1967 Shelby 427 Cobra
VIN: CSX 3279
Currently undergoing a COMPLETE CANEPA RESTORATION
According to the Shelby American World Registry, CSX 3279 was billed to Shelby American on June 10, 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 and 1976. It was at this time that the present 427-cubic inch, side-oiler engine with medium rise heads and dual quads was installed, replacing the original 428-cubic inch engine. This was a common practice for the Cobras that were initially outfitted with the 428-cubic inch powerplant at the time. The car was refinished in dark green acrylic, but retaining its original interior and Sunburst wheels. and following the completion of its restoration, it was offered for sale in early 1977 by Howard.
The car's next owner would be Ken Brenneman, of Clerendon 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 freshening to the tune of $30,000, and during this time, it was finished in blue with a single silver stripe and chrome side pipes and a competition fuel filler was added. 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 ownership.
Chassis CSX 3279 was purchased from Fort by Sam Pack in 2008, and it held a place of honor in Mr. Pack's large collection until it was purchased by Canepa.
Canepa is currently engaging in a body-off frame, bare metal complete restoration of this car. The restoration will encompass every part and system on this Cobra in the same meticulous manner as was performed on Bruce Canepa's award winning, last Shelby 427 Cobra. All work is being performed in-house at Canepa with the exception of the engine, which was entrusted to Bob Corn at Roush Performance.
The Cobra has already been completely disassembled down to the last nut and bolt. The original aluminum body was very carefully removed from the steel chassis and placed on a special wooden support, and was then stripped, cleaned, and restored. Meanwhile the chassis was cleaned, restored, and refinished before the body was placed back on. All new interior aluminum panels are being fabricated including the dash, floor, trunk, inner fender and firewall.
The engine, transmission, and rear end are being completely rebuilt to factory new specification. All suspension components crack checked, restored and refinished to new condition. All of the original hardware is being carefully re-plated and restored to period correct Shelby finishes. The wheels are the original Pete Brock designed "Sunburst" cast aluminum units.
The car will receive all new upholstery material on the seats, dash, doors, and side panels. The leather seats will be restored using their original frames. A modern thermal barrier and insulation will be carefully installed throughout the cockpit. It will be completely hidden from view and does not distract from the originality of the car, but adds immensely to a comfortable driving experience. New factory correct carpets will be installed. All instruments and switches have been restored to factory new condition.
When completed the Cobra will come with an original spare tire on an original wheel, as well as a new soft top, side curtains, tonneau cover, and owner's manual.
This 427 Cobra will be one of finest in existence, and as with all Canepa restorations it will be both cosmetically ready to win a concours, and mechanically ready to drive across the country.
About the 427 Cobra:
If there was ever a car that truly embodied the phrase "there is no replacement for displacement" the Shelby Cobra is it.
Fitting a 427 under the Cobra's hood was an idea credited to Shelby American driver Ken Miles, as he believed it would help the Cobra stay competitive against Chevrolet's big block Corvettes. The 289 Cobra proved to be an excellent and highly competitive racer, but the competition was slowly catching up, and Carroll Shelby needed something that would keep the Corvette in his rearview mirror. Ford's 427-cubic inch engine was the perfect solution, and shoehorning that engine into the Cobra created a car with simply stupefying performance figures. With Ken Miles behind the wheel, a 427 Cobra completed a 0 to 100 mph sprint in an incredible 13.2 seconds, which was a performance car benchmark that would become the industry standard for years.
In order to keep the car somewhat civilized on normal roads, a host of modifications were made to better suit the car's larger engine. A state-of-the-art chassis that utilized a coil-spring suspension rather than the earlier leaf springs was developed specifically for the 427 Cobra, while the existing 289 body was modified to fit on the new chassis and address the car's wider tires and airflow needs with a wider mouth and scoop below the nose.
Further testing would reveal that the 427 produced a massive amount of heat, making the car almost unbearable in traffic, so additional ventilation was added for the engine and passenger compartments and the car's cooling system was upgraded. Numerous other modifications were made during development, and some running changes were made during the production run, turning the 427 into a surprisingly excellent road car over time. Handling was responsive, and the interior also benefitted from more room over the 289 Cobras.
Just over 260 road going examples of the 427 Cobra were produced by the end of 1966, making them some of the most desirable American automobiles ever produced, not only for their rarity but also for their impact on car culture and the sports car in general.