1962 SHELBY COBRA: “THE WORLD’S FIRST COBRA!”
That’s not some idle claim. And it’s not just the first year Cobra. This is THE first Shelby Cobra. Serial #CSX2001, this was the first A.C. Ace that Carroll Shelby ever dropped a Ford V8 into. Of course the early cars were the recipients of Ford’s new Windsor small block, at first a 260 V8, and soon after a 289. This car served as the prototype, test mule, race car, and promotional sales tool.
Early on, there was only this one car. Ol’ Shel, always the consemate salesman, painted the car several different colors over a short period of time to create the image (to the public and the press) that he had several different cars rolling off the production line.
Every Cobra built thereafter was an evolution of this car, as they continually upgraded and improved the cars during production. Of course, Shelby Cobras were only built at a rate of a few hundred a year, at their peak. This 1962 Shelby Cobra enjoyed a storied racing career in Europe, then was purchased by Bruce Meyer, who maintains the car in running condition to this day, and drives it to events from time to time. You can see this incredible piece of automotive history at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles CA.
1962 Shelby Cobra Interior
1962 SHELBY COBRA INTERIOR
The Cobra’s interior was spartan to say the least, even by the standards of the day. But all the gauges and controls were in view and easy reach, and the seats and belts wrapped around the driver. The wheel was well placed and at the right angle, clearly set up by a race car driver. Check out that round center rearview mirror. Who knows how many thousands of glove box lids were autographed by the Great Carroll Shelby himself, but obviously he had to sign this one.