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Full body-off concours restoration by Canepa
One of 359 original Shelby 427 Cobras
SAAC Registry documented Cobra
Original Sunburst wheels
427-cubic inch side-oiler V8 engine
4-speed manual transmission
Only 11,360 original miles
Powerful, lightweight, and an American icon, the Shelby 427 Cobra
was the brainchild of sports car builder Carroll Shelby. Realizing
that the 289 Cobra had more potential than was currently available,
he moved forward with dropping a 427-cubic inch V8 into the
aluminum body and tube-frame chassis. While the aluminum body and
frame had to be widened and lengthened and the chassis updated to
hold the newfound power, the upgrades would yield a car that would
become synonymous with lightweight performance and racecar-like
According to the Shelby American World Registry, CSX 3279 was
billed to Shelby American on June 10th, 1966, and is noted as being
originally finished in green acrylic paint with a black interior.
It was then billed from Shelby to Ron's Ford Sales of Bristol,
Tennessee, for a total cost of $6,386.50.
Geoff Howard of Danbury, Connecticut, would become the Cobra's
first known owner, after acquiring it in 1975 and restoring it from
1975 to 1976. It was at this time that the present 427-cubic inch,
side-oiler V8 engine with medium rise heads and dual quad
carburetors were installed, replacing the original 428-cubic inch
power plant at the time. The car was refinished in dark green
acrylic, but retaining its original interior and Sunburst wheels.
Following the completion of its restoration, the Cobra was offered
for sale in early 1977 by Howard.
The car's next owner would be Ken Brenneman of Clarendon Hills,
Illinois. CSX 3279 would see limited street usage by Brenneman, and
it was well preserved in his custody. In 2000, it received a
cosmetic and mechanical refreshening to the tune of $30,000, and
during this time it was finished in blue with a single silver
stripe and chrome side pipes, as well as adding a competition fuel
filler. Shortly thereafter, it was acquired in early 2002 by Donald
C. Fort of Jacksonville, Florida, and it is believed that the car
was repainted in green with a single white stripe during his
The Cobra would then be purchased from Fort by Sam Pack in
CSX 3279 was then acquired by Canepa in November of 2014, where it
would then begin a two year, body-off concours restoration.
The Cobra was disassembled down to every last nut and bolt,
cataloging each and every piece to ensure that they would be
restored back to their period correct finishes. The hand-formed
aluminum body was carefully removed from the steel chassis and
placed on a special wooden support, and was then stripped of its
paint, cleaned and restored. Meanwhile, the tube-frame chassis was
cleaned, restored and refinished before the body was placed back
together. All new aluminum interior panels were fabricated,
including the dash, floors, trunk, inner fender and firewall.
The 427-cubic inch V8 engine, 4-speed manual transmission and rear
end were completely restored down to the smallest pieces. The
engine was rebuilt by Roush Performance, ensuring that the Cobra
had all of its horsepower on tap that the engine originally
provided when it left the factory. All of the suspension components
were crack checked, restored and refinished to new condition. All
of the original hardware was carefully replated and restored back
to their original factory finishes. The wheels are the original
Pete Brock designed "Sunburst" cast aluminum wheels.
The Cobra received all new upholstery material on the seats, dash,
doors, and side panels. The leather seats were restored using the
original seat frames. All of the Cobra's instruments and switches
were restored back to factory new condition. It also received a
brand new, period correct soft top along with side windows to
Canepa's experience with 427 Cobras is not only through completing
more than 6 ground up restorations of the famous Shelby sports car,
but also from Bruce Canepa's personal experience and ownership
history. With his very first 427 Cobra remaining in his ownership
for 20+ years and his current Cobra of 5+ years, this familiarity
with the brand has allowed us to engineer improvements into the car
that make them drivable in all conditions.
The Ford engines are rebuilt to run efficiently on today's modern
91 octane fuel and ensure they make all the performance that they
did in 1967. An electric engine fan is added as an upgrade which
does not interfere with the originality, and in turn gives such
efficient cooling that even driving on the hottest day in the worst
traffic is no problem. Electric air blowers are installed into the
existing fresh air intake hoses, which are standard on a Cobra, and
provide an ample amount of fresh air into the lower foot wells. The
original alternator is rebuilt and upgraded to a higher amperage to
support these added features.
Heat management inside the cabin is also addressed through
insulating the entire cockpit with state-of-the-art materials and
titanium heat shielding. This ensures that the driver and passenger
do not experience heat higher than the normal ambient temperature.
The original exhaust manifolds are hot coated with a cast iron
finish inside and out, and the entire exhaust system from manifold
to tail pipes are black hot coated to further reduce heatsink
underneath the car.
This 427 Cobra is one of the finest in existence, a SAAC documented
Cobra brought back to its period correct condition, and is
cosmetically ready to win a concours, and mechanically sorted to
drive across the country.