1964 Shelby Cobra 427 prototype to be auctioned by RM in January

1964 Shelby Cobra 427 Prototype - Click above for high-res image gallery

January is just a short few weeks away, and along with the Detroit Auto Show, that means classic car auctions to us automotive types. The televised circus of Barrett-Jackson and the more reserved auction houses of Russo and Steele and RM will be hoping to empty the pockets of those automotive aficionados who still have money left to burn after more than a year of tough economic times.

With most of the lists of cars being finalized for each auction, the highlight of the weekend will likely be a 1964 Shelby Cobra 427 that will be offered to the highest bidder at RM's sale at the Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona. While just about any Cobra merits attention, this particular one is the actual prototype for the legendary 427 Cobras. Nicknamed the "Flip-Top" for its clam shell design, the car actually competed at tracks like Riverside, Sebring, and Nassau, and has an extensive vintage racing history.

RM doesn't provide an estimate, but we wouldn't be surprised to see the final bid easily reach seven figures. You can read a short description of the car after the jump or browse the high-res gallery below provided by RM.

[Source: RM Auctions]


Blenheim, ON (December 4, 2009) − The one-of-a-kind 1964 Shelby Cobra 427 Prototype s/n CSX 2196, nicknamed "The Flip-top" for its unique clam shell design, is set to cross the block at RM's Automobiles of Arizona event at the Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix on January 22.

Its design, build, development and racing were spearheaded by legendary racing driver Ken Miles and after months of testing and modifications, 2196 became the only prototype produced for the famed 427 Cobras that followed. It was raced in period at Riverside, Sebring and Nassau.

Over the years, 2196 has competed in many of the world's historic races including Laguna Seca, Monterey Historics and Goodwood Festival of Speed. Today, the well-documented Flip-top sports its original livery of Guardman Blue with white stripes and black interior, and is unquestionably one of the most desirable Shelby Cobras ever built. (Estimate: Available upon request)

"The 2010 Arizona auction presents one of RM's most diverse line-ups of automobiles ever offered at the luxurious Biltmore Resort & Spa, ranging from historically significant Shelby Cobras to an unprecedented selection of important concept cars," said Ian Kelleher, President and Chief Operating Officer, RM Auctions. "Every facet of collector cars is represented at this year's event with the schedule being extended to two days for a British-themed Thursday evening sale."

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