1965 Shelby Cobra427 S/C Cobra 'Sanction II'
Year of manufacture1965
$375,000 - $425,000 USD
Following the success of the 289 Cobra on and off the track, Carroll Shelby wanted to maintain the model’s top-ranking position. So, in keeping with Shelby’s traditional “go big or go home” attitude, the company totally reinvented the car. Conceived by driver Ken Miles, this second-generation Cobra would be both more powerful and better-handling. Shelby American and Ford Motor Company designed a new coil spring suspension and a stronger frame to accommodate the increase in weight and power. At Ford’s behest, Shelby fitted a NASCAR-derived 427 “side-oiler” V-8 into the model.
The CSX 3000-series Cobra was unveiled in January 1965. With this car, Shelby aimed to dominate the FIA GT class of racing—but to qualify, manufacturers had to produce a minimum of 100 examples. By April of 1965, however, when FIA inspectors visited both Shelby and Ferrari, neither had the required 100 cars completed; Ferrari had only produced 15 of the 275 LM cars and Shelby had 51 427 Cobras sitting on the tarmac at his Los Angeles airport facility. With certification denied, Shelby had little motivation to complete the run of 100.
In 2014, the Carroll Shelby Trust elected to complete this unfinished run using the remaining 427 S/C chassis numbers. To avoid federal and state safety issues, as well as EPA requirements for new model year vehicles, these “Sanction II” Cobras were not offered for street use. They are pure race cars built to the GT class specs necessary for Shelby American to compete for the 1966 FIA World Championship.
Each car, including this stunning example, feature the proper 427 FE 429 cu. in. V-8 side-oiler engine. It is mated to a four-speed manual gearbox; an original-style swept-forward shifter, along with horn button, Raydyot mirrors, and Lucas headlights, add to the overall authenticity. Displaying fewer than 10 miles on its odometer, this authentic Shelby Cobra has seen minimal use since its construction. To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/az21.