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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!


The Jowett Jupiter turns 70

John Ball has always enjoyed tinkering with old boats and cars. He’s old enough to think having gearbox parts on newspaper on the floor of his bedroom, while the relevant car sat waiting on nail boxes, was a normal part of growing up. His passion has always tended towards old British bangers. He reckons he’s fortunate not to have got caught up in the American muscle scene.
John’s love affair with this Jupiter started in December 2015 when, with some time on his hands during a Christchurch trip, he searched online for ‘cars, before 1970 and in Christchurch’.

A passion for classics and customs

In the highly competitive field of New Zealand classic and custom restorations, reputations are won or lost on the ability to maintain consistently high standards of workmanship. A company managing to achieve this is D A Panel beating Ltd, of Rangiora near Christchurch. Is your classic or custom car restoration stalled, or in need of a refresh, or perhaps you are looking for experts to rebuild that recent import project out of Europe or the ‘States?