1966 A.C. COBRA 427 SC "SEMI-COMPETITION"
Chassis No. CSX 3036
Black with black leather interior
Engine: V8, iron block and heads, pushrod operated overhead valves, 427ci, 425bhp; Gearbox: 4-speed manual; Suspension: front and rear, independent by unequal control arms with coil springs over tube shocks; Brakes: four wheel disc, 11.6in. front,10.75in rear. Left hand drive.
If Carroll Shelby wanted to race his new coil-spring suspension 427 Ford powered Cobra as a GT car, FIA regulations said he would have to build 100 of them. Carroll, as always, wanted to race and he figured the world would beat a path to his door for this potentially world-beating sports car with improved chassis, bigger tires and whomping great 7-litre Ford NASCAR motor with a pair of sparrow-swallowing Holleys that breathed deeply enough to make well over 500bhp with a little tweaking. Shelby American and A.C. Cars set to work, figuring the FIA inspectors would apply their usual "windage" to the actual car count and aprove the 427 Cobra if Shelby showed a good faith attempt to meet the minimum. They were wrong. 52 cars were built, the FIA inspectors arrived, counted, and said, Cinquante deux n'est pas cent (52 is not 100), or something to that effect. 427 Cobra race cars lined the runway at Shelby's LAX facility (mostly air freighted, no less, from A.C. Cars in Thames Ditton), and there they sat on jack stands, rejected by the FIA and immobilized by Halibrand, which was unable to supply enough of the 9.5 in/10.5in pin drive magnesium wheels their axles required. About 16 made it out Shelby's doors, mostly for SCCA competition, but the rest sat, still in white, in the fortunately dry Los Angeles climate. Thus was born the 427 SC "Semi-Competition", a street Cobra of legend.
There were 31 of them lined up at LAX when Charles Biedler, Shelby's east coast sales representative, suggested they be completed with street equipment. Word went through Shelby's sales organization, and the grapvine, and the 427 SCs went out fast enough to ease the pain at Shelby American. There isn't much difference between a competition Cobra and a Semi-Competition. SC'c had 10.4 compression iron heads, a dual quad medium riser intake, slightly smaller tires and rubber supension bushings while full competition models had 12.4:1 aluminum heads, a single Holley on an aluminum high riser and bronze suspension bushings. It was easy enough to make an SC run like a full comp car, and many (if not most) did, including the example offered here.
Purchased in June 1966, CSX 3036 was used ocassionally as a race car until it was bought by Ken Eber former President of the Shelby American Automobile Club and Publisher of the (1987) Shelby American World Registry in 1981. It was owned by Mr. Eber until it was purchased in the early '90s by Mr. Moores and remained in his collection until it was donated to the Scripps Research Institute. During Mr. Moores ownership, we are told, the CSX 3036 was sympathetically restored by well known specialist Mike McClusky. McClusky did not wish to disturb the originality of the Cobra and only replaced items that were incorrect or in need of replacement. This vehicle appears to have its original panels intact and unreplaced, It also has the appropriate A.C. chassis number stamps on hinges and latches. The odometer shows less than 20,000, believed correct, miles. A true 427 SC, with the side-oiler 427 engine, CSX 3036 is presented in black with black leather interior. Back in 1966 these were the fastest street cars in the world.
A healthy carburetted Cobra has two speeds, on and off. It starts, with three pumps of the accelerator to prime the engine and the throttles wide open to let in lots of air, with a blast of noise and exhaust that exterminates small rodents. Throttling the beast to clear the carbs and clean the plugs just before a stoplight turns green is an experience not to be missed... One of the original 31 Semi Competition cars is a rare find indeed. CSX 3036 has an unblemished history and is fully documented in the Shelby American Registry. Christie's is delighted to be offering this special Cobra on behalf of Scripps Research Institute.