This car in the mid 1960’s, a young man by the name of William Turner was thinking about buying a new car. During the preceding years, Mr. Turner, from Fort Myers, Florida, had been successfully drag racing Pontiacs and was a master engine builder. Although his lightweight GTOs were among the most exciting cars available, he had a yearning for something a little more dramatic; he wanted to go road racing.
While in California, Mr. Turner stopped by the Shelby-American workshops in Los Angeles. At the time he wanted a 289 Competition Car, but none were available. He made some contacts at Shelby and followed up time to time in hopes that the right car would finally become available. Eventually, he was offered a recommissioned 289 race car and later, a standard 427, but neither satisfied his yearning. Finally in 1967, rather then continuing to deal with Shelby directly, Mr. Turner contacted his local Ford dealership, J.D. Ball Ford of Miami, Florida to keep him appraised of any interesting Cobras. He asked them to pursue a suitable car for him and, in due course, they called back with a lead on a 427 S/C, one of only 29 such cars. Mr. Turner knew that the S/C was, for all intents and purposes, a full competition 427 Cobra made street legal – exactly the kind of car he was looking for.
The S/C was located at Dick Walters Ford Inc. in Des Moines, lowa, and rumor had it the car just finished a stint travelling with Shelby-American’s Cobra Caravan. CSX 3021 was one of only two Cobras ever finished in Hertz Gold and, although the car was completed in March 1965, Shelby had found no takers for its most devastating performance car. In August 1966, the dramatic Cobra was ordered by Dick Walters Ford; however, by spring 1967, the 427 S/C seemed to become a permanent fixture on the showroom floor. A deal was soon struck between J.D. Ball Ford, Dick Walters Ford and Bill Turner, whereby Mr. Turner would trade in his 1966 Pontiac GTO Factory Lightweight as a partial exchange for the Cobra. The S/C cost $9,500; the Pontiac was given a $2,200 trade-in value and the difference was paid out over 48 months in $145 installments. He arrived in Des Moines in the evening and once his paperwork had cleared, Mr. Turner was ready to take delivery of his brand-new Hertz Gold 1965 Shelby 427 S/C at the time, the fastest road-going automobile ever built.
The car was equipped with a medium-riser 427, dual Holley four barrels, minimal mufflers within the side pipes, rubber suspension bushings, competition fuel tank, wide front flares and rear flares with a pronounced lip. Despite his interest in the Shelby Roadsters, Mr. Turner had never actually sat in a Cobra, let alone driven one. His acclimation to the S/C was immediate; he simply jumped in the car, asked “Which road do I hit as far as heading south?” and took off. After the chill of the lowa evening set in, Mr. Turner began to erect the top, only to discover that it was designed for a car without a roll bar and was incapable of closing properly. To solve the problem, he whipped out his pocket knife and cut a hole, allowing the roll bar to slide through the top and the cover to be safely secured.
A while later during the drive to Florida, Mr. Turner encountered a 1967 Corvette on the road. For some time, the Corvette and the Cobra dueled through the winding mountain roads. Mr. Turner reports that, during the impromptu contest, speeds of 150-160 mph were reached. Both drivers were quite impressed by the performance of each other’s cars and stopped for coffee and had a chat. It became evident that the Corvette was one of the rare L88 models and, therefor, it was no wonder the sports car was able to keep up with a street-legal competition Cobra.
When Mr. Turner returned to Florida, he was still obligated to do some drag racing. Between that and other commitments, the Cobra was never raced as was originally intended and, in 1969, it went into storage with a mere 3,000 miles on the odometer. The car remained static for many years with only the occasional drive to maintain it in running order. At some point in the late 1970s or early 1980s, Mr. Turner painted the car red. However, he returned the Cobra to its original Hertz Gold. Other than this temporary colour change, it is believed the car has been left unaltered from the moment it left the Shelby workshop in 1965.
For the past 30 years, the S/C Cobra has been shown infrequently, driven sparingly and remains essentially as delivered. On one of its rare public showings, the car was displayed at the SAAC-15 meet in Dearborn, Michigan, where it won a second place trophy; it most likely would have won first place if its long years in storage not drained the battery, thus rendering the car unmovable and unable to start for the judges. The AC-fitted Lucas headlamps are present, the Halibrand wheels still wear the original Goodyear Blue Dot and Blue Streak tires, and the engine bay offers a textbook presentation of the famous 427 V8 engine. The Cobra’s interior reflects an even more astounding level of preservation. The remains of the factory sticker are still affixed to the 180 mph counter-winding speedometer, the upholstery has an irreplaceable texture and the original top, still with its late-night modification, is carefully stowed in the trunk. From the Lucas wiring wrapped in the original electric tape to the numbered spark plug wires, this S/C Cobra proudly bears its history for all to witness and possesses a charm and integrity that can be found in a car that’s never been comprehensively restored. Above all, the odometer reads just under 3,900 miles, making it quite possibly the lowest-mileage Cobra in existence.
This irreplaceable Shelby is offered with an impressive file of original documents, as lovingly comprehensive a file as one could hope for alongside a one-owner 427 S/C. Included with the sale of this car are the original side curtains and top, the tool roll, the Cobra 247 chassis instruction book, the original invoice from J.D. Ball Ford, old vehicle registrations, the payment book used to pay the 48 installments, the original 1967 Florida title and letter from Shelby-American addressed to the Cobra’s one and only owner Mr. William Turner.
This marvelous 427 S/C Cobra is undeniably the finest of its kind and arguably the most original Shelby Cobra in existence. For the collector who appreciates one-of-a-kind cars and fascinating stories, this is the best Cobra money can buy.