In 1963, Shelby’s new Cobra had established its supremacy on the short road courses of America, but Shelby and Ford shared a more ambitious goal-to beat Ferrari to the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) World Manufacturer’s Championship for GT cars.
After victories at Le Mans and Goodwood, Shelby narrowly missed the 1964 championship, vowing to return next year. In February 1965, Shelby entered four coupes at Daytona, among them CSX2601, which retired with a blown engine after eight hours.
Another Cobra won the GT class and CSX2601 had its revenge at Monza, finishing 8th overall and 1st in GT. A 2nd and 1st in GT followed at Spa in Belgium and the German Nürburgring, leading up to the 12 Heures du Reims in France. There, Bob Bondurant drove CX2601 across the finish line to secure the FIA championship. After a 1st in GT in Sicily, CSX2601 was retired, shipped back to Hollywood to appear in “Redline 7000,” then bought by Bondurant, who kept it until 1969.