Courtesy of Bonhams

CSX4942 was completed at the Shelby American plant in November of 2007, near the end of the Shelby Continuation Series Cobra production, as a 427 S/C model with fiberglass bodywork. The Shelby-issued Statement of Origin lists Performance Auto Group LLC of Summit, NJ, as the original purchaser.

The new Cobra was finished as seen today, sporting a classic silver metallic exterior over the optional black leather interior. It was fitted with all the correct 427 S/C features; sidepipe exhaust, quick-jack lifting points instead of bumpers, a paperclip-style roll bar, wide Halibrand-style alloy wheels and a quick-filler gas cap placed prominently atop the right rear fender. The engine choice was a balanced and blueprinted 427 FE, fitted with aluminum heads, headers and nearly every performance upgrade available, and installed by the noted Shelby specialists at HRE Motorcars.

This vehicle is titled as a model year 1965.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1965 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C Continuation Series
Years Produced:1996–present
Number Produced:N/A
Original List Price:$65,000–$75,000
SCM Valuation:$80,000 – $100,000
Tune Up Cost:$350
Distributor Caps:$15
Chassis Number Location:Stamped in top of X-brace behind the radiator on passenger side
Engine Number Location:Cast in the bottom of the block by the oil filter and stamped on the Shelby VIN tag underneath the VIN number (427)
Alternatives:Factory Five Mk4, Superformance MkIII, Kirkham 427

This car, Lot 331, sold for $112,200, including buyer’s premium, at Bonhams’ auction in Greenwich, CT, on June 1, 2014.

The tradition continues

Imagine for a moment that you’re Carroll Shelby in the 1960s. You managed to design and build a car that set the performance and racing world on notice. Now, imagine further that you built only 998 Cobras from 1961 to 1968.

Fast-forward to the early 1990s, and you’ve had a front-row seat as the vintage-era Cobras you designed, built and sold skyrocket in value. Further, every Tom, Dick and Harry seems to be building a faux copy in their garage thanks to scores of companies jumping into the Cobra replica business. Hmmm, maybe the guy who started this whole thing ought to get back into the game.

In 1991, that’s exactly what Shelby did. Taking a few leftover chassis, Shelby made plans to build what he labeled “Completion Cobras.” These would be sold as new 1965 Cobras using the chassis numbers from 1965 that were never built.

Of course, building and selling a car like the Shelby Cobra in the ’90s wasn’t the same as it was in 1965. Shelby had to deal with a more complicated bureaucracy, and that ultimately led to only nine Completion Cobras being built — all with “off-road use only” designated on their titles.

CSX4000 to the rescue

Shelby discovered a rather simple workaround to continue the Shelby Cobra tradition. If other guys could legally build and sell a kit, why couldn’t he do it himself — with all the authentic Shelby DNA attached to the car? So in 1996, Shelby started to offer complete rollers to a network of authorized dealers who, in turn, would complete the build of the car to the buyer’s specifications. Genuine CSX chassis numbers would be assigned and everyone involved could go home happy. This process eliminated emissions and crash-test requirements and iced out all of the regulatory red tape.

Buyers eagerly lined up, wallets opened wide, and orders flew in for the second coming of the Cobra — the Continuation Cobra. The cars could be ordered with a fiberglass body, or similar to the original builds, they could be ordered with an aluminum body. Other options were also available that allowed the buyer to customize his or her car, including a Shelby-manufactured 427 side-oiler.

Once the CSX4000 chassis numbers ran their course (CSX5000 numbers were retained for the Shelby Series 1), production continued with the CSX6000 series. For the small-block buyer, Shelby offered the CSX7000 289 FIA competition Cobra and the CSX8000 in street clothes. Production also included a very limited (and very expensive) supply of CSX1000 Cobras using a hand-made heritage AC body.

Instant collectible?

While there is no denying the impact of the original 998 Cobras and the prices they command, the Continuation Cobras are entirely different animals. I’m certain there are more than a few early CSX4000 cars mothballed away with the hopes that they will eventually command a nice down payment on a spiffy oceanfront beach house. While that may or may not come to fruition, the sales data show that it likely won’t happen. Or at least isn’t happening right now.

When sold new, as completed by an authorized dealer, some of the earliest cars commanded a huge premium just to secure a chassis number. The base fiberglass body component Cobra started at $39,900 in 1996.

While buyers of the early CSX4000 Cobras may see some modest appreciation, it doesn’t really stack up based on the entry cost, assembly, options costs and plain old inflation. Most guys will have about $65,000 to $75,000 into their early-production car, and a low CSX4000 chassis number won’t change the outcome of the current market value.

At press time, there are several Continuation Cobras available in the open market, plus you can have one built brand new by contacting one of the authorized dealers noted at the Shelby American website (

According to Stephen Becker, noted SAI factory-authorized Shelby dealer ( and Shelby expert, the entry price for a completed CSX6000 will start at $140,000. A CSX7000 or CSX8000 tallies up to $135,000. These are for professionally built cars with fiberglass bodies. The prices only go up from there. The MSRP for a roller CSX6000 in glass is listed at $84,995, and no discounts are allowed by any of the Shelby authorized dealers.

In the open market, glass 4000s/6000s appear to be trading in the $80,000 to $110,000 range. Alloy Cobras trade in the $150,000 to $200,000 range. That said, the alloy cars have panned out far better as limited investments than glass examples — but that is as expected, since they replicate the 1960s-era cars in a more distinctive way, not to mention that the cars cost significantly more when they were ordered. They are also extremely rare, and very few ever come up for sale.

Stacking them up

For me, the Shelby hierarchy goes like this: Obviously, out front are the original cars — the aforementioned 998 Shelbys that routinely bring high six-figure prices, with two-comma valuations for the best examples. Next up, perhaps the nine Completion Cobras floating around out there. Following that is the limited supply of CSX1000 Continuations, most of which utilize a genuine hand-hammered aluminum alloy body from AC in England. After that, any of the CSX4000, 6000, 7000 or 8000 Cobras in alloy trim, carbon fiber (very rare as well), and lastly, the glass examples.

Granted, Shelby is not the only game in town when it comes to Cobras. There are many replicas out there, and suffice to say, there are thousands of possibilities and combinations from nearly perfect commercially and hobbyist-built examples to outright abominations.

Some guys will argue that the Superformance car is the only Cobra actually authorized by Shelby, and it’s important to note that those do generally command a premium in the market over other replica examples.


Our subject car is a glass-bodied example bearing chassis number CSX4942. The car had been listed at a high-line Connecticut-based dealer for $99,900 in 2012. At this sale, Bonhams described the car well and further estimated the sales hammer amount to fall between $75,000 to $90,000.

The car appears to have remained in very nice condition since being completed in 2007. With the buyer’s premium added, the car sold for $112,200 — a solid jump over the pre-sale estimate. While this might indicate a modest increase in values for the glass-bodied examples, it might also be the case of two guys both deciding that they wanted the car and didn’t mind paying a small premium to get it.

Keep in mind that all CSX4000 Cobras are not created equal. There are numerous variances between the cars all based on how much the original buyer wanted to spend. Also, logically, cars that have been heavily used will see more depreciation over those that have not. Our subject car was equipped with the optional 427 FE engine and other optional performance goodies, which ups the ante a bit in the hierarchy of Continuation cars. Considering all that, I’d consider this car a reasonably fair deal for both parties, with a slight advantage to the seller.

(Introductory description courtesy of Bonhams.

Comments are closed.