You’re not part of the Miller family dynasty of Utah Jazz and Miller Motorsports Park fame, are you? Shucks, that means you’ll probably never get some seat time in the first Shelby Cobra ever. When the Millers purchased chassis CSX2000 at auction back in 2016 for just under a whopping $14 million, they were the first owners of the car—other than Carroll Shelby himself.
If you’ve still got that “Carroll Shelby’s Personal Cobra” slush fund still bristling with zeros, great news: Mecum Auctions has another one of Carroll Shelby’s roadsters up for grabs, and this time it isn’t one of those namby-pamby, prissy-pants slab-sided 260 Cobras (we jest!), but one of the original street-spec 427 Cobras that launched a million replicas.
According to Mecum, chassis CSX3178 was ordered new and assembled in March of 1966, despite carrying a 1965 model year. This Cobra was for personal use by Shelby himself and remained in his personal collection until his death in 2012. CSX3178 is one of just five 427 Cobras ordered in Charcoal Gray and originally carried a Ford 7.0-liter (427-cubic-inch) V-8 with dual-four-barrel carburetors and a four-speed Toploader manual transmission.
Never one to be satisfied with the already excessive, Shelby had the original heart ripped out for a more potent aluminum-head 7.0-liter side-oiler V-8 mated to an automatic transmission. Prior to that, Shelby had CSX3178 restored in 1972 with a new blue-and-gold paint scheme, which in 2002 was later changed to red by official Shelby techs at Shelby American. The car was purchased in 2016 by the seller and comprehensively restored to Concours condition with a marque expert, returning the CSX3178 back to its original Charcoal Gray and four-speed manual transmission configuration.
If you want your crack at another piece of Shelby history, break out the swear jar and scrounge between the couch cushions, as this won’t come cheap. Mecum provides an estimate on request only, but seeing as “regular” street-spec (non-S/C) 427 Cobras trade hands for between $1.1 million and around $2 million, we expect this to go for a premium. Mark your gold-rimmed calendars with your platinum Mont Blanc for Mecum’s Kissimmee sale from January 7th until January 16th.
All photography courtesy of Mecum Auctions