1964 Shelby 289 Cobra "CSX 2473"
RM | Sotheby's - MONTEREY 2016 - The Jim Click Ford Performance Collection
- Offered from the Jim Click Ford Performance Collection
- Regarded as “the Winningest Cobra of all time”; 1966 SCCA B-Production National Champion and a three-time Divisional Champion
- Owned, raced, and maintained by SCCA legend Don Roberts
- A hugely significant Cobra, ready to be enjoyed in every way
Carroll Shelby earned his reputation on the racetrack. But his legend was truly made when cars bearing his own name started winning at motorsport’s most competitive events. In the hands of both factory-supported drivers and privateers alike, Shelby’s Cobra proved to be a worthy adversary against the industry’s best sports cars on both the road and the track. The Cobra quickly earned wins across the United States and around the world.
This 289 Cobra was no different.
Chassis CSX 2473 was sold new to one of Carroll Shelby’s own employees, James Findlay, who purchased the Cobra at wholesale price and took delivery the moment it arrived from England. As his budget allowed, Findley upgraded the car to competition specification over the course of the next few months, repainting the car in black with white stripes, and fitting larger Halibrand wheels, side pipes, hood scoop, competition roll bar and quick-lift jacks. He then sold the car back to Shelby. Re-sold to Hi-Performance Motors in Los Angeles, the Cobra was purchased by Don Roberts of Phoenix, Arizona, who furthered Findley’s competition upgrades by fitting a windscreen and shortening the springs. Once completed, Roberts took his Cobra racing.
Behind the wheel of CSX 2473, success came instantly for Roberts. In his very first outing at the SCCA regional event in Tucson in November 1966, he finished 1st in the A-production class. Over the next two years, after the car was converted to B-production specification, Roberts would rack up no fewer than 14 1st place finishes, an enviable record for any racing driver in any category. In 1968, he was crowned Southern Pacific Divisional B-Production Class Champion. This win qualified him for the American Road Race of Champions at Riverside, where Roberts decimated the competition. He won his class by more than 30 seconds, earning himself the title of B-Production Class National Champion.
For the 1969 season, Roberts briefly sold CSX 2473 to Bob Rodgers of San Francisco, who continued racing the Cobra in SCCA events, finishing 3rd in the B-production class in both 1969 and 1970. Interestingly enough, Don Roberts would reacquire the car for the 1972 season. Once again, Roberts and CSX 2473 proved unbeatable. The pair won SCCA National events at Willow Springs, Salt Lake City, and Phoenix, en route to claiming his second Southern Pacific Divisional B-Production Class Championship. The following season, Roberts would find himself at the top of the podium once again, winning the championship title for a third time.
In February of 1974, CSX 2473 was sold to Ted Laverack of Salem, Oregon. Laverack then attended the very first Shelby American convention in 1976. In 1979 the car was sold to Larry Less of San Francisco, and two years later, it was acquired once again by none other than Don Roberts, Dave Walters, and Jere Clark. As he had done so often, Roberts returned his prized Cobra to the track, where he found himself behind the wheel at the Monterey Historics, winning the event four years in a row, from 1980 to 1983.
Roberts sold his Cobra for the final time to the UK-based collector Werner Oswald in 1984. CSX 2473 then made its way back to the United States in 1987, when it was purchased by George Stauffer of Wisconsin. That year, the Cobra took part in the 25th Cobra anniversary at the Monterey Historics at Laguna Seca with Don Roberts behind the wheel. Living up to its reputation as the winningest Cobra in existence, it crossed the finish line in first place, once again cementing its place in Cobra lore, Stauffer kept the car for nine years before selling it to Don Lee in 1996. At this time, the car had been refinished in Guardsman Blue and was again returned to the vintage race circuit. Acquired by Mr. Click in 2006, CSX 2473 has been frequently raced at historic events and maintained as necessary in his prized collection . . . by none other than Don Roberts.
In his ownership, Click spared no expense with Don Roberts in making sure that CSX 2473 was fully maintained and ready to race at all times. The car has seen numerous notable 1st place finishes on the vintage racing circuit with Jim Click. Its most famous vintage racing victory was arguably at the 2012 Monterey Motorsports Reunion. That year’s event celebrated the life of Carroll Shelby and featured a Cobra race with 39 entrants. Behind the wheel of CSX 2473, Jim Click emerged victorious after starting from 3rd place on the grid, fighting his way to the checkered flag, repeating its finish at the same event 25 years earlier.
Following the Monterey Historics, the car went through a complete mechanical overhaul and both engine and transmission were removed from the car to be fully rebuilt. The car was fitted with a new rear axle and all of the uprights and brake calipers were rebuilt. Since then, the car has been driven in practice just once and in one race, the 2014 Monterey Historics. Fully prepared and maintained for the 2015 vintage racing season, CSX 2473 did not return to the track but remains ready for future events, where it will surely continue to be highly successful.
Featuring an unrivaled period racing history with countless wins to its name, this Cobra does not claim a single DNF in its illustrious history, highlighting Roberts’ sheer talent behind the wheel and the sheer tenacity of Shelby’s incredible Cobra. Today, CSX 2473 remains ready to return to the track with its next owner, where it is sure to find itself atop the podium once again.
|CSX 2473 – RACE RESULTS|
|November 20, 1966||SCCA Regional, Tucson||89||Don Roberts||1st OA, 1st IC|
|December 4, 1966||SCCA Regional, Holtville||89||Don Roberts||2nd OA|
|January 7, 1967||SCCA Regional, Phoenix||89||Don Roberts||1st OA, 1st IC|
|January 22, 1967||All American Hillclimb, Phoenix||89||Don Roberts||1st OA, 1st IC|
|August 6, 1967||SCCA Regional, Riverside||89||Don Roberts||1st OA, 1st IC|
|August 31, 1967||SCCA National, Salt Lake City||89||Don Roberts||2nd OA|
|September 20, 1967||SCCA Hillclimb, Clifton, Arizona||89||Don Roberts||1st OA, 1st IC|
|1967||Southern Pacific Divisional Championship, B-Production||89||Don Roberts||4th|
|January 6, 1968||International Council of Sports Car Clubs, Phoenix||89||Don Roberts||1st OA, 1st IC|
|January 21, 1968||All American Hillclimb, Phoenix||89||Don Roberts||1st OA, 1st IC|
|February 25, 1968||SCCA National, Las Vegas||89||Don Roberts||1st OA, 1st IC|
|March 10, 1968||SCCA National, Willow Springs||89||Don Roberts||1st OA, 1st IC|
|April 1, 1968||SCCA National, Tucson||89||Don Roberts||1st OA, 1st IC|
|July 21, 1968||SCCA National, San Diego||89||Don Roberts||1st OA, 1st IC|
|September 19, 1968||SCCA Hillclimb, Clifton, Arizona||89||Don Roberts||1st OA, 1st IC|
|October 13, 1968||SCCA National, Phoenix||89||Don Roberts||1st OA, 1st IC|
|November 24, 1968||SCCA American Road Race of Champions, Riverside||89||Don Roberts||8th OA, 1st IC|
|1968||Southern Pacific Divisional Championship, B-Production||89||Don Roberts||1st|
|June 15, 1969||SCCA Regional, Seattle||89||Bob Rodgers||1st OA, 1st IC|
|October 5, 1969||SCCA National, Riverside||89||Bob Rodgers||3rd OA|
|November 30, 1969||SCCA American Road Race of Champions, Daytona||89||Bob Rodgers||13th OA, 8th IC|
|1969||Northern Pacific Divisional Championship||89||Bob Rodgers||3rd|
|November 29, 1970||SCCA American Road Race of Champions, Road Atlanta||3||Bob Rodgers||16th OA, 8th IC|
|1970||Northern Pacific Divisional Championship||89||Don Roberts||3rd|
|August 27, 1972||SCCA Regional, Laguna Seca||89||Don Roberts||1st OA, 1st IC|
|September 4, 1972||SCCA Regional, Salt Lake City||89||Don Roberts||1st OA, 1st IC|
|November 27, 1972||SCCA American Road Race of Champions, Road Atlanta||89||Don Roberts||2nd OA, 2nd IC|
|1972||Southern Pacific Divisional Championship, B-Production||89||Don Roberts||1st|
|April 15, 1973||SCCA National, Willow Springs||89||Don Roberts||1st OA, 1st IC|
|November 4, 1973||SCCA American Road Race of Champions, Road Atlanta||89||Don Roberts||2nd OA, 2nd IC|
|1973||Southern Pacific Divisional Championship, B-Production||89||Don Roberts||1st|