Carroll Shelby’s impact on the automobile is almost immeasurable. He won in almost every form of motorsport he attacked, excelling as a driver and then as a manufacturer and racing team manager. He also redefined the sports car with the 289 Cobra, a lightweight hybrid that married AC’s Ace roadster with Ford’s all-new thinwall V-8 engine. Once Shelby’s chief engineer Phil Remington and driver Ken Miles sorted the combination, the Cobra proved a terror in competition, immediately trailering the new-for-1963 Corvette Sting Ray and eventually winning the World Manufacturers Championship in Daytona Coupe form. Among the rarest Shelby Cobras were those fitted at the factory with Ford’s C4 automatic transmission. Interestingly, Carroll Shelby’s own personal drivers were almost always automatic-equipped, a feature that made them easier and more comfortable to drive for someone with Shelby’s lanky build and long legs, which benefited from the extra room left by eliminating the clutch pedal. According to the Shelby Registry, CSX2549 is one of fewer than 20 C4-equipped Cobra 289s, only a few of which are known to remain extant today. CSX2549 was billed to Shelby American August 25, 1964 and shipped to Los Angeles September 4 aboard the SS Alblasserdyk and was invoiced on January 28, 1965 to Reynolds Motor Company in Syracuse, New York. One of 43 small-block Cobras finished in Silver Mink, the car was equipped at Shelby American with the highly desirable Red interior and the Class “A” accessory group that included Whitewall tires, five chromed knock-off wire wheels, a dash-mounted mirror, wind wings, front and rear bumperettes and a quick fill gas cap. Including the automatic transmission and antifreeze, the car invoiced for a total of $6,047.05 including freight. After failing to find a buying customer, Reynolds contacted Shelby and requested permission to return the car for credit, on the promise they would order a number of GT350s. 1965 Shelby 289 Cobra Roadster CSX2549 Interior The Cobra was returned to Shelby American’s inventory in California, and the full amount was credited back to Reynolds. On May 31, 1965 the car was invoiced to Shelby’s own Hi-Performance Motors of El Segundo, California, as a used vehicle at a cost of $5,300. Sometime in 1967, Marv Tonkin Ford of Portland, Oregon, acquired the car directly from Carroll Shelby through Hi-Performance, and in 1968 sold it to Jim Farmer of Lake Oswego, Oregon. In 1978 well-known collector and racer Monte Shelton of Portland, Oregon, purchased it. Shelton repainted the car Black and then sold it to Brad Loitved, also of Portland, who maintained ownership until 1988 when he sold it to automotive journalist Jerry Heasley of Plano, Texas. A devoted Cobra enthusiast, Heasley wrote about his Cobra in numerous magazine articles over several years. During his ownership he commissioned Wayne Davis to refinish the car in the original Silver, returning it to what is undoubtedly one of the most attractive color pairings available on the Cobra. Now being offered in excellent condition from the Don Davis Collection, this well-documented beauty still retains its original no-hit aluminum body, Red seat covers, 6-inch chrome wire wheels and today remains one of the most original automatic-equipped Cobras in existence. Source: