Sam Pack Collection

14-15 November 2014

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Lot 158

1963 Shelby 289 Cobra

  • Chassis no. CSX 2048

Sold for $880,000


306 bhp, 289 cu. in. Ford OHV V-8 engine, Holley four-barrel carburetor, four-speed manual transmission, four-wheel independent suspension with upper transverse leaf springs and lower A-arms, and four-wheel Girling hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 90 in.

  • Upgraded with a 289-cubic inch engine in the early 1970s
  • Shown in period as part of the Ford Custom Caravan
  • Formerly owned by Ford Special Projects Director Jacques Passino
  • Single ownership from 1971 to 2011; Documented in the Shelby American World Registry


THE SHELBY COBRA – AN AMERICAN LEGEND



In the world of performance cars, there’s nothing more American than shoehorning a big V-8 engine into a tiny European sports car body and chassis.



In the early 1960s, American cars were known for their brute strength and power, and European cars were known for their small footprint and handling finesse. While a variety of manufactures experimented with the concept of combining these two aspects, most notably Allard, Cunningham, and Nash-Healey, none of them got it quite as right as Carroll Shelby did.



After experimenting with fitting a 221-cubic inch V-8 into an AC Ace chassis and using Ford’s new 260-cubic inch V-8 for the early production examples, Shelby finally hit the sweet spot with the 289, and the rest is history. Thanks to the Cobra, Carroll Shelby went from being a well-known racing driver to a household name, paving the way for Shelby vehicles for years to come. The Cobra proved to be a huge hit, quickly finding success both in terms of sales and race victories. It was a force to be reckoned with both at home and abroad, and it became the new gold standard for American sports cars.



CHASSIS CSX 2048



The 1963 Cobra presented here, bearing chassis number CSX 2048, was invoiced to Shelby American on November 13, 1962, and then shipped to Los Angeles, wearing the same color-combination of red and black it sports today. According to this Cobra’s entry in the Shelby American Registry, factory documentation stated that it was refinished in a custom pearlescent paint and that it was used briefly as a show car on the famous “Ford Custom Caravan” traveling display.



After leaving the Ford Custom Caravan display, CSX 2048 would stay within the Ford family, as it was purchased by Jacques Passino. Amongst Ford’s upper echelon of executives, there was perhaps no better man other than Shelby himself to own a Cobra. As the director of Ford’s Special Products Division, Passino was an important part of Ford’s racing operations during a fantastic era in motorsports for Ford.



The car was invoiced to Passino for $5,889.30, which included a $300 Ford Motor Company discount, and it was equipped with the Class A accessory package, chrome wheels, and Goodyear racing tires. According to the Shelby American World Registry, the invoice to Mr. Passino lacks the standard cancelling credit memo usually dated one month later, and it was similar in its date and essence to the invoices for CSX 2042 and 2046, indicating that all three cars were used by the Ford Motor Company as either demonstrators or for PR purposes. While it is known that the sister cars were returned to Shelby American after a few weeks and then sold to dealers at reduced prices, the story of CSX 2048 resumes in late 1970, when it was advertised for sale by a Massachusetts-based dealer.



It was then acquired by Mark Panageotes, of New Hampshire, in May 1971. At this time, CSX 2048 had been fitted with an early 289 V-8 engine and other equipment intended for drag racing. Panageotes would be the sole caretaker of CSX 2048 for the next 30 years, and in his stable it would be a regular driver and maintained much as he purchased it, with the exception of a repaint in red in his second year of ownership. With Panageotes behind the wheel, the car visited 21 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces, covering a conservatively estimated 5,000 miles per year, on average, over the years. In 2003, the 50-year-old car was driven from New Hampshire to Nova Scotia, Canada, around the perimeter of what many consider to be Canada’s most beautiful province, before heading home to New Hampshire. Two years later, the Cobra completed another equally impressive road trip, from New Hampshire to Florida and back. This venture saw the car travel 2,500 miles over nine days, which is quite a monumental achievement for any vehicle, let alone one over 50 years old.



The car was fully restored in the late 2000s, under the supervision of Cobra specialist Geoff Howard of Accurate Restorations. All engine and mechanical work was completed by Toby Knapp Auto Repair and the paintwork and final assembly was completed by Carland Auto Repairs, both of Danbury, Connecticut. No stone was left unturned, and the restoration work truly encompassed every aspect of the car, including the body, cosmetics, chassis, and all mechanical systems. The car is powered by a 289-cubic inch V-8 and is accompanied by a period-correct 260 engine block, a tonneau cover, tools, top bows, and a convertible soft-top. Furthermore, the restoration is documented by two photo books, one documenting the bodywork and the other covering all of the other restorative work, as well as a binder that contains all of the restoration receipts.



This Shelby was purchased by Mr. Pack shortly after the completion of its restoration, and it has been recently refurbished with originality in mind. As such, it is undoubtedly ready to return to the road and eat up more miles of American freeway, just as Carroll Shelby, Jacques Passino, and Mark Panageotes would have intended.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more