Presented by RM Sotheby’s Private Sales – Carroll Shelby’s simple plan of fitting a Ford V-8 engine into the chassis of an AC Ace proved to be a brilliant idea: The Shelby Cobra, as it came to be called, quickly became one of the most iconic sports cars of its era. Making its way from a 260-cubic inch V-8 engine to a 289-cubic inch power plant, a new, stronger coil-suspended chassis was introduced in 1965 to fit the big-block 427-cubic inch V-8—which in race trim could produce in excess of 450 brake horsepower. Wider bodywork, extended wheel-arch flares, and a bigger radiator intake combined to create the legendarily aggressive 427 Cobra.
In the early 1990s, Carroll Shelby took up where 427 Cobra production had left off, nearly 30 years prior, with the introduction of the 4000 Series. Built in Las Vegas, Nevada, these cars were intended to be “new” Cobras with the same style and appearance as their 1960s ancestors and were built using newly constructed frames and bodies. Sometimes referred to as continuation cars, the 4000 Series typically featured fiberglass bodywork in stock form, but buyers had the opportunity to order a more correct and authentic aluminum bodywork at a substantial additional cost.
CHASSIS CSX 4428
This Shelby Cobra is completed with a unique Kirkham Motorsports-built polished aluminum body with contrasting brushed racing stripes. Since 1994, Provo, Utah-based Kirkham has offered exacting Cobra replicas in a range of configurations, including street and racing variants of the original 289 and the 427. Exterior features include a hood scoop, four-into-one side exit stainless steels exhausts, a driver’s side rollbar, clear wind wings, tinted sun visors, pop-up gas cap, as well as front and rear quick-jack racing bumpers. It rides on Goodyear Eagle “billboard” tires mounted on Halibrand-style knock-off wheels with a polished lip.
The Cobra is powered by an aluminum-block “427 FE” V-8 from the Carroll Shelby Engine Company, which has been bored and stroked to 468 cubic inches of displacement. The engine produces a breathtaking 550 horsepower and 580 pound-feet of torque. It features Mahle 4032 alloy power pack pistons, custom-ground billet steel hydraulic roller cam, aluminum heads with Shelby finned aluminum valve covers, Moroso eight-quart road race oil pan, Melling high pressure oil pump, Carter fuel pump, aluminum high-flow water pump, MSD pro billet distributor, and an aluminum intake and Holley Hardcore 850HP Double Pumper carburetor. The engine is backed by a modern five-speed manual transmission, ensuring more comfortable travel at highway speeds. The battery is mounted in the trunk for weight distribution, and a kill switch has been installed behind the passenger seat providing an easy way to turn on or off the power.
The interior is trimmed in black leather, covering the bucket seats and dash. Lap belts secure the driver and passenger, with the driver further benefitting from a roll bar-mounted shoulder harness for more spirited driving. Behind the three-spoke Cobra-branded wood-rimmed steering wheel is a full suite of Speedhut instrumentation. Black door cards and carpet complete the interior, with a bottle for the onboard fire-suppression system sitting below the dash.
Living up to the Shelby performance name in every aspect, this CSX “4000 Series” 427 S/C Cobra is sure to impress. It is a subtly modified, modern interpretation of one of the most recognizable cars in the world. This Cobra, with its beautiful aluminum body polished to a “mirror-like-finish” begs the question: How could one cover such artwork with a coat of paint?
This special Cobra is available for immediate acquisition via RM Sotheby’s Private Sales Division.