 2006 to retain its ultra-rare factory color combo. Speaking of which, that shade of maroon is so rare in fact, that less than 56 leaf-spring Cobras were finished in that Chardonnay-inspired hue.
What’s more is that the classic Cobra is not restored. While it has been evaluated and has been given the seal of approval as mechanically sound. What does that entail, you may ask? Well, it means that many of the components that came on the car from the factory are honest, true Cobra parts.
See that 28-cube Hi-Po V8 under the hood? This Shelby is rocking its original Holley 715-cfm LeMans-design carburetor which sits a top an aluminum intake.
Class A Package
What separates this highly desirable Cobra from its brethren of 1965 is the incorporation of the “Class A” package. This accessory group included chromed knock-off wire wheels, a dash-mounted mirror and wind wings, front and rear bumperettes, and a quick-fill gas cap. Moreover, the Cobra boasts additional weather equipment on the original side curtains and top frame and includes a new tonneau cover.
Here’s where things get interesting. CSX2588 arrived new at Vel’s Ford Sales in Torrance, California, by Don McCain personally from the Shelby marketing office. The first owner was A.L. Gassaway of Long Beach, California. We can assume that A.L. kept the car until 1975, as the it was sold that year to a gentlemen named Barry Hauge of Burbank, California.
Barry then sold CSX2588 to Peter Sidlow of North Hollywood, California, in 1981, and the Cobra remained in The Golden State for another 11 years. Fast forward to 1993 and it was sold at auction in Las Vegas, Nevada, during a 17-car FDIC liquidation. Fast forward yet again to 2006, and CSX2588 was acquired by Collin Comer.
A well-noted Shelby expert and historian, Collin quickly learned that CSX2588 was the real deal. Armed with that knowledge, he replaced the original carpet with a fresh substitute and promptly locked the car away in storage. He later decided to let the Cobra go in 2010, and a collector from New York acquired CSX2588. The current owner has maintained the car since the transaction, and has even participated in Tom Cotter’s Cobra 1000 Rally shortly after the acquisition. Finally, CSX2588 is recognized by the SAAC’s Cobra World Registry, and is now serialized and documented to the full extent as a result.
When Collin learned of the car heading to auction, he noted “This is a great car, and one that I’ve always regretted selling.”
Rest assured, a Cobra of this excellence is going to sit you back seven figures, but greatness isn’t about money, it’s about the stories of success you can share. Take a look at the original Mecum listing here for more details.