1963 Shelby 289 Cobra Roadster heads to auction

There’s no shortage of Shelby Cobra replicas to choose from, but nothing beats an original, like this 1963 Shelby 289 Cobra set to be auctioned off by Mecum at the firm’s sale coinciding with next week’s 2023 Monterey Car Week.

Bearing the serial number CSX 2100, this Cobra is thought to be the 100th production car built after the initial Cobra prototype, CSX 2000, was completed in 1962. According to the auction listing, it was billed to Shelby American on March 13, 1963, and invoiced to McCollum Ford in Dishman, Washington, on June 7 of that year.

Delivered to the dealership by Shelby American with black paint and a black interior, CSX 2100 is powered by a 289-cubic-inch Ford V-8 coupled to a 4-speed manual transmission. Later Cobra variants got bigger engines, but earlier cars like this 289 Cobra helped establish Carroll Shelby’s sports car as an automotive icon.

According to the World Registry of Cobras and GT40s, CSX 2100 was traded to a Seattle used car dealer in 1966, reportedly by the original owner. It was later purchased by Rupert Streets, also in Washington, who found an aftermarket bell housing and 4.56 gears, indicating the original owner had drag raced the Cobra, the auction listing states.

1963 Shelby 289 Cobra Roadster (photo via Mecum Auctions)

1963 Shelby 289 Cobra Roadster (photo via Mecum Auctions)

In 1967, Streets brought the Cobra with him to Canada, selling it to British Columbia resident Peter Kelley. The car was later parked in a barn with approximately 27,800 miles on the odometer. It was rediscovered in 1982, restored, and has changed hands a few times since then.

CSX 2100 isn’t all original—it received new paint and a new interior in its 1982 restoration—but any genuine Cobra is worth a lot of money. Mecum expects it to sell for between $1 million and $1.2 million—well in line with stratospheric Cobra values.

Mecum’s Monterey Car Week auction runs Aug. 17-19.

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