Carroll’s 1965 Shelby 427 Cobra Roadster!

You may be looking at the most expensive Shelby Cobra ever. Not only is this a real-deal 1965 Shelby 427 Cobra, but this car was owned by Carroll Shelby himself! After being purchased from the Shelby estate in 2016, the car was the subject of a complete Concours restoration by Legendary Motorcar Company. CSX3178 is now being offered at auction and can be found here on Mecum.com. It will cross the block as lot F145 on Friday, January 15th at Mecum’s legendary Kissimmee auction. The small-block brother to this car sold at auction for nearly $14 million, but you’ll have to watch the auction to see how much this one goes for since the website simply says “Call for estimate.” As the saying goes, “If you have to ask…you can’t afford it.”

Here is the monster 427 cubic inch V8 that was wedged between the fenders of the Cobra. Shelby’s formula for winning was big power in a small car. According to Mecum, “the car arrived at Shelby’s LAX facility with a black interior and without an engine and transmission, like all Cobras did. The Shelby American work order specifying “Build 427 Street Cobra CSX3178” was opened on January 7, 1966, and closed on March 3, when it was shipped to Carroll Shelby’s Dallas home sporting a 427 with dual quads and a 4-speed Toploader transmission.”

The interior is beautiful in black. The car has truly been restored to Concours quality and the interior is no exception. There isn’t much information in the ad, but you can tell there has been no detail overlooked.

In 2002, the car was repainted red by Shelby American. When the crew at Legendary Motorcar Company restored the car, it was sprayed in the original Charcoal Gray. This car was one of only five 427 Cobras that came out of the factory in Charcoal, which makes it that much more special. So, what do you think this iconic car will sell for? Will it be the most expensive Shelby ever sold?

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Comments

  1. angliagt angliagt Member

    It can’t be real – he didn’t sign the glovebox door.

    Like 42
    • Jon

      Shelby only signed cobras the he sold.
      Why would he sign his own personal car?

      Like 12
    • Jon

      Shelby only signed cobras the he sold.
      Why would he sign his own personal car?

      Like 2
      • bikefixr

        Not true. Carroll signed the glovebox of my Shelby Charger. He asked for (but did not require) a donation to support his foundation that supported children with diseases and transplantation. I also (later) sent the glovebox of my ’12 Shelby Mustang GT500. I enclosed a check to the foundation and a pre-paid return envelope. I had it back in 2 weeks.

        Like 11
    • larry

      the one he owned was changed to auto trans

      Like 4
    • Howie Mueler

      On the Shelby Mustangs now the ones that do not have a signed glovebox door are the rare ones.

      Like 7
  2. George Bauer

    This might set a record. Just maybe.

    Like 14
    • Dickie F.

      Sticking with Fords, just remembering, one of the original “GT40s” selling at around $7,5m and the the 1968 Ford Mustang GT driven by Steve McQueen in the movie “Bullitt” sold for $3.74 million, this one would be valued at …….?

      Like 1
  3. Jcs

    Yes.

    Like 3
  4. Francisco

    I’ll bet this car has never ever seen the inside of a barn.

    Like 28
  5. MattR Member

    This sure beats the electric Cobra from the other day.

    Like 19
  6. Dave Suton

    With the market going twords unrestored cars being worth more than their restored counterparts, I wonder why they didn’t leave it as is.

    Like 11
    • William Shields

      It’s original owner was the man who created these cars. There is no higher Holy Grail in the Shelby world.
      Of course its going to be a record breaker.

      Like 27
    • Steve R

      It doesn’t matter with this particular car. It was Shelby’s personal car that seems like it went through several incarnations while he was alive. It could be painted yellow with pink polka dots and be powered by a Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engine and still sell for millions of dollars.

      Steve R

      Like 44
      • Jcs

        Steve R

        I agree 100%

        If you could, please take a look at my comment on the blue 1977 Chevrolet C-10 Scottsdale featured earlier today. I value your opinion on that question, whatever it may be. Dang, left myself wide open on that one, didn’t I? All the best.

        Like 4
    • Jef Fowler

      My thoughts also.

      Can’t imagine it was a total wreck.

      Probably dropped value by a third and they had the cost of the resto.

      Maybe it only involved removing the signature on the glovebox?

      Like 2
    • HSM

      They restored it because it had been painted Red previously. The original color made it a rarer car.

      Like 6
    • Ron

      The car had already been repainted at least once, in a non-original color so it already wasn’t original. I am sure that it’s current state far exceeds even it’s original state, the guys at Legendary Motorcars are legendary for their quality restorations.

      Like 8
    • stillrunners stillrunners Member

      Agree – how bad of shape could it have been ?

      Like 2
  7. Autoworker

    Beautiful car. What kind of price do you put on this?

    Like 5
    • djjerme

      All the monies.

      plus $100.

      Like 4
  8. Brian73 Brian73 Member

    So would this be the actual car that movie producers recreated for Ford VS Ferrari?

    Like 1
    • Dickie F.

      No, I believe that was a blue 2019 427 Superformance Cobra, a continuation model, which starred in the movie.

      Like 4
  9. Rock

    So, How is this a Barn Find ?
    Get with the Program .

    Like 2
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Thumbs down.
      Go elsewhere, please.

      Like 17
  10. Keith

    What is the highest number dollar wise for a car at auction? This is going to be it I am betting.

    Like 2
  11. mainlymuscle

    Mr.Shelby’s “Supersnake”,one of 2 supercharged Cobras (Bill Cosby’s wrecked one,the other) set the record at $5.5 million a few years back.Sold by Barrett-Jackson to their old friend Ron Pratt.That car will stand as the highest price ever paid for a Ford until the end of time IMNSHO.

    Like 5
    • losgatos_dale

      Um, guess you did not know that CSX2000, the original small-block Cobra, recently sold for almost $14 million.

      Like 5
      • Chinga-Trailer

        I think the actual price was closer to $12.5 Million although the auction company wants us to believe another 10% commission was paid, bringing the total alleged price to $13,750,000 but I don’t believe the seller paid anywhere close to that much commission – the “big boys” can negotiate their fees with the auction companies, small fry such as most of us, cannot. Reported results are always corrupted.

        Like 6
  12. Al

    Any 427 Cobra is a winner. One owned by Ol’ Shel himself, better break open the bank. Having had the pleasure of spending a day driving a 427 back in the 60’s, for a car aficionado there can can be few experiences if any that equal this car.

    Like 10
  13. PairsNPaint

    Technically, weren’t ALL Cobras “owned” by Carroll himself?

    Like 7
  14. Malcolm Boyes

    Sad to me that this was restored. Of course it will go for a fortune but..if the new owner ever drives it ( unlikely) ..everyone is going to think its a new replicar! The #1 car was ratty and I believe left that way showing all its many colors. Shel had it painted a different color each week to fool the automotive press that he had several cars..when he had just one.

    Like 6
  15. James Stone

    Ok, let’s try this again. Many years ago I was privileged to interview Carol Shelby at his California facility for a pilot television program for Speed Vision. The program never made broadcast. I still own the last television interview given by Carol Shelby. After the interview I got a ride in this special car. We rocketed up Interstate 5, right past the CHP office at about 120 mph. When I ask about being stopped for speeding the only response was “they know were we live.” That was an exhilarating ride. The exhaust dumped right outside the doors. The sound of that 427 at 5000 rpm was deafening. I still have and own that video interview. Shelby the legend was very candid and open during the interview. If anyone is interested just email me. Thanks for listening to my story.

    Like 33
    • Ryan Fordeck

      James stone I’m very interested what’s your email ?! Mine is ryan_jesica@yahoo.com thanks !

      Like 1
  16. Rick M

    I’d say no, not the most expensive, as Carroll was always quick to point out that he preferred to drive a 289, or in his case, his original CSX 2000 with the 260 V8, which sold just short of 14 million…and that car was unrestored. But what do I know? Of the 60,000 plus replicas, most are the big block cars… Personally, I think it’s because in America, if something is good, more is better, and too much isn’t quite enough. The 27 fits that bill to a T.

    Like 6
  17. Chinga-Trailer

    Kit Kar Builders take note!! If you want to call your car a replica – then no side pipes, no chrome paperclip rollbar, no stripe and no ridiculously wide wheels and tires! With that stuff, it’s a parody, not a replica.

    I had a cop stop me once, says “I thought your car was a Cobra but no sidepipes?” I had to tell him, side pipes, particularly chrome side pipes are 99.999% found on kit cars built by guys with gonadical inadequacy.

    Like 13
    • William

      Chinga, I agree with your thoughts about side pipes. They are hot on your legs, hard to get over when entering and exiting the car, plus they look low rent to say the least.

      Like 5
  18. Marko

    I’m guessing it goes for north of $25 million USD.

    Like 1
    • Chinga-Trailer

      It won’t come anywhere close to that, the most significant Cobra, CSX2000 sold for only $12 Million plus commission, and CSX3015 allegedly was sold for $5+Million twice by Barrett-Jackson (although some real questions exist as to whether either transaction was a real sale or just a staged event) and this car isn’t nearly as significant. But it sure looks nice. I’ve seen it a number of times.

      Like 2
      • William

        Shelby would be aghast. He liked wealthy people who paid for his fun, but he was also a driver. The thought of some really rich dude buying this for ridiculous money as an investment or to show off and never drive it the way it was meant to be driven, would greatly sadden him. He is sitting on a cloud eating a bowl of chili and shaking his head.

        Like 9
  19. danny mather

    this one owner rasacle that he is will sell for 100 million easy and will never be driven stay happy and safe see ya Dannys Mustangs

  20. Bill b

    Restoration……..why?

    Like 2
  21. Chinga-Trailer

    William – if ol Shel is sittin’ on a cloud or hoppin’ on hot coals I don’t know. But what I am fairly certain of is this – he would be plotting and planning to see how much of that money he could gather for himself!

    Like 5
    • Steve R

      He was all about making money. There were many great cars produced under his name, in the later years everyone knew most would never be driven hard. If it bothered him he would have changed his formula, but chose not to.

      Steve R

      Like 4
    • William

      It all depends, as you hint at, exactly where he is now as to how he sees these transactions. If he is breathing sulfur, then he wants the exotically wealthy to be frivolous with their money instead of helping out with it where it is more needed. If he is breathing clean fresh air, then he would encourage the intended buyer to buy a nice replica, drive it and have fun, and with the difference in cost, make a difference in the world where it could do much more good.

      Like 6
      • Steve R

        That comment is ridiculous. There are more than a few people that put on a virtuous public face but are cheaters, mean and nasty, or worse when nobody is paying attention. Being a good or bad person has nothing to do with the size of ones bank account.

        Steve R

        Like 7
      • William

        @SteveR, You are correct, as usual. Of course you can not judge a book by its cover, unfortunately many keep those books tightly closed so we really don’t know for sure, do we? All I have to go on is the present state of the world as I see it, and what I see agrees with my idea that there are more bad books with closed covers than good ones. If every citizen gave per their ability, it would be a better world. Perhaps I am alone with my feelings here, perhaps most people are reptilian brained, do not use those higher functions where empathy, justice, and compassion are from. I am an old man and have witnessed the human condition for a great many years and I would like to think I acquired some wisdom during that time.

        Like 7
      • CVPanther Member

        Pretty ridiculous to suppose what Carol would’ve thought in general, unless you were a close personal friend. You are just injecting your own opinions in there, kinda’ sad, actually.

        Like 2
  22. Thomas Lyons

    I personally meet Carroll Shelby in New York when he was introducing the 427 car, the one he had there was red , being only 16 all I could do was tell him about my 500 horse 56 Corvette, I did buy his book the Cobra story , which I still have. If I only knew I could have done some creative financing , like robbing a bank and paid the 6,000 for it

    Like 6
  23. Rick M

    This 427, a restored car that doesn’t have the history of CSX 2000, and that Carroll himself didn’t like to drive won’t break 5 million…and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was much less.

    Like 1
  24. Leo

    Me? I would just like to have the chance to have a car like that for a week end! I would certainly put some miles on it. I don’t really know if I would resist the owner taking it back after the weekend or not since, I have never had the opportunity to operate such a fine automobile. I have had the fun of owning from a 62 Lincoln that was like new for several years to a 1957 Pontiac that was the same shape. A 68 Sport Satellite, just like a RR. Only to me, more fancy and comfortable, and very very fast. 68 Chevelle and the like. 51 and 55 Chevrolet short beds and many more. But this, this is truly a car almost everyone would love to have the chance to drive. I know I would like to drive it.

  25. al

    Id have preferred it UNRESTORED. Just so I can look at exactly everything HE looked at. Not updated everything his eyes never laid on or touched.

    Like 1
  26. Keith

    I am betting it sets a car sales record. But with recent Mustang sales at 3.5 million. Maybe the market is soft.We all will find out very soon.

  27. Courtney

    No the record will always be for his King cobra best ng that only two were ever built and only the one he owned personally remains.

  28. Chinga-Trailer

    Courtney, perhaps you mean CSX3015 (one of two Super Snake Cobras) which allegedly sold at the 2007 Barrett-Jackson Auction from Harley Cluxton to Ron Pratte for $5 Million plus $.5Million commission. I personally don’t think the car really sold for that much money, the “auction” may have been a stage performance for publicity only, but none-the-less, that price was more than eclipsed when CSX2000 sold for $12 Million plus whatever was really paid in commission. I have no reason to believe the sale of CSX2000 was a bogus publicity stunt like CSX3015. CSX3015 is in an entirely different category than the car at hand – CSX3178 which apparently has no significant history other than Shelby’s ownership. Interestingly, I was in Scottsdale for several weeks when CSX3015 “sold” for $5 Million and it was in all the local papers. I was renting a condo and had driven my similar looking blue Cobra for the week and the neighbors reading the paper thought it was my car that sold for $5 Million. They treated me quite deferentially until I explained that I was not the owner of the $5 Million car.

    Like 5
  29. Beignet-at-the-Beach

    as a young(17!) car-washer-trash-emptier-floor-sweeper-gardener-errand-running EMPLOYEE of the “Vintage-Car Store” in Nyack, NY we had a RED 427SC and a White 427 badged 428 equipped Cobra in the inventory in 1971 as “used cars”.. I had the task of exercising these wonderful monsters weekly until they were sold…. minimum wage…but BEST JOB EVER…. ( and the boss, Ed Jurist, trusted me not to “ding’em” cuz I never hurt the Cord, Bentley, Rolls, or Mercedes.) The memory of these beasts at full chat going up the exit ramp of the NYS Thruway still plays and puts a smile on my face each time I see one of Mr. Shelby’s creations.

    Like 2
  30. Billy

    WOW Set your calendar You don’t want to miss this one.

    Like 2
  31. Issa

    What a nice way of making money the rest is Just bla bla bla

    Like 1

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