Disclosure: This site may receive compensation when you click on some links and make purchases.

Another Barn Find Cobra Discovered!

1964 Shelby Cobra 289

That’s right, another Shelby Cobra has been dug out of a barn! This one has been in storage for nearly 40 years and unlike some of our more recent Cobra barn finds, this one has a verified CSX number. It just goes to show you that there are still lots of amazing finds left out there. Now that CSX 2436 has been pulled from the barn, it is set to go to auction. Gooding & Company will be handling the auction and they are going to be offering it at their Scottsdale, Arizona Auction on January 16th and 17th. You can view the catalog listing here.

Shelby AC Cobra 289

This Cobra’s history was well documented as it hopped from one owner to the next. It passed through 4 owners before making its way to Sy Allen in 1974, who was the owner that put it into storage. It saw 30k miles before going into the barn, so it’s hard to say why Allen parked it. Perhaps they didn’t drive it enough to justify keeping it on the road, maybe other priorities got in the way, or perhaps it broke down. We don’t know for sure why it was placed on blocks in the barn, but one thing is sure – I’m glad they did!

Shelby Cobra 289 Interior

When you think of Cobras, the last thing you tend to think about is options and features, it is a sports car after all. That being said, some of these cars were built for more than track duty and were offered with a variety of options. This car was shipped with the Class A option pack, so it came with the WSW tires, luggage rack, and a radio. It’s not luxurious or full featured by any means, but for a street going Cobra, these were quite extravagant features to have. As you can see, everything looks to be in fair condition, Mr. Allen left the top up when he put it into storage, which helped to preserve the interior.

Shelby Cobra 289 Engine

Like the majority of Cobras built, this one has the 289 cui V8. Gooding lists it as running and driving, with a recent service performed to the engine. This example was a late production model, so it features many of the factory improvements that were made over the production run. The most notable improvements were the addition of rack and pinion steering and improved engine cooling.

1964 Shelby Cobra in the Snow

It really is incredible to see that there are still finds like this to be found. This could be one of the only Cobras left in truly original condition, making it an important piece of automotive history. Gooding estimates this will go for between 1 and 1.4 million dollars, which seems inline for an original Cobra. The Scottsdale Auction has a number of barn finds this year and looks to be an event worth attending, so if you’re in the area on the 16th and 17th, be sure to stop by and take a look for us!


  1. MH

    What an amazing find! I’m sure it will go for over 1.5 million in its current conditions.

    Like 0
  2. koolpenguin

    Crazy to think that this car probably wasn’t worth much more that $5000 40 years ago. And now after a long slumber it’s worth well north of $1million! I wouldn’t imagine that Sy Allen could fathom that kind of math in the early 70’s!.

    Like 0
  3. Karl

    Is that an ashtray near the shifter?

    Like 0
  4. Don Sicura

    As much as I get a thrill when these classics are found, I find it sort of bittersweet because all of these big money people (the auction houses & the profiteers) have priced these finds out of nearly everyone’s reach but the most wealthy. Yes there is a lot to be said for the guy who does a complete & proper resto of a true classic, but now everyone thinks that even the most basic & incorrectly restored cars are worth many thousands of dollars.

    Like 2
    • Evan watson

      I completely agree. Only big money can touch these cars now. Not the guys that would actually enjoy doing the actual work. Any derelict with a tree growing out of it now is worth 40 Grand by these estimates. Its heart breaking.

      Like 0
  5. Leo

    Not really a barn find per se. Rather an owner that stuck it away and kept it stuck away until he was ready for a large retirement fund:)

    Like 1
  6. Ken Nelson

    Have to agree with Don – it’s just an old car with a V8. What could a guy do with that kind of money starting from scratch? Probably come up with something really innovative in a one-off that would be more interesting. Seems these finds are used more for bragging rights about one’s deep pockets than as cars.

    Like 2
  7. Robert J.

    The story I want to hear is the one where someone finds a cobra and pays $2000 for it! ;)

    Like 2
  8. Art Fink

    Jeez, I check out old barns all the time and all I find is old barn junk never something like this Cobra. I would wash and vacuum the car. Make it roadworthy and drive the hell out of it. A beautiful piece of automotive history.

    Like 3
  9. Dolphin Member

    The question why this Cobra was stored in a barn on blocks for 40 years by a guy who was interested enough in performance cars to buy it and also build a race track is hard to answer. The car’s writeup by the auction house doesn’t answer it, and I don’t think the owner was waiting until it was worth more than $1 million so he could sell it. After all, it spent most of those 40 years being worth a lot less than $1-1.5 million, and it’s likely that few people predicted these would be worth that much now.

    There have been all kinds of examples of people acquiring something that they like and want to own, like pieces of art, then keeping them around for decades only to find that they end up being worth lots of money when they finally come up for sale. I think people do these things because they just want to, and can.

    One thing I think I do know….
    From 1971 to 1974, just before this Cobra was traded to the guy who stored it on blocks for 40 years, it was owned by a guy who lived in Great Barrington, MA and actually drove the car. I have been through that town many times and it’s one of the most tiny perfect New England towns you will see. I think that Cobra was probably the most unusual, unexpected, and exciting thing in that town during those years as it travelled down the town’s one main street.

    Like 2
  10. Dan h

    Wow, a cobra with its top up. How often do you see that!??

    Like 0
    • Willy

      After seeing the picture with the top up, I can understand why you don’t often see that.

      Like 1
      • Mike_B_SVT

        Yeah, not the most flattering top. But being in Oregon, it would definitely need a top to help keep the rain out. It’s either that or I would have to get one of those old leather fighter pilot helmets and some goggles, because I would drive the snot out of that car – rain or shine :-)

        Scarf? No scarf! Don’t want to pull an Isadora Duncan :-(
        Which reminds me of the “cape” discussion in The Incredibles…

        Like 1
  11. tom999p

    I’ll bet the scenario is more typical: the collector dies and his kids drop it like a hot potato so they can buy new silver Audis….. Or, a vulture swoops in and buys it for $25k from an elderly man and then has it up on the auction block before it’s even off the shipping trailer…..I’ve seen these two scenarios a million times…..It’s sad what the thirst for money will do….

    Like 0
  12. Tim H

    There are so many great fun cars, classics and newer, for under 20 grand. I have no problem letting someone spend 1-2 mil for this, lots of other cars for me!

    Like 0
  13. Clay bryant

    If the auction company says it was stored in a heated garage,he had a hell of a heating bill with that back wall bare to the bone.Needs alot of dough just for that.Small detail.

    Like 0
  14. Marc

    I wonder where it was found? The one picture has snow on the ground. Based on the trees and picket fence it looks like New England somewhere. There also looked to be some body rot on the passenger side and the driver floor board. it doesn’t make sense that it was in blocks 40 years given the condition. It looks like it was driven pretty regularly for 10 years based on what I can see. I still like reading about them, but a real Barn find is where you find something like this and pick it up for $5k because the owner doesn’t know or care what it’s worth. I think the Internet has kind of ruined that gig forever.

    Like 0
  15. jim s

    be interesting to see what it brings at auction. it is a great find for someone with a lot of money, but i like daily drivers and this will not be one.

    Like 0
  16. junkman Member

    I’m pretty sure I’d have to keep this one for at least a couple of summers. Easy to work on and get mechanical parts for. Not to mention ” WICKED COOL”

    Like 0
  17. Rancho Bella

    I get a hoot watching the Gooding auction online. The Brit auctioneer is dry wicked funny.

    As to the car.
    For the dyed in the wool Cobra guys it is yet another Holy Grail and I’m quite sure the excitement factor will be enough to break out a new package of Depends.
    Thank the gawds I’m not one of them.

    For the guys with money, this should be good.
    Like a 12 round pro fright, only with dollar bills.

    Like 0
  18. Paul B

    I can’t believe the prices on these lovely ACs with Ford engines, and I hope this one just gets cleaned up, serviced and driven. But I doubt it’ll happen. Someone with extremely deep pockets likely will pick it up, restore it, rarely use it, or drop in a 427, ruining it. I remember when the Cobra came out. It was really cool. The 289 has plenty of power and good balance. Who would need or want more? Well, we know the answer to that. Very nice to see this lovely slumbering survivor for a moment, whatever fate awaits it.

    Like 0
  19. Rob

    Wonder what the current owner picked it up for, or if it was inherited.

    Like 0
  20. Dr. D

    What a fantastic, lovely car. I wouldn’t change a thing, other than to keep it running.

    There are actually several 289 Cobras in original condition. Herbie Hancock owns one, he bought it new and has owned it ever since.

    Lynn Park, a retired elevator salesman, owned 10 of them as of a few years ago. Not in his lifetime (that number would be 27) but 10 at the same time. Including what was until now my favorite Cobra in the world, CSX 2307, affectionately known as “dirtbag.” It is dead stock except for a color change from red to pale yellow done by a previous owner (Fred Offenhauser no less) in the early 70s. It has been driven hard and put away wet. Its wire wheels are completely crusty, the vinyl interior is a bit tattered, and the pale yellow paint has chips and road rash all over it. I believe it is still on the road.

    This car is actually less crusty than “dirtbag” and I love the color more than yellow, and so it shall now supplant CSX 2307 as my favorite Cobra. Welcome to my heart, CSX 2436.

    These cars retailed new with a base price starting at $5995 according to a period article in Motor Trend. They clocked a 289 Cobra at 0-60 mph: 5.8 sec; quarter mile: 13.8 sec @ 104 mph. Not too shabby.

    An old price guide I have from 2006 suggests that 9 years ago this car would probably have been worth between $200K-300K.

    Like 1
  21. cory

    im guessing it was just a boring old car that needed work when parked. somebody hung on to it for sentimental reasons, people got busy, the car got forgotten, etc etc. now its worth a damn fortune, so why not sell it.

    Like 0
  22. Martijn T

    According to the registry CSX2436 was shipped to LA in “Rouge Irise”, this ain’t reddish so non original paint or wrong VIN.. :)

    Like 0
  23. gunningbar

    Too bad what happens to valuables….they get bought ..hidden away…re bought…hidden away…the interest becomes the story…but we often never hear it. A great car…maybe a great story….a guy with too much money takes it and hides it…again…end of story….

    Like 0
  24. skibum2

    Take a look at this one.. yeah, I should have kept it.. Paid a whooping $1500 for it. EX wife hated it.. 1977

    Like 1
    • krash


      that’s a spectacular photo (of a photo)……love it!

      Like 1
    • sundude

      That looks like an AC Ace in your photo. Very nice car, but not a Cobra.

      Like 0
  25. Timothy Crowley

    I bought a Cobra in 1965 from Town and Country Motors in Greenwich Ct. The color was Iris Rouge. This color doesn’t look right and the wheels are not right. Are you sure about the serial number?

    Like 0
  26. Timothy Crowley

    After reading the catalogue listing I now realize that this is the Cobra I purchased from Town and Country. I used to drag race the car. The slicks interfered with the rear quarters and burned the paint. I could find no one to match the color. I have one Kodak slide of the car from April 1965. If you are interested, I would be happy to pass it on. It was a wonderful car!

    Like 1
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      We would all live to see the photo Timothy!

      Like 0
  27. RickyM

    Beautiful car (but not with the roof up!).

    Like 0
  28. Bob

    According to Gooding, it sold for $979,000

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.