Snakes in the desert: trio of Cobras heads to Arizona

| 5 Jan 2016

Words and pictures: RM Sotheby's

Pure adrenaline is on the menu at RM Sotheby’s Arizona sale on 28-29 January, where three Shelby Cobras — a champion, a drag-racer and a reliable rally car, will delight any discerning enthusiast of the performance legend. Leading the pack is a 1965 Shelby 427 Competition Cobra, CSX 3010, with unmatched period competition success and more recently, a second life as a dual-purpose vintage racer and grand tourer, ready for more enjoyment on the road or the track.


One of just 23 Competition 427 Cobras produced, CSX 3010 was delivered new to Don Russell Jr of South Carolina, equipped with a less aggressive exhaust for street use, a shoulder harness, and road lights. Russell soon determined the 620bhp Cobra was too wild for the road, and sold the car. Remaining in the Northeast, the car landed with Peter Consiglio of Massachusetts, who raced it in regional SCCA events in 1967 with mild success, before stepping up to SCCA National competition in 1968. Prepared for the track with black paint and gold leaf stripes, Consiglio proved a worthy competitor behind the wheel, landing on the podium for all but three of the 11 SCCA races that season to ultimately claim the 1968 A Production championship. 

Following his highly successful rookie season, Consiglio sold the 427 Cobra to John Risley of Nova Scotia, who enjoyed similar success, racing the car in the Canadian Endurance Championship Series with co-driver David Fram. The duo finished first overall in the Eastern Canadian Endurance Championship in 1971, making CSX 3010 the only 427 Cobra to win championships in two countries!

The Cobra found a home with its current custodian in 1978 who, with a return to the track in mind, commissioned a full restoration, showing the car at the 1982 Palo Alto Concours d’Elegance upon completion. After extensive vintage racing participation, he eventually parted with the car in 1986, only to be reunited with CSX 3010 in 2007. With seemingly little that this Cobra cannot do, in recent years CSX 3010 has completed no less than seven long-distance tours, as well as competed at the Monterey Historics on multiple occasions. Offered with its original front clip, street and race equipment, along with extensive documentation, this true enthusiast’s example is expected to fetch $2,500,000 - $3,300,000 when it goes under the gavel in January.


Carroll Shelby and his racing team remained a dominant force in motorsport throughout the 1960s. However, a handful of owners believed that they could beat Shelby at his own game, using cars bearing his name. The 427 is offered alongside a 1963 Shelby 289 Cobra 'Dragonsnake', CSX 2093, unquestionably the most accomplished drag-racing Cobra. Converted to ‘Dragonsnake’ specifications in 1965, CSX 2093 found massive success throughout its drag-racing career, setting numerous records and securing national titles in four separate NHRA classes, along with the 1967 NHRA World Championship. The Dragonsnake is presented exactly as it competed, including a Weber-carbureted 289 Ford V-8 with Bellanger side mount header, four-speed transmission, Cobra Sunburst rear wheels with slicks, wire front wheels, removable hard top and eye-grabbing magenta metal-flake paint. It is expected to command $1,400,000 - $1,600,000 at the two-day sale. 

Rounding out the trio of iconic Shelbys set for the Phoenix event is a factory-demonstrator 1964 Shelby 289 Cobra, CSX 2561. The recipient of a beautifully maintained restoration, under current ownership CSX 2561 has been freshly resprayed in its original White and has seen recent mechanical servicing, which included the installation of a correct, four-speed manual transmission.

A turn-key Cobra ready for more trouble-free rallying or a Sunday drive, this Cobra is certainly worthy of consideration by aficionados of post-war American performance (Pre-sale estimate $950,000 - $1,100,000). 


A virtual kaleidoscope of collector car icons, RM’s Arizona sale will present some of the most sought-after automobiles across numerous eras and genres. Additional notable entries include:

Leading desirable American Classics, a beautifully restored 1933 Packard Twelve Convertible Victoria, chassis no. 901624, offered publicly for the first time. Believed to be one of just four authentic survivors, the Packard is complete with its original chassis, engine, body and firewall plate (Est. $500,000 - $600,000)

Representing iconic touring Ferraris of the 1960s, a freshly restored 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II, chassis no. 2153 GT, stunning in its original color combination of Bleu Sera over Pelle Naturale (Est. $1,800,000 - $2,100,000)

1970s Italian styling packed with performance is available in droves at the Arizona sale, led by a striking 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV, chassis no. 4912, one of just 21 examples delivered new to the U.S. (Est. $2,000,000 - $2,400,000)

A highly appointed 2005 Ferrari 575 Superamerica, chassis no. 144839, the modern, open-top V-12 Ferrari at its best, equipped with a highly desirable six-speed manual transmission (Est. $650,000 - $750,000).

This selection of automobiles highlights the diversity of RM Sotheby’s 149-car Arizona sale, which spans everything from stately Brass Era cars and American Classics to European sports and racing cars, and supercars of the 1970s, 80s, 90s and today. To view a complete list of entries for the Phoenix sale, please visit

For those unable to attend the event in person, RM Sotheby’s offers a range of remote bidding options, including absentee, Internet, and telephone bidding, and the auction will stream live at providing real-time coverage of the event. All cars will be on view preceding the two-day sale, with a full day preview on 27 January, as well as ahead of each auction evening from 10:00am – 5:00pm on 28-29 January.