• Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
While nowhere near as famous as some of Carroll Shelby's automotive creations, the Cooper Monaco King Cobra is nonetheless an interesting machine that saw some amount of success in sports car racing events in the 1960s. Importantly, this is the only original remaining King Cobra known to exist, and it offers a confirmed pedigree from Shelby American.

A Ford-sourced 289-cubic-inch V8 engine with four Weber carburetors is mounted behind the driver for optimum weight distribution, and it puts down 400 horsepower at 7,000 rpm through a five-speed ZF gearbox. Four-wheel independent suspension and disc brakes all around round out the racing package.

The final selling price for this unique piece of racing history sits at $1.65 million. Check out our live image gallery above, and read through the official auction description below.
Show full PR text
Chassis No. CM/3/63. The only original surviving Shelby Factory Team King Cobra authenticated by Carroll Shelby and SAAC that retains most of its original components. Eligible to participate in the most important historic events. An essential part of Shelby history and a unique opportunity. This is one of the most sought-after and significant automobiles ever built and raced by Carroll Shelby and the Shelby American team. CM/3/63 has been driven by America's premier drivers including Holbert, Miles, Leslie, Pabst, Scott and Bucknum in the USRRC Series, setting the stage for the most famous of all American road race series, the Can-Am. This magnificent beauty has impeccable history and provenance from new. Rand E. Bailey, renowned Shelby restorer and Concours Director, found that many of the Shelby/Ford sourced parts are stamped with matching date codes, a testament to this car's authentic character. CM/3/63 has been authenticated on several occasions in writing by Carroll Shelby and has a known, continuous history, as verified by the Shelby Registry, since leaving Shelby American's ownership. Powered by a 289cid OHV V8 with four Weber carburetors and 400hp at 7,000rpm. Also features a 5-speed manual transaxle, 4-wheel disc brakes and 4-wheel independent suspension with coil springs over tubular shock absorbers. One of two Cooper-Monaco Shelbys purchased by Shelby American for the 1963 Fall Series. Ray Salvadori, Ford Advanced Vehicles Europe driver, raced this car as the development vehicle for the Ford GT40 Program. Coming from the same collection as the record setting Carroll Shelby Super Snake.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      Ted Smith
      • 1 Year Ago
      cool. I aint never heard of that vehicle up until I seen it on here
      Terry Corcoran
      • 1 Year Ago
      Was this the type of car that Elvis raced in "Viva Las Vegas"?
      • 6 Months Ago
      Type your comment hereThis was Bob Holbert's King Cobra CM/3/63, although Dave MacDonald did drive this car once, a victory in the USRRC Championships at Kent in May '64, his final race before he died at Indy. The other '63 team King Cobra CM/1/63 was Dave MacDonald's racer and he had some big wins in it. CM/1/63 has been beautifully restored and now lives in Northern California. Both are stunning and historic racers. After MacDonald died Holbert retired and Ed Leslie and Ron Bucknum ran the car, Leslie won once. Not sure why the painted the car #95, Bucknum ran it once with that number - a DNF.
      steve
      • 1 Year Ago
      Greatest Automotive mistake (monetary) of all time? Sold my Gullwing in the early 80's for $32K. I have stopped kicking myself over that. After the Gullwing I invested 4K in a genuine Shelby King Cobra, CM 4-64. I purchased it from a kid in Pennsylvania who had purchased it from Polish Racing team Oscar Kovaleski. Oscar had purchased it from Shelby when they scrapped the program. I raced it at Monterey and Riverside a couple of times and also in the Bahamas. I then GAVE it to a guy in Texas who was starting a Shelby museum. He gave me a letter which garnered me a nice tax deduction with the IRS's blessing. I think he later got into serious tax troubles. I never found out what became of CM4-64. With this sale I am sure it will surface. Oh well, back to kicking myself.
      KerryK
      • 1 Year Ago
      I was fortunate enough to see Dave McDonald drive one of these(unpainted) to victory at Phoenix International Raceway in 1964. He'd qualified on the pole, but the engine blew as he crossed the finish line in qualifying. They got another 289 from a dealer, and spent all nite building the motor. When the race started(we didn't know about the engine failure), each time he shifted gears, the engine belched smoke, and we figured it was wearing out and wouldn't finish the race. He yielded first place to Skip Hudson(I believe) for a couple of laps, breaking the engine in, then blew by the whole field, almost lapping everyone. Ken Miles was driving a 289 Cobra roadster, and at the end of the race was dicing with a Stingray, back and forth. At the finish, the 'Ray passed him, but we found out, he'd only unlapped himself, the Cobra was a full lap ahead of him, and Miles was driving without a clutch for much of the race.
      Jared
      • 1 Year Ago
      Awesome, I'll admit, I've never heard of this before.
      Martininsocal
      • 1 Year Ago
      The 'Box' car. I know of this car and much of it's last 30 years. It was considered a parts car with many parts being pulled off to keep the other cars racing. I believe they started with 7 chassis. This one eventually ended up in a box when enough of the parts were taken off to keep other cars racing. It sat that way until Robert Green, a Pacific Coast CTO racer bought it to put together as his school car. He hung a Porshe 917 copied fiberglass body on it and ran it as his school car. In the early 1990s he decided to return the car to it's original body configuration and rebuilt/restored/manufactured the aluminum body back to original specs. He traded the car after that point. There was another car that was working the auctions a few years back that was being passed off as a King Cobra, but it was actually not a Shelby car, but a Canadian car that had been turned into a replica. As far as I know, this was the lone survivor out of the Shelby shop and Shelby wrote documentation to prove it as such. Glad to see it finally get a little liemlight.
      el aventador
      • 1 Year Ago
      Go speed racer, go speed racer, go speed racer, go!
      sortabad83
      • 1 Year Ago
      Considering a cobra went for 4 million several years ago i was certain that this rare beast would have gone for even more than that.