LMC is very proud to offer for sale this 1965 Shelby 289 Cobra.
Having reached the pinnacle of international motorsport as a Le Mans-winning co-driver for Aston Martin in 1959, Carroll Shelby soon achieved even greater fame as a constructor with his potent AC Ace-derived, Ford V-8 powered Cobra. The product of a long and challenging early road, the Cobra came about when Britain’s AC, the maker of the renowned Ace, learned of engine supplier Bristol’s looming cancellation of its excellent 2-litre engine. Lightweight and well-proven with countless victories, the Ace could, Shelby thought, be even better with American V-8 power.
In September 1961, Shelby wrote Charles Hurlock of AC Cars proposing a hybrid car based on the Ace; Hurlock was interested if a suitable V-8 was available. When Hot Rod magazine editor Ray Brock told Shelby of Ford’s new lightweight small-block V-8, Shelby had an early 221 cubic-inch unit mated to a stock AC Ace, with the compact Ford V-8 weighing little more than the Bristol. When the 221 grew to 260 cubes for the Falcon Sprint, Ford engineer Dave Evans shipped a pair of the new engines to Shelby, who immediately air-freighted them to AC. Shelby then flew to England to test-drive the new car he dubbed the "Cobra" on February 1, 1962.
Beginning from modest facilities in Venice, California during August 1962, Shelby American went on to build roughly 75 Cobras with Ford 260 V-8 engines, followed by about 579 more powered by the larger-displacement 289 “High-Performance” solid-lifter unit that continues to define the small-block Cobra. Documented in the Shelby American World Registry, this Cobra was originally invoiced to Shelby American on June 25, 1964, and shipped to Los Angeles on July 10 aboard the SS Loch Avon. On October 21, 1964, it was invoiced to Fort Lee Motors in New Jersey with a base price of $5,195 plus the “Class A” accessory package including WSW tires, 5 chrome wheels, antifreeze, and freight, bringing the price to a total of $5,879.05. The first known owner was Fred Knapik of Edison, New Jersey and the Cobra was repainted and equipped with Weber carburetors. Mr. Knapik sold the car in 1973 to Ronald Sinisgalli of Brooklyn, New York, through whom it passed in 1977 to Jim Inglese of North Branford, Connecticut, who also established his soon-to-be-renowned Weber carburetion specialty business that year. After winning a 1st place award at the SAAC Northeast Fall Rally, Mr. Inglese sold it in partial trade for 427 Cobra to John Daily of Ohio, who sold the car onto Dale Bliss of Oklahoma. The car was later sold to Robert Benson who recently had a complete ground-up restoration performed. It was then sold to its next caretaker whom converted it back to its factory-style street configuration with a factory under car exhaust system, factory chrome wires and stunning black exterior.
As offered now, it drives wonderfully with its period Weber induction system, heightening the performance delivered by its 289 cobra engine, itself mated to the Cobra’s aluminum T-10 manual transmission. As recently discussed by a Shelby expert in The Complete Book of Shelby Automobiles, "Should you be fortunate enough to find yourself behind the wheel of a good leaf-spring Cobra, you’ll find it’s an experience anybody who even remotely enjoys driving will likely never forget." Accordingly, this handsome, highly drivable, and historic 289 Cobra carries clean history, stands ready to enjoy, and marks a thrilling link to its creator, Carroll Shelby.