Rack and Pinion Demonstrator – 1963 Shelby Cobra 289

1963 Shelby 289 Cobra

Like most any such car, the Cobra had teething problems to contend with before becoming an immense success and a household name. One of the most important issues was found in the worm and sector steering that had come over from the AC Ace. It was felt that a new steering system was needed from very early on in Cobra production, but the change to rack and pinion didn’t come into effect until well into 1963, after 125 Cobras had already been built. Shelby promoted the new feature with this very car, CSX2135, one of the very first Cobras given rack and pinion steering. Painted off-white with a red interior and fitted with whitewall tires and a luggage rack, it was used as a demonstrator in Dearborn and Kansas City, racking up over 5,000 miles before going back to Shelby to be resold. Shelby repainted the car in Lucite White and generally refurbished it before going to Beverly Hills Sports Cars in 1965 for $4,250. That’s about $32,000 today.

After passing through the hands of a few California owners and being painted in a metallic copper with black stripes, CSX2135 made its way to Alan T. Lloyd in the mid-1970s. A few years later, it was for sale yet again but before he found a buyer Lloyd reported it stolen. By 1989, it was up for sale again, but the proud new San Francisco owner must have been pretty devastated to find out that he had in fact bought a stolen Shelby Cobra. Even though he had to buy the title from State Farm Insurance, he fortunately got to keep the car and commenced a restoration that included a repaint in the current dark blue and Weber carbs. It was sold yet again a few years later to Colorado, where the new owner put in a 347 ci V-8 in place of the 289. Many Cobras have led exciting lives, and this one is no exception. The only big issue to have with this car would be the replacement motor, but luckily the original HiPo 289 as well as a set of 5.5-inch Shelby wire wheels come with the sale.

This 1963 Shelby Cobra 289 is available at the upcoming Mecum Indianapolis sale, scheduled for May 13-18, 2014.


  1. Stephen Swain says:

    A 347 with Webers should be pretty darned potent! What a blast that would be to drive at Road Atlanta. Lucky buyer!

  2. Chuck Pineda says:

    Jack Andrew Griffith never mentioned TVR so why doesn’t the Griffith Series 200 or the fabulous Series 400 come under American cars, and, again, they were build in New York, United States of America? I notice Shelbys Cobras are mentioned under American cars. So, it’s most discriminatory to have a car from AC Bristol considered American, and the Griffiths from TVR only found under your British car list. They should be under your list of American cars for sale. I only seek fundamental fairness for the marque on your cars for sale.

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