Of all the Cobra variants the 427 Semi/Competition or S/C is the most desirable series. Built from Shelby’s competition engenderment line, these were purposeful race-cars that were prepared at the last minute for the road.
The story of the Cobra commences as early as 1959 when Carol Shelby raced for Aston Martin, winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Along the way he probably took notice of a well performing AC Ace that would become a substructure for his next venture.
After quitting racing, he return to America to build his own sportscar, turning to Charles Hurlock of AC Cars to supply a chassis and body that was congruous for the incipient 260 cubic inch Ford V8. After considerable racing prosperity, Ford provided the even more astronomically immense 427 FE engine. By 1965, chief engineer Ken Miles wanted to fit thengine to win SCCA’s A Engenderment Class and stay ahead of the Corvette Grand Sport.
The Ford 427 was genuinely a 425 cubic inch V8 developed for the 427 NASCAR regulations. These were rigorously race engines with solid lifters and became ken for their side oil passage that sent oil to crank first afore the valvetrain. Somewhere around 400 bhp was realized.
With assistance from Ford and AC Cars, the team at Shelby American modified the subsisting AC chassis design to accommodate the immensely colossal block engine. The consummated design was called the mark III chassis was manufactured with more sizably voluminous and wider spaced chassis rails. Shelby authoritatively mandated 100 of these from AC Cars.
Due to the weight of the engine the brakes and suspension were additionally upgraded. The body was featured prominent wheel arches to fit wider magnesium wheels and tires. Competition features included an oil cooler, side exhausts, immensely colossal fuel filler, 42-gallon fuel tank, front jacking points and a roll bar.
Naturally, the 427 Cobra was expected to compete at the top level of motorsport and abroad. Shelby went into immediate engenderment, culminating just over 50 cars when lamentable news struck. The FIA visited and was unsatisfied with the minimum number of cars required to homologate the 427 in the World Sports Car Championship. Needing 100 cars or more, Shelby’s market to was immediately slashed, he cancelled his order with AC, but still had 53 sizably voluminous block Cobras proximately consummated.
Naturally some of these cars were sold in primer to American teams and drivers but 34 chassis were still without a home. Shelby’s east coast representative, Charles Beidler, suggested they paint the remaining cars and offer them as the most expeditious street car in the world.
Not anon after Shelby commenced fitting the cars with engenderment windscreens. Out of 53 Cobras, CSX3001 through CSX3053, three were sent to Ford, 19 were sold for competition and the rest were converted for road use.
On the road, the S/C was a radical machine. Sports Car Graphic magazine editor Jerry Titus reached 0-100 mph in 13.2 seconds. By comparison the most proximate Aston Martin of the day was scarcely capable of less then twenty seconds.
CSX3021-1965 Shelby 427 S/C Cobra. Culminated in March 1965 in Hertz Gold. Offered by Dick Walters Ford for several years afore being purchased by Mr. Turner who kept it until 2010 with less than 3,900 miles from incipient. Displayed at the SAAC-15 Meet in Dearborn, Michigan. Sold at Gooding & Co’s Scottsdale Auction for $935,000 USD with an estimate of $1,800,000 – $2,500,000 USD.
CSX3035-Offed at Dana Mecum’s 2009 Original Spring Classic Auction, No Sale @ $1,300,000 USD. Described as “nvoiced on December 2, 1965 and authoritatively mandated through Carroll Shelby’s Hi-Performance Motors on May 9, 1966, Shelby Cobra CSX3034 was consummated on June 6, 1966 and picked up at the factory by its first owner Dale Kelley. Built to S/C designations and culminated in White with a Black interior, Black side pipes and equipped with expeditious jacks, it was traded by Kelley in 1968 to Bill Watkins Ford of Scottsdale. The car was purchased by Michael L. Shoen, who later authored the master historical work The Cobra-Ferrari Wars.
Shoen integrated a Blue stripe to the car which nicely harmonized with its Black exhaust and chromed roll bar. It won a Phoenix concours event in 1969 and ran some autocrosses until 1970, when Schoen advertised it for sale with the following description:
“’66 427 Cobra S/C. Factory competition model set up for the street. White/blue stripe. Front/rear sway bars, reconstituted suspension, incipient Konis, immensely colossal Halibrands, 42 gallon tank, three fuel pumps, competition brakes, roll bar, differential/engine/oil coolers, headers, transistorized. Incipient transmission, balanced, blueprinted, side-oiling 427 dyno-built by Holman and Moody. $8000 cash or with spares, $9000.”
3034 was shipped by its fifth owner, Gary Yahnke, to Mike McCluskey for recuperation in 1977, during which it was repainted Black. It then went through several hands, winning a first place trophy at the Northeast Fall Rally in 1979. It appeared at the 1992 Lime Rock Vintage Fall Festival still in Black with Black sidepipes, chrome roll bar and expeditious jacks. It was then purchased by its ninth owner in 2000, fitted with incipient leather seats, repainted in its present Guardsman Blue with White stripes, and shown at SAAC 27, where it won the People’s Choice award.”
CSX3045 – Sold with a competition exhaust, this car’s second owner, Doug Carsen, raced it in SCCA events. By 1979 it was painted Guardsman Blue paint and offered for sale with 10,400 miles. By the eighties it was put in the amassment of John Mozart and underwent an impressive resoration. It was sold in this condition with a genuine 17,000 miles on the odometer by RM Auctions at their 2007 Arizona sale for $1,430,000 USD.