Barn-find 1964 Shelby Cobra 289 gets a dusting off

21 January, 2015

It seems that the coveted barn find has been making a resurgence of late, with the huge French haul late last year, and now this. It’s a 1964 Shelby Cobra 289 — one of only 579 produced — and was found, in the condition in which you see it, in a Vermont barn.

Image copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company / Mike Maez

Verified as CSX 2436 in the Shelby American World Registry, the Cobra was originally finished in rouge iris with beige upholstery, and was billed to Shelby American on May 14, 1964.

Image copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company / Mike Maez

Almost perfectly preserved, considering it has been in storage for four decades, the original rouge iris finish is still visible where the black paint covering it has flaked off. The 289ci small block has been serviced and returned to running condition and sits in an unrestored engine bay. The interior is similarly unrestored, and the upshot of the car’s unrestored condition is that it retains almost all of the original factory touches, usually replaced during restoration.

Image copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company / Mike Maez

Looking to build a car of his own, the AC Ace looked perfect for Carroll Shelby, especially with AC nearing the end of their engine supply from Bristol. Thinking that the attractive and nimble AC Ace could be made into a seriously competitive race car with the addition of a V8, he wrote to Charles Hurlock of AC Cars with this idea. Hurlock was all ears, on the proviso that a suitable V8 engine was available. Shelby found this suitable engine in Ford’s then-new small block V8, and the rest is history. Shelby American produced only 654 small block-powered Cobras, of which 579 came with the 289ci and only 75 with the 260ci.

Image copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company / Mike Maez

With its genuine rarity verified, the Cobra is to be offered for auction in Scottsdale for upwards of $1.4m — better get your bank manager on the phone sooner rather than later!


Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.

Super Leicht Gullwing

It’s fair to say that nothing much in the classic Mercedes world gets past Mercedes-Benz Club stalwart Garry Boyce so it wasn’t surprising to learn that around 15 years ago he had sniffed out an extremely rare 300SL lightweight Gullwing as well as a 1958 300SL Roadster hiding away in the Waikato. The cars were not for sale but Garry eventually managed to persuade the owner to allow him and his restoration team to take a look at the Roadster. They discovered a very distressed but largely unmolested car. The car was so original that the body had never been off the chassis, meaning most of the parts and fittings were still present and correct, as they had been fitted by the factory.