Shelby Cobras are rare themselves, usually commanding prices in excess $500,000. The 1964 Shelby Cobra USRRC Roadster scheduled to go across the block at RM Auctions’ Automobiles of Amelia Island event is one of the last six 289-cubic inch race cars ever built and is expected to fetch in excess of $1.5 million.
This Shelby Cobra race car sports the less powerful and less weighty 289 cubic-inch V-8, but still pushes out more than 300 hp in a lightweight vehicle. This made these racing-spec Cobras enormous successes on the track creating a legend of the 42 race-spec cars.
Although 42 of these Cobras were built to racing-specification, only six of the “cutback door” 289 factory team roadsters were built. They were produced between 1964 and 1965 for the US Road Racing Championship Series, hence the USSRC name. As these were the last cars to roll off the small production assembly line, this also made them the best as the cars were continually tweaked and improved over the years.
The 289-ci racing Cobras have a long history of development that led to the culmination of this particular 1964 Cobra USSRC race car. They started as AC Cobras with a 2.0-liter six-cylinder, but once Carroll Shelby found them in 1962, he dropped a 260-ci Ford V-8 in with immediate success. Production of both street and racing versions started and a legend was born. Engines later grew to 289-ci and even later the monstrous 427-ci Cobra was created, which took several design cues from this last-series Cobra. As the cars continued to evolve, tires widened and necessitated the use of dramatically flared fenders and finally the “cutback” doors seen on this example.
According to the car’s documentation, this is one of the most unmolested and blemish free of all the 289 Shelby Cobra race cars. In the mid-90s the car was restored to its original Shelby factory team appearance of White Le Mans stripes over Guardsman Blue paint. The car is fully functional and even sports stone chips in the paint from racing excursions, showing the car’s actual use. Unlike many old race cars, it is reportedly easy to drive on the streets and encourages the driver to experiment with the car’s limits without biting back.
This 1964 Shelby Cobra USSRC Roadster is scheduled to go up for auction on March 13 at RM Auctions’ Automobiles of Amelia Island event. It is expected to go for over $1.5 million once the hammer falls. To see more pictures of this car and read the car’s history check RMauctions.com
Source: RM Auctions