• Mar 7, 2009

Click above for a high-res gallery of the Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe CSX2601

The month of May is looking to be a historic one, with not one but two cars having the potential to smash record prices at auctions on the very same weekend. We already reported on the Ferrari 250 TR that will be sold at RM's Maranello auction, and now Mecum has announced the sale of a legendary 1965 Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe at their 22nd annual Spring Classic auction in Indianapolis. The auction will be shown live on Discovery's HD theatre, with the Daytona Coupe selling at 8:00pm on Friday, May 18. Mecum fully expects the car to exceed the highest amount paid at a public auction for an American automobile, which is, to our knowledge, the Shelby Cobra Super Snake sold at Barrett-Jackson in 2007 for a total of $5.5 million. The auction house even hopes to reach the eight figure mark. The current record holder for any car is a 1961 Ferrari California Spyder that sold for $10.89 million at RM's auction last year.

The Daytona Coupe being sold, chassis CSX2601, is the fourth of just six built, winning three of eight FIA races it competed in. One of those victories was at Reims in France that earned the points needed for Shelby to clinch the World Manufacturers Championship in the GT III class. The car has been fully restored to its original condition and sports its Reims livery. Bob Bondurant, who piloted the Daytona Coupe to its wins back in 1965 and also owned it shortly thereafter, was reunited with the car at his high performance driving school in Chandler, AZ this weekend. He was joined by Peter Brock, who designed the Coupe, and the two shared stories of the development and racing of the car. Afterwards, Bondurant even put the car through its paces on the track, the first time he had driven it in more than twenty years. Follow the jump for more details on the auction, and check out the plethora of high-res photos in the gallery below.



Photos copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.

[Source: Mecum Auction]
PRESS RELEASE:

MARENGO, Ill. – High performance collector car specialists Mecum Auction will offer collectors a chance to own a piece of American race history when they auction the 1965 Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe CSX2601 at the 22nd Dana Mecum Original Spring Classic Auction taking place May 13-17, 2009, in Indianapolis, Ind.
And when this Crown Jewel of American Racing powers across the auction block, Mecum anticipates the championship race car to garner the highest bid ever paid at public auction for an American automobile – eight figures and counting. The Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe will be sold on live national TV Friday, May 15, 2009, at 8:00 p.m. during the company's series, "Mecum Auto Auction: Muscle Cars & More," on Discovery Communications' popular HD Theater.

The 1965 Shelby Daytona Cobra was one of six cars built by Carroll Shelby to compete against the dominating Ferrari in the F.I.A. (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile) World Manufacturers Championship for GT race class. An experimental coupe body designed by Pete Brock was built on an existing Cobra chassis, immediately increasing the top speed by 25 mph. That car won its first race, the 1964 Daytona Continental (prompting Shelby to adopt the name), and five more coupes were built, including CSX2601.

After competing at Daytona, Monza, Spa and Nurburgring, CSX2601 made history when it clinched the 1965 World Manufacturers Championship for the United States and Shelby American on July 4 in Reims, France.

"Many vintage race cars have a strong American racing history to share – including this vehicle's sister car CSX 2299 – but no car can claim a finer race hour than the Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe CSX2601," said Dana Mecum, president, Mecum Auction. "The legacy of its World Manufacturer's Championship win stays with us more than four decades later, reminding us of one the proudest moments in U.S. race history and a competitive spirit of victory against all odds."

Driving the car – and America – to victory on that fateful July afternoon was legendary driver Bob Bondurant.
"I won a lot of races with this Daytona Cobra Coupe, but when I crossed the finish line at the Reims race track I yelled 'Yes!' It was a fantastic feeling," Bondurant shared. "I always wanted to race in Europe against the world's best drivers. Winning that World Championship was the crowning achievement of my career. I think it's wonderful that the car is being showcased 40 years later."

The Daytona Cobra Coupe didn't just race, however. At one point, a North Dakota businessman with six gas stations owned the car, and each day, he'd drive the 300-mile round trip to collect station receipts in this race-trimmed Cobra.

"This car is a true slice of Americana, representing a different time in America's past when driving a full-blown race car on the roads didn't turn heads," added Mecum. "The Daytona was also leased to Paramount Pictures for use in the Howard Hawks cult classic 'Redline 7000'."

Now fully restored and wearing its famous Reims livery, the Shelby Daytona Cobra CSX2601 headlines the Original Spring Classis Auction, which is expected to feature 1,250 vehicles.

Held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, the auction is open to the general public with tickets are available at the door for $10. It will be broadcast live on Mecum's popular television series, "Mecum Auto Auction: Muscle Cars & More" on HD Theater – Discovery Communications' first 24-hour high-definition cable network, offering compelling real-world and motorized content.

The Mecum Auction Company has been specializing in the sale of collector cars, muscle cars and Corvettes for more than 20 years. In spring 2008, the company sold its 50,000th car. Consignment, Bidder, event and accommodation information is available online at www.Mecum.com or by calling 815.568.8888.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Um, isn't Peter Brock dead?
      Carlos
      • 5 Years Ago
      I never understood why anyone would buy antiquated technology at such a price.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Carlos
        That "antiquated technology" is partially responsible for your avatar.
        Carlos
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Carlos
        Yes but there are many differences between the ohv of yesteryear and modern ones. If we're going by that same mantra then you might as well call the ice antiquated technology, burning fossil fuels at ridiculously low efficiency.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Carlos
        if you honestly don't get it then no amount of explaining will help you.

        Not to worry everyone has different theories on cars. just go read some of those comments on autobloggreen.....i honestly dont understand those hippies...err environmentalists.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have a feeling that people are still in the mood to buy anything Shelby partly to have the old fart sign his autograph (for a fee) and secretly hoping he dies soon so they can flip the car for unimaginable money, (see Enzo Ferrari's death on value of his cars). As much of an icon as Enzo was and is, he still had enough class not to whore himself out for anything green.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I've got an '89 Daytona Shelby for sale. I'll cut you a real deal.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Honestly, i'd buy one if there was a clean enough one in my area...
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Seeing so many of these rare collector car go up for auction recently makes me think that the owners couldn't afford them in the first place."

      Ummm, no. They realize the market has probably topped out for a while and now is a good time to sell. I can guarantee anyone dropping millions on a single car has no trouble affording the transaction. There are some people who never have to look at a price tag.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The eerie thing is the late Australian Peter Brock was developing a local version of the Cobra Daytona when he died. He was interviewed by the US Peter Brock many years ago., meeting again at the Goodwood Historic races a little before Australian Peter Brock died. Both men knew Australian Horst Kwech. Horst raced in the Trans Am series, racing against the US Peter Brock , developed a Dekon Monza for the Australian Peter Brock and helped the career of Aussie Peter's nemesis in racing Allan Moffat.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Beautiful, historic car. Were I a multimillionaire, I'd love to at it to my collection.

      For now, I'll settle for a new wallpaper.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Seeing so many of these rare collector car go up for auction recently makes me think that the owners couldn't afford them in the first place.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Surely the Daytona Coupe rates differently in your mind than a badge-and-paint Mustang special. It's a bona fide classic.

        Although, if you're as irrationally attracted to '60s sports-car ownership as I am, Superformance will build you essentially the same car, and for a five-figure price.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I am more tired of anything to do with shelby than any article on Mustang, Camaro, 370Z, R8, GTR, Ecoboost, or when the Volt comes out.

        Enough with this guy. He wins a race in 1967 and has been downhill ever since with all his cars and overpromising and underdelivering products. He's been milked enough. The wells dry. Move on everyone.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have a little over to months to win the lottery, come on baby!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hmm look at those ITB's and that giant and deep intake scoop. That must make some warm fuzzy noise. Shame it's got more zeros than I do in my bank account.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Let me just go to the ATM machine.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Planning on taking the entire machine with you?

        ...and several others
        • 5 Years Ago
        Go to the ATM machine, but make sure it's an authentic VIN number!
        • 5 Years Ago
        ATM- Automatic Teller Machine

        Automatic Teller Machine Machine=FAIL
        • 5 Years Ago
        Not even banks have that much money in their vaults nowadays...
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