18K Mile Garage Find! 1967 Shelby 427 Cobra

UPDATE: 5/23/18 – This one sold for $1,045,000!

FROM 2/25/18 – This is a real-deal, documented, Shelby 427 Cobra that has been stored in a North Carolina garage since 1991.  If you follow the classic car hobby, you know Cobras have unique chassis numbers and this one happens to be CSX3278 with just over 18,000 original miles on the odometer!  Found here on Hemmings the car is up for auction Friday, March 9, at the Gooding & Company Amelia Island sale.  With an auction estimate of $1,000,000 to $1,300,000, this is sure to be one of the stars of the sale.

The Hemmings article has some interesting insight about the engine in this particular car:  “Though its fender badges read 427, the car is one of roughly 105 examples that left Shelby American with a 428-cu.in. Thunderbird Police Interceptor V-8 between its fenders, instead of the higher-strung (but race-proven) 427…At Ford’s insistence, customers who complained about receiving the “wrong” engine could return their cars to Shelby American, which was obligated to swap the 428 for a 427.”  The article continues:  “On paper, the 427 looked to be the better engine, making 425 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 480 lb-ft of torque at 3,700 rpm when fed by a pair of Holley 600 carburetors. The 428, fed by a single four-barrel carburetor, made “just” 390 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and 475 lb-ft at 3,700 rpm, but getting that power to the ground proved easier in the hands of non-expert drivers.”

The interior appears to be all original and really shows the racing aspects of these cars.  From the bucket seats to the lap belts and shifter, these cars were purpose-built to be race-ready.  The article does say that there was a family of mice that took up residence in the glove box and trunk.  Other than that, there have been no modifications.

The information from the Gooding & Company site indicates the car was one of 260 Cobra 427 street roadsters produced and was “Invoiced to Shelby American on June 10, 1966, CSX3278 was finished in Rangoon Red with a black interior and billed to Tasca Ford of East Providence, Rhode Island, for $6,145.00.”  The article states the car was purchased by the consignor in 1980 from a dealer in Waynesboro, Virginia (with 13,000 miles).  “Presented in its original colors and configuration, and displaying just over 18,000 miles, this Cobra represents a unique opportunity to acquire an extremely pure example of one of history’s most iconic cars, and it must be considered one of the most compelling 427 street Cobras in existence.”


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  1. slickb

    I have seen this car before… was it in a post before?

    Like 1
    • Spridget

      Hagerty’s “Barn Find Hunter” series with Tom Cotter has done a couple of videos on it.

      Like 3
    • glen

      It was a Jan 29th posting. “Could this be the greatest barn find ever?”

      Like 4
      • Rob S.

        Yes, this has been featured a few times. Check it out on you tube. the find of a lifetime!!

        Like 4
    • JBD

      There was an all Aluminum bodied Ferrari in the article also. The Cobra was a bridesmaid in this particular Barn Find!

      Like 3
      • Capt Jim

        In a way, this car is chump change. That 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Long Nose Alloy that was found along this Cobra will fetch 2-3 times what this Cobra will bring!

        Like 2
      • Geof O

        Indeed the Italian Stallion will likely sell at a higher price. Given the opportunity, I’d sell the alloy Long Nose. And buy 2 or 3 more Cobras. The legend and experience of the Cobra is the thrill of a lifetime.
        Hands down the Cobra will out perform the Ferrari at every turn. The rumble, torque and speed of the Cobras will surpass the “refinement” of the Ferrari all day, everyday! And regarding future investments, the Cobras will only continue to increase in value.
        Particularly as owners and investors hold on to them for longer periods of time. Thereby creating a significantly greater demand. Thoughts?

        Like 5
      • Rob S.

        Yes, the Ferrari will command a higher price but in my desire I would take the cobra hands down. The find of a lifetime!! What a dream to walk into this garage!!

        Like 5
      • Graeme


        Like 4
  2. Steve R

    This is a really cool car. It stands on its own merits.

    The person in charge of selling this car did a masterful job of marketing it and the Ferrari that was sitting along side. It has been featured in two Barn Find Hunter videos on YouTube, with combined views nearing one million, and countless internet stories. This car is now, internet famous, someone will pay up for the bragging rights. I hope they get a hefty commission, they have earned it.

    Steve R

    Like 3
  3. Dolphin Member

    The amazing still happens—an original 18K mile Cobra. If it’s being auctioned at Amelia by Gooding & Company I think the description is probably dead accurate. Gooding doesn’t often get it wrong. If it is what the auction house says, I can understand how a low-mile original Cobra can be estimated at 1 million-plus.

    I believe the 428 engine was substituted for the 427 in some Cobras because it was cheaper to build, and perhaps also because of a shortage of genuine 427s, but I can’t find the book that I think I read that in. John Morton’s ‘Inside Shelby American’ doesn’t seem to talk about it.

    Although they are in the same engine ‘family’, the 427 is considered the better engine because it was closer to a genuine racing engine. The 428 was the one that usually went into police cars, which demanded less of an engine than racing. The 427 has a larger bore and shorter stroke than the 428, which by itself would make it better for racing.

    Maybe the biggest decision facing the new owner will be whether to restore it to perfection, or to clean out the mouse house in the glove box and other basic needs, and just keep it as a low-mile original driver. The dilemma there is that the more fun you allow yourself with it, the more the miles add up, and the less ‘low mile’ the car is.

    I wouldn’t mind having those dilemmas to deal with.

    Like 5
    • Luki

      “Restore it to perfection ” and erase what someone will pay an extra $300-500k
      for. You’re kidding right?

      Like 2
      • Derek

        Agreed. Scruffy/original has far greater value than faultlessly restored; it’s only original once. See the Bugatti world for details – original Type 35s are highly sought-after.

        Like 3
    • Dolphin Member

      Some buyers of a $1+ million car like this Cobra might decide to keep it all-original—or maybe what could be called “as-found”, perhaps even with mouse droppings intact. Other buyers might decide otherwise.

      I have stopped trying to predict what will get done to big-$$ collector cars anymore, since just about everything can and has been done, including just letting them sit neglected some more. Just look at the groups of valuable, neglected old collector cars that keep being ‘discovered’ in warehouses and have appeared here on BF lately.

      The only guy who actually gets to decide what should happen to a sold car is the winning bidder.

      Like 2
  4. John M.

    One of the ultimate barn finds.

    Like 1
  5. Phil

    I should have saved the Charlie Brown erection meme for this car……

    Like 3
    • Richard

      I thought that was a selfie.

      Like 8
  6. stillrunners LAWRENCE Member

    Cross bolt mains on a 427 like a 426 Hemi….pretty sure the 428’s didn’t have them….correct me if I’m wrong.

    Like 1
    • Rob S.

      Yes, cross bolt 427 was a monster compared to the “street wise” 428. Totally different engines in the same package.

      Like 3
  7. Jeff

    The 428 block is a DUD with two bolt main caps. The 427 has cross bolt mains!

    Like 2
    • Jim

      You mean the same 428 block that Ford ran in their CJ cars and took NHRA classes by storm ? Real duds.

      Like 9
      • moosie Craig M. Bryda

        Yeah, sadly when compared to the 427.

        Like 2
  8. FE LUV’R

    Awesome car; awesome find.

    The 427 was Ford’s premier racing engine in the 60s, and it was more expensive to manufacture and to cast the block than any other FE due to the bore. Most FE are cast with the digits “352” in the block, because they were cast from the same mold, (a different core from what I understand), but not the 427. It had its own mold and casting process.

    I have read that the “Bad Cast” ratio for the 427s was very high, and to manufacture street/production cars to homologate race cars and to provide Shelby with the blocks (or engines) for his manufacturing was a problem. He began substituting 428s in his 427 Cobra. street versions.

    FE blocks are known for their deep skirted, solid and very stable and durable bottom ends, cross-bolts or not.

    The PI and CJ 428 blocks are cast with additional webbing at the main crank saddles (as well as some 70s truck, “Mirror 105” blocks). No FE Block is a DUD

    Like 10
  9. Marty

    What a dream find.

    Like 2
  10. Metoo

    I am always amazed to see a million dollar car like this, sitting in a barn/shed for 20 to 30 years, not even covered,dust covered, etc. Are the owners of their surviving kin really that clueless?

    Like 3
    • Steve R

      The fact that this car is all over the internet and is going up to be sold at a prestigious auction to the highest bidder proves they aren’t.

      Steve R

      Like 3
    • Todd Zuercher

      In this case, the guy who originally bought it and put it in the garage is still alive.

      Like 1
  11. 86 Vette Convertible

    Love the car, can’t believe someone parked it and left it there. It deserves to be on the road again where it should be.

    Like 1
  12. Derek F

    So ‘427’ Cobra is a misnomer.

    It’s a 428 Cobra.

    Like 3
    • Dan D

      Strange that they would label it a 427 car, even on the valve covers.

      Like 3
      • Matt

        Because Caroll Shelby was a “shyster”. I know he’s this great legend and all, but you can always find examples of his bait-and-switch ways. Two words Shelby Shadow! BTW, not a hater, I’d give my left pecan for this Cobra, even with the 428.

        Like 5
    • Graeme

      Matt—you mean the 4-cyl 175 hp/205 lb/ft of torque intercooled turbo Dodge Shelby Shadow CSX-VNT that was tested by Car & Driver magazine to a top speed of 156 mph? Real bait and switch there…

      Like 1
  13. Brian

    Must be nice to sit on a million dollar car for 27 years.

    Like 2
  14. Craig

    Insane car. Not a ride for the inexperienced driver either! You could hurt yourself pretty fast.

    Like 2
  15. Richard Ochoa

    Guess I’m an odd ball. I say Leave it in the barn!!!!!!!

  16. Steve A.

    nuff said

  17. Derek

    I much prefer the 289 cars’ body shape to that of the 427 (428, even). It’s a bit more subtle.

    Like 3
  18. Jon

    I remember the car from when it was for sale in Waynesboro. I thought the $25K asking price was insane at the time. It looked perfect then. Should have robbed banks to get it. Oh well.

    Like 4
  19. Hey Wally

    I agree with Derek… My friend had a 289 Cobra that was a hoot to drive. Loved that car…it would out run, corner and stop better than GM & Chrysler big block muscle cars. I had (regrettably past tense) a 67 GT350 with a 289 small block. Also a great runner. Either way, 289 or 427 (428) these cars are classic…just look at all the “clones” out there. I say clean it up just enough to enjoy, run it and have fun. If the future is like the past you’ll recoup your investment and then some…Cobra owners will stand in line and pay to view your original so they can spend mid six figures on a “correct restoration. Just my opinion…enough said

    Like 3
  20. OGK

    Matt, not a hater??? Sounds otherwise. Anyway, the story of this Cobra was explained on Barn Find Hunter. Due to shortages of 427’s, Shelby used 428’s. The new owners had the ability to return and have the 428 swapped for a 427 when available. This Cobra was never returned for the swap. I believe they said there were around 100 that received the 428. It also never received the “extras” familiar to the brand like side pipes and roll bar. Very factory original! How many of those were never returned for the swap and still exist today? At least one!

    Like 2
  21. Alford Pouse Member

    Put the cars found in that garage together in a hanger with a Beech Staggerwing and a Vincent Black Shadow and I’d be happy! LOL

    Like 2
  22. Rob S.

    This is the barn find that sets the bar! Who can top this?? Anyone….??
    What I would give to have found this!!
    Just amazing!! They are still out there. Just have to be dilegent and follow up on those leads. Not sure this one can be beat.
    Found a BOSS 302 once in the weeds, 32K miles. Restored it and took an offer I couldnt refuse. They are out there.

    Like 6
  23. Rob S.

    This is when I found it

    Like 9
  24. James boyd

    27 years ago this car would have run between 50-75 grand.

    Like 2
  25. M Williams

    Looks like the one that was on “Chasing Classic Cars”

    Like 1
  26. Troy s

    Absolute death trap if there ever was one. 427, 428, lethal either way.
    It’s funny that Caroll Shelby approached Chevrolet first when chosing an engine for these terrors. Absolutely not, no way are you gonna infringe on the Corvette with that thing. The lightweight 289 made a decent choice as far as I’m concerned, the big FE, well, how many people got killed in these anyways?

    Like 1
    • Jim

      Just like any other tool, you have to know how to use it. Chevrolet could only dream to accomplish what Carroll did with the FE, pure genius. That engine will live in infamy as one of the most iconic mechanical miracles to ever see an engine bay, whereas the BBC, is just a cheap way to HP. Every one of these cobras are worth six figures and beyond, you’d be hard pressed to find one vette worth that, once again, Carroll genius.

      Like 3
      • Poseur Member

        Every L88, ZL1 & the tanker C2’s are multi 6-figure cars at least. And likely more of them combined than total Cobra production though I’ve never bothered to count.

      • Jim

        Poseur, sorry but I missed a zero by stating six figures. To own an original Cobra, you have to pony up seven figures, just a tad more than what any vette is worth.

  27. Rob S

    FE engines are just cool!! They have a presence when hoods are open! To me the best big block!! Finishing up my 67 GT500

    Like 4
  28. LAB3

    For that kind of cheese I’d prefer a nice pole barn with several classic cars and bikes parked inside that I could actually drive from time to time.

    Like 4
  29. Mountainwoodie

    I know a guy who has an original Cobra sitting in his garage Dont know what engine is in it. Next time I see him I’ll ask him. He bought it forty years ago or more…sold it and bought it back!
    Unless he’s sold it ( and I dont know) he’s sitting on a small gold mine. Good for him! heck of a guy.

    Like 3
  30. AF

    old news!!!

  31. Matthew Jadud

    Well, Since they got so much money for the Cobra, they can sell the Morgan in front of it to me for $2200.00.
    And, I will drive out to pick it up immediately, and I don’t care if it is titled or not.

    Boy, I bet my comment will get some attention !!


  32. Matt Jadud

    Since he received so much money for the Cobra, he can give me the Morgan in the foreground !
    That comment will raise some eyebrows…
    I will even drive out to pick it up, title or no title…


  33. Tort Member

    I read an article back in the late sixties or early seventies that predicted the Cobras would be one of the best car investments ever. I guess they were right on!

  34. Hide Behind

    Not putting down the 428 as it was a better than good motor, some Shelby 500’s had em with dual 4’s and even water cooled rear Axel/brake set ups, but,
    No way was it the outright powerhouse of the 427, not by a long shot.
    The sound of a full on 4 spd slamming up or when down shifting out of a 427 side exhaust in the Shelby was scary to hear.
    Was priveledge to drive a built to hilt webers and cam SCCA 289 Ford stang on the track and be passed by an aquaintence in his 427 Snake
    I could brake and dive deeper in corner behind him but from apex on I was a no show, not in same league of autos nor I as a novice driver.
    It was at Drivers school. their stang his Snake.
    They were a brutal machine, and only the best could wring out their full potential, not for the “gentleman old farts” or he/she Ivy League “Swells.
    I, to this day, can still hear that bellowing beast and remember it’s pulling away.
    Damn I been lucky in life to of seen and heard some of finest cars in US history.
    Hope to hang on to yet see and hear the ones I missed.

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