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Russo and Steele
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1962 Shelby Cobra CSX2012 Independent Comp Roadster

For Enthusiasts By Enthusiasts!

Click on image to ENLARGE

Country State / Province City / Town Zip / Postal Code
United States AZ Phoenix 85040

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Color Exterior:   
Color Interior:  
Odometer: 0 Miles
Transmission: MANUAL
Convertible: N/A
Advert No: 119364


Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale August 15th-17th at Russo and Steele''s 13th Annual Monterey, California Auction. Please contact us for more informationOffered for sale for the first time since acquired by the current owner in 1984, the legendary early-production Cobra offered here, numbered CSX2012, is extremely significant in the Shelby pantheon as the first Cobra ever sold to a customer. Accompanied by fully documented history with just four owners from new and three of them for the long term, CSX2012 was part of Shelby’s initial 100-car contract with England’s AC. It was invoiced to Shelby American on September 26, 1962, shipped by sea to Shelby American at Los Angeles, and originally finished in Red with a Black interior and equipped with a Harrison aluminum radiator, front and rear anti-sway bars, seat belts, and a set of Goodyear racing tires. On November 12, 1962, Robert and Sylvia Neville, who were friends of Carroll Shelby, purchased the Cobra. The Nevilles returned the car to Shelby American in January 1963 to have the Cobra’s originally-installed 260 V-8 replaced by Ford’s larger, more powerful, and newly-available High-Performance 289. In addition, a set of back-up lights was installed, custom-made using a set of clear Lucas parking-light lenses. Soon after, Neville drove CSX2012 on a long-range public relations trip from Los Angeles to Sebring, Florida to “demonstrate its practicality.” A photograph of the Cobra from this moment in time was recently published in 2009’s “The Complete Book of Shelby Automobiles: Cobras, Mustangs, and Super Snakes” by Colin Comer, with CSX2012 shown equipped with the aforementioned Goodyear Blue Streak tires, plus sun visors, wind wings, and exhaust pipes exiting in front of the rear tires. During the early 1970s, the Nevilles advertised CSX2012 for sale with a stated 12,000 miles. Interestingly, the ad also stated the Cobra’s cylinder heads had been ported by none other than Californian racing legend Joe Mondello, whose achievements included his work on the 289 V-8s that helped Shelby American and co-drivers Dan Gurney and Bob Bondurant take first in class at Le Mans with a Shelby Daytona Coupe in 1964. As recently photo-documented, the cylinder heads continue to bear the stamping “Mondello’s Porting Service” on the intake side. Around 1972, the Nevilles moved to Reno, Nevada, taking CSX2012 with them and placing the car into storage before selling the car via Dave Perry to Dr. Louis Sellyei. Following his purchase of the Cobra, Dr. Sellyei wrote to Carroll Shelby, who replied that CSX2012 was “…the second Cobra ever made and the first one sold to the public.” As we all know, the first Cobra built was the Shelby prototype, CSX 2000, and while research continues, we do know with certainty that CSX2012 was indeed the first Cobra ever sold to the public.Dr. Sellyei campaigned CSX2012 with Bill Rudd, with both men known and respected racers. Under them, the Cobra was a regular competitor as much as schedules permitted on the west coast and Mr. Rudd drove it at the inaugural Monterey Historic Races in 1974. Next, Bill Rudd acquired CSX2012 from Dr. Sellyei in trade for a Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa and the Cobra was competition-prepped with Dunlop alloy wheels, widened fender flares, side vents, Weber carburetors, a driver’s roll bar, and a hood scoop, while the Cobra’s original worm-and-sector steering gear and rare early “Shelby-AC-Cobra” identification badges were retained. As such, the Shelby American World Register lists CSX2012 as one of only 31 “Independently Prepared Competition Cobras.”Highly successful on the track, CSX2012 continued to be extensively raced by Bill Rudd in SCCA, VARA, HMSA, and other events. At the 1976 Monterey Historics, Bill Rudd wheeled CSX2012 to second in class and fittingly set fastest lap against the Cobra’s old archrivals, the famed Grand Sport Corvettes. Under next owners Jim and Diane Mapson, who acquired the Cobra in 1984, CSX2012 was expertly refreshed and updated by John Collins, a former Shelby American crewmember from the 1960s Le Mans days, who operated his own race-preparation shop in Santa Ana, California. Jim Mapson fastidiously maintained this Cobra in superior racing condition and raced it over the next 10 years to great effect with particularly strong results achieved at the Monterey Historics including 4th in class for 1986 and winning strongly in 1987, the year of Chevrolet, from pole position while leading every racing lap.In 1993, the Cobra was retired from racing as the Mapson family businesses became more demanding and from this point, the Cobra was exercised but no longer taken to the track. In 1990, the Cobra suffered a small shunt to the left rear, damaging a small area around the driver’s side taillight. As there was no particular hurry to have the car repaired, Wayne Williams Metal Fabrication, a well-known, high quality shop in Orange, California was entrusted to perform the necessary repairs, with the Cobra receiving a bare-metal repaint and the work completed in 2004. A recent inspection of CSX2012 has not revealed any indications of accident damage to the body and chassis, other than the aforementioned item, and it has been confirmed that the Cobra’s body and chassis parts retain their factory identification stampings where appropriate. As offered, this exceptional and very early-production Cobra remains in wonderful racing specification, powered by the period-correct early 5-bolt 289 with the original circa-1963 Joe Mondello-ported cylinder heads. It retains the circa-1976 competition modifications completed by Bill Rudd including the slight wheel well extensions front and rear to accommodate wider wheels and tires, added side vents, hood scoop, roll bar, and Weber dual-throat 48 IDM carburetors. Other racing items include heavy-duty front and rear sway bars, a heavy-duty front leaf spring, solid engine mounts, and a racing logbook. Fitted with the original steering wheel and the highly appropriate Nevada-issued license plate embossed “HISSSS,” the Cobra is accompanied by many original items and parts, as received by Jim Mapson from Bill Rudd in 1984. A partial list includes a partial soft-top, full side curtains, and a tonneau cover. Fabulous documentation includes the aforementioned 1973-dated letter from Carroll Shelby to Lou Sellyei, photos of the slight damage to the taillight area prior to the new bare-metal repaint from 2004, period photos of CSX2012, and an additional list of the spares and parts that are presently in storage. Excellent recent work performed under the current owner could best be summarized as an expert and meticulous “going over” of all mechanical systems, with an estimated $40,000 invested over the past three months to ensure the Cobra is fully sorted and ready to go for the new owner to enjoy with confidence. The brake system was thoroughly checked over and thanks to the comprehensive spares that accompanied the car at the time of purchase, a correct 289 Hi-Po distributor was installed, along with a boxed period-original radiator. The 1963 date-coded 289 High-Performance 289 V-8 was Magnafluxed, crack-tested, and rebuilt from the crank up and fitted with the Mondello-ported and stamped cylinder heads and Weber carburetors. Only dyno time has been logged on the engine to test it and to tune the carburetors. In addition, a brand-new wiring harness has been installed, and the Cobra now rides on a fresh set of expensive and highly desirable, DOT-legal Avon racing tires. Never significantly damaged, always fastidiously maintained by well-known experts, and simply beautiful in presentation, CSX2012 has been depicted in several respected texts by experts Richard J. Kopec, Dave Friedman, and Colin Comer, in addition to the Shelby American World Register. Currently licensed and registered in California and blessed with full and unbroken history from new including just four owners with three of them for the long term, CSX2012 stands proudly as a highly documented and very well known Southwestern example from new that has resided entirely within Southern California since 1980. In short, it “ticks all the boxes” for truly exceptional, investment-grade Cobra ownership. •The first Cobra ever sold to the public from Shelby American’s West Coast operations in Venice, California, confirmed by letter from Carroll Shelby on file •Originally owned by Robert Neville, a personal friend of Carroll Shelby•Fascinating early history includes 1963 PR trip from Los Angeles to Sebring•Fully documented and unbroken history with just 4 owners, 3 long-term•Listed in Shelby Registry as 1 of 31 “Independently-Prepared Competition Cobras •Highly successful racecar retaining its circa-1976 competition upgrades •Accompanied by many original parts and document file with photographs•Depicted in several respected Shelby texts by Comer, Friedman, and Kopec•Offered for sale for the first time since acquired by current owner in 1984•Expert, recent, and thorough $40,000 mechanical “going over” and sorting•Listed in the Shelby American World Registry; very well-known Cobra

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