Shelby Cobras are a staple in car lovers’ dreams. Their sleek design and incredible performance have been the envy of other car makers since they first came on the automotive scene. A prime example of the Shelby superiority is the 1965 Shelby 427 Competition Cobra.
Only 19 of the 427 Competition Cobras were ever made. Over the years, that limited number has become even rarer as only a handful have kept their original body. So RM Sotheby’s listing for a 427 Competition Cobra should garner a lot of attention as it is one of those with the original body. Making it even more rare, the car is the only 427 Cobra to win a significant European race. It was driven by three Formula 1 drivers in 1966: Chris Irwin, David Piper, and Bob Bondurant. It also competed in a 1966 FIA Wordl Sports Car Championship, and it won first overall at the 1966 Brands Hatch.
The car was originally manufactured to meet the specs requested by William G. Freeman, who required that the car be finished in metallic blue with gold Le Mans stripes. After racing in two SCCA races, Freeman was offered a European racing contract and was forced to sell the Cobra. The car didn’t sell at the time, but it did eventually go to an Air Force Captain who then sold it to The Chequered Flag in London, who raced the car for several years. A recent restoration brought the car back into racing shape.