For Sale: 1965 Shelby Cobra in Buford, Georgia

Vehicle Description

History of the DRAGONSNAKE program:

During the first half of the 1960s, the Cobra achieved motorsport success all over the world. It dominated USRRC and SCCA circuit racing, and was an increasingly persistent thorn in Ferrari’s side in international competition. In 1965, it finally broke the Italian marque’s stranglehold over GT racing by winning the International Championship for GT Manufacturers.

With the fearsome acceleration offered by a powerful V8 in a compact chassis, it was even well suited to drag racing. In 1963, a small band of employees persuaded Carroll Shelby to sanction the development of a drag-racing package. Among other upgrades, four stages of tune were offered for the 289ci engine, producing anything from 270hp to 380hp.

The famous Dragonsnake was born.

Only five factory 289ci Dragonsnakes were built, but other CSX Shelby Cobras were converted to Dragonsnake spec by independent privateers who could buy the package from Shelby when new.

The Cobra made to dominate the drag strip did just that in the 1960s

The goods:

The story goes that after a few employees at Carroll Shelby's small car company created a drag-strip-focused version of the Cobra on their own time, Shelby approved a tiny production run of this quarter-miler called the Dragonsnake. Not legal to drive on the street, they could be ordered from the factory or customers could have their Cobras fitted with Dragonsnake components like a chrome roll bar, new tachometer, revised rear fender flares to fit fat drag slicks on American Racing wheels, and sliding side windows. Only five left the the factory, four fitted with the 289-cubic-inch V8, one got the 427-ci monster. Hemmings says that including the converted customer cars, there are no more than ten Dragonsnakes in the world. The number's about to grow by five, Shelby American announcing a run of continuation cars built by company partner Legendary GT Continuation Cars.

The concept car featured here (CSX 2800) is dedicated to drag racer and NHRA champion Bruce Larson, a man the organizing body calls "NHRA's original triple-threat Pro driver." In 1963, Larson drove Jim Costilow's 289 Dragonsnake to class honors at the Winternationals, Springnationals, and Indy U.S. Nationals, setting records throughout the year in the process. Larson took the Nationals again in 1964. Because Larson was working at a Chevrolet dealership when he did this, the dealership owner had Larson in a Chevy by 1966. But the Cobra had proved itself a winning race car in yet another discipline, and would keep claiming trophies into the late sixties.

The remaining three continuation Dragonsnakes that we are now offering for sale will start as an aluminum slab-side roadster in the CSX2000 series, meaning based on the original 289-ci chassis. The tube rails are four-inch round units, the engine is a 364-ci V8 with an aluminum block and eight Weber carbs making 500 horsepower, fed by a 14-gallon gas tank and Holley electric fuel pump. It's shifted through a Tremec five-speed manual to spur a car weighing roughly 2,100 pounds. Inside, an 8,000-rpm tach mixes with black leather seats, leather door pulls, a rearview mirror, glove box, custom shift knob, and stainless steel roll bar. Other kit includes an aluminum radiator and electric fan, rack and pinion steering, adjustable Penske shocks, 1963-style disc brakes, a custom exhaust, polished side vents and chrome bumpers, and vintage Cobra badges. The car sits on 15-inch vintage FIA wheels wearing Mickey Thompson tires sized 29 x 4.5 in front, 28 x 10.5 in back.

Each Dragonsnake costs $750,000 before options. These Dragon Snakes are authenticated by Shelby and built under their guidance with CSX # 's reserved in the SAAC registry for each build.

Vehicle Details

  • 1965 Shelby Cobra
  • Listing ID: CC-1766811
  • Price: $750,000
  • Location:Buford, Georgia
  • Year:1965
  • Make:Shelby
  • Model:Cobra
  • Transmission:Manual
  • Odometer:0
Listed By:
Stephen Becker Automotive Group
By Appointment Only
Sugar Hill, GA 30528

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