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Update: Carroll’s 1965 Shelby 427 Cobra Roadster!

Originally published 12/18/20: 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 It will cross the block as lot F145 on Friday, January 15th at Mecum’s legendary Kissimmee auction. AUCTION UPDATE: The car was sold for an astounding top bid of $5,400,000! When adding the buyer’s premium, you’re talking nearly six million dollars! Check out the sale here on YouTube.

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?


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Years ago I saw this car with rear wheels and tires that filled the fender wells. Car looks a little weird with the narrow rears. As for selling price, I don’t have enough fingers for that one.

    Like 9
  2. DSteele

    Welp what can I do. I was outbid by 5,390,000 dollars
    Oh well maybe next time

    BTW They need to find the loser who had this can and turned into an automatic, that is just wrong

    Like 4
    • Bobch

      You mean Carroll Shelby? I believe he had it built automatic for himself

      Like 14
  3. DSteele

    Welp what can I do. I was outbid by 5,390,000 dollars
    Oh well maybe next time

    BTW They need to find the loser who had this car and turned into an automatic, that is just wrong


    Like 1
    • MrBZ

      From journal “The car features a couple of special changes made by Shelby, including a more powerful aluminum-head 427 side-oiler V8 engine and an automatic transmission that made it easier for the aging automotive icon to drive the car.”

      Like 10
    • Steve R

      That mistake has been undone.

      Steve R

      Like 4
  4. Gord

    The very first Cobra sold for $13.75 million.

  5. oilngas

    Small rear tires, Charcoal gray that looks awfully green, automatic, no a/c. That’s $20,000 car. Tops!

    Like 2
  6. Keith

    Every time I see a 427 AC car, takes me back to the late `70s, I was polishing an original orange big block Cobra and I burned a whole in the paint on the front fender flair. I really shouldn’t have been working on that car at 18 years old. Nobody called me out on it however.

    Like 3
  7. Luki

    Drop a Chevy 350 in it, yada yada yada.

    • AZVanMan

      Friend of mine had a Cobra replica in early 2000’s, don’t know the manufacturer or how old it was but it had a SBC with Corvette valve covers and a 4spd. Painful for me to fit in but I got to drive it once, hauling ass and slamming gears once it warmed up. It was pretty rough, but fun.

      Like 2
      • Ron Melvin

        A CHEVY in a Cobra is great way to loose a lot of value and go a lot slower!

        Like 2
    • Mike Ramsey

      A small block chevy wouldn’t come within 20 car lengths of this beast.

      Like 4
  8. Mike Ramsey

    A small block chevy wouldn’t come within 20 car lengths of this beast.

    Like 3
  9. Larry Member

    Mecum sold this car the other day for over 5 million dollars. Highest sale in the 10 day auction in Kississamee, Florida. A 56 Mercedes Gull Wing sold for 1.5 million and a 57 Mercedes 300SL Roadster sold for 1.2 million

    Like 3
  10. Dennis

    Looking for a 56 chevy 2dr, post or no post shell.

  11. ADM

    In a Muscle Car Review, they talked about a guy who ordered a brand new ’65 427 Cobra. After a few months, he was told that Shelby was having production problems, and that it may be six months before he gets his car. He wouldn’t wait, so he bought a ’65 Dodge Coronet convertible with the 426 street wedge, and a 4 speed. He still has the car…(!)

    Like 2
    • Ted-M

      Steve McQueen’s Bullit mustang sold for over 3 million dollars a year ago!

  12. Troy s

    The meaning of “priceless” to 99.99 percent of the world population, it’s like buying a motorized piece of famous artwork. You can look all you want, but absolutely no touching.
    Those narrow wheels and tires out back give it an odd look, not helping at all.

    Like 1
    • Gman G

      You apparently don’t know the significance or history of Carol Shelby and his cars !

  13. Tort Member

    Was giving an original 427 Cobra the same color as this one a total going over just this past summer. Unfortunately a Gillmore Car Museum employee said I could look as long as I liked but don’t touch!

    Like 1
  14. Billy

    Every time I see an AC Cobra I think of (don’t want to name him) that got a 66 427 Cobra as a high School graduation present. It was totaled with in18 hours and almost killed hem.

    Like 5
    • Autoworker

      Had a classmate that his Daddy bought him a new 73 or 74 orange Trans Am. Here the rest of us were driving our beaters, a little green with envy. None were upset when he took out a section of guardrail right down from the school.

      Like 2
  15. Daniel Gavin

    I remember reading that the 427 Cobra could go from 0 to 100 and back to 0 in just over 10 seconds…..anybody remember those numbers?

    Like 8
    • KKW

      You, 13.5 to be more precise. It was 30 years later when it finally got matched.

      Like 1
    • KKW

      13.5 to be more precise. It held that crown for 30 years.

      Like 2
    • Billy

      13.5 sec but remember it was 1965 technology.

  16. Peter Weinzierl

    Well, I would rather have the car unrestored. Nothing is original on this car anymore. Even though the restoration is flawless, it’s not original! The only indication of original is the vin and owner registration…that’s just it. The car has a fantastic restoration, but its not original once it has been restored. To me, if the car had all the layers of resprays on it, I’d think it would be worth more because of the real originality of Carrol Shelby’s historic changes. He never sat in that seat, operated the ignition switch, stepped on those pedals, used the signal indicator, handled the shifter, etc. It’s not worn from his use, the steering wheel, shifter, etc. does not have his body/skin oils on it. I really do appreciate a great restoration, but when its a car belonging to such a great person in automotive history, it should be as if they were still using it. THAT’S original. There is nothing original here! Something to really think about. That’s just me.

    Like 12
  17. Tooyoung4heyday Tooyoung4heyday Member

    Definitely a great car and being Carroll’s personal car on top of it. Curious what it looked like that somebody thought it required a restoration. The only thing i wouldve changed was put a toploader back in. A lot of physical history lost by doing that. I think some of you forgot that the street 427 cars came with the narrow odd size tires. The comp cars came with the wides, and there wasn’t a lot of those made. With all the replicas nowadays everyone puts the nicer fitting tires on them for many reasons. You just forget that its how it was…. Would love to have one but too rich for my blood, and I wouldn’t settle for replica.

    Like 1
  18. Quicko

    My neighbor had a real one when I came back to the neighborhood he told me that he sold it,but I wonder if he got anywhere close to what they are asking?

    Like 1
  19. Patrick Anderson

    I worked with a guy that said he was offered the opportunity to buy a Cobra for something like $3700 by Carroll Shelby himself, because he was dating CS’s niece.
    But, just having started his working life he couldn’t possibly have afforded it.

    Like 1
    • angliagt angliagt Member

      ….or the insurance.

  20. Billy Speed

    Hmmmm….it seems to me that there are several “originally-owned by Carroll Shelby” cars that surface every year …..just like there were “personally owned Smokey and the Bandit Firebirds” that came up every year while Burt Reynolds was still alive…. just sayin’ “Buyer Beware”….

    • KKW

      Hmmm, if I was to make an educated guess, I’d say ole Carroll probably owned a number of these, I don’t think there’s anything to be too paranoid about.

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