DragonSnake Cobra Found

10:07:00 PM

One of the rare Shelby Cobras at the Monterey Motorsports Reunion was this “barn find” DragonSnake Cobra. One of just six Shelby Cobras equipped by the factory with the DragonSnake drag-racing option package and the second of only two with a Stage III-D Competition Motor was displayed in the paddock at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca by Competition Classics of Carlsbad, Calif., where the Cobra is undergoing restoration. 

The appearance of the partially completed racecar coincided with the Monterey Reunion’s 50th-anniversary celebration of the Shelby Cobra, which also marked the recent death of Carroll Shelby

Serial number CSX2416 was put up for sale in 2011 after sitting untouched for more than 30 years while owned by a man in Anaheim, Calif. The buyer, a commissioned broker, quickly sold it to a private collector. The new owner had his coveted barn-find Cobra, but this would turn out to be much more significant than anyone had suspected. 

After conducting more detailed research on the chassis, the historical experts at Competition Classics with help from the Shelby American Automobile Club’s 289 Registrar Ned Scudder, discovered the key piece of evidence that identified CSX2416 as an unaccounted- for Shelby factory DragonSnake, and a unique “Barn Find within a Barn Find.” 

This Cobra was one of just two factory-prepared DragonSnakes to come with Shelby American’s 325-horsepower Stage III-D Competition Motor. The car was ordered with a cold-air box and hood scoop, custom two-into-two-into-four exhaust system with low-restriction mufflers, polished Torque Thrust magnesium wheels and a hard top.

“This is really an exciting find,” said John Bessey, co-owner and lead restoration expert at Competition Classics. “With only six ever made, a DragonSnake sold at auction last year for $875,000, so we have a rare and really valuable piece we intend to make whole again.”

Like a lot of the cars from the 1960s, CSX2416 underwent various modifications for racing and show, with no thought of preserving its heritage. It received flared fenders, a bronze metallic repaint, chromed side exhaust and a roll hoop in preparation for vintage racing. In fact, it raced at the very first Monterey Historic Automobile Race in 1974, placing second. 

Then it was put into storage and sat for three decades.

Competition Classics has started the meticulous restoration work to bring it back to its original condition in time for the 2013 Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

Source: SPEED

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