Shelby Cobra 427
Owned by Dario Franchitti, 3 time Indy 500 winner and 4 time IndyCar champion
Shelby CSX4000 continuation cars
Titled as a 1965 Shelby Cobra
Rare aluminum-bodied example
Extremely period-correct Cobra
Low original mileage of 8,416 miles
Period NASCAR 427 side-oiler V8 engine
Top loader 4-speed transmission
Powerful, lightweight, and an American icon, the Shelby 427 Cobra was the brainchild of sports car builder Carroll Shelby. While the original CSX3000 series of 427 Cobras ended production in 1967, the insatiable appetite for Cobras from the public around the world did not. During this time, many companies tried to make similar examples using Shelby's tried-and-true formula of lightweight cars with massively powerful engines, but were never true Shelby Cobras. Then in 1996, almost three decades after the last original 427 Cobra rolled off the production line, the new CSX4000 series was born. Now being sold by Shelby American, Inc., no Cobra kit manufacturer or licensed car could offer what the American company now could: True Shelby authenticity.
CSX4000 series cars were offered in both fiberglass and aluminum-bodied forms with the aluminum examples being rare, mostly due to almost doubling the purchase price of the car due to their labor-intensive hand-formed panels. Continuation cars were delivered to authorized dealers as rolling chassis for final fitment of the engine and transmission, allowing the new owner to choose a power plant and transmission of their choice.
Completed by Shelby American, Inc. on June 5th, 2001, this aluminum-bodied Cobra would then be shipped to All Pro Cars in Muncy, Pennsylvania. Titled as a Shelby 427 Cobra, Evan and Candace Harris would become the first owners, with their ownership spanning over almost 15 years. The Harris' would take the Cobra in for routine maintenance throughout their ownership and with all of the work being performed by the same shop, H.R.E. Motorcars, Inc. in Freeport, New York.
The couple opted for quite possibly the only logical choice for the Cobra: a real NASCAR side-oiler V8 engine. Often referred to as "The Cobra engine", this engine was only made in 1965 and was considered "the race engine". Built by Tony Feil Competition Engines in Raritan, New Jersey, the engine pushes out over 500 horsepower and pound feet of torque. Side pipe exhaust with a muffler and no baffling, just like how S/Cs originally were, creates a pure, unadulterated symphony of 427 cubic inches roaring.
While many continuation Cobras might be spec'd as a generic build with emphasis on only power and presence, CSX4206 not only does these things but also its defining signature: it's extreme period-correctness. Options such as the NASCAR engine, top-loader transmission, single-stage "Raven Black" paint are more obvious than its smaller pieces. The engine bay is virtually indistinguishable from an original Shelby Cobra due to the attention to detail, correct items, fittings and finishes that it contains. Items like the NOS FOMOCO dual plane intake, NOS iron medium rise heads, original pulleys, dual Holly 550 carburetors (with brass floats), correct details, the correct fuel pump canister, the correct "English" tail light lenses, with many more that makes this Shelby the example of a period-correct, modern-era built Cobra.
In 2016, Dario Franchitti, four time IndyCar champion and three time Indianapolis 500 race winner, would purchase the car having only accumulated 8,277 miles in 15 years. Wanting the most accurate CSX4000 series Cobra for his personal collection, 4206 was able to fulfill that requirement in spades.
Now retired from racing and raising a family, Dario realized that the Cobra was not the most practical car. Friends for many years, Dario asked Bruce if he find the next worthy owner for this one-of-a-kind example of Shelby's continuing legacy. Shortly afterwards, the Cobra arrived at Canepa with only 8,314 miles on the odometer and the Raven Black Cobra was meticulously inspected. The flawless paint hardly needed any time to having a concours-level shine. The engine bay, underside and interior were hand cleaned, ensuring all of the period-correct finishes and fittings were presented in their best light. Now this authentic Shelby Cobra, owned by Dario Franchitti, 3-time Indianapolis 500 winner and 4-time IndyCar champion, with ample performance and period-correctness that rivals original Shelby 427 Cobras, is ready for its next owner.