Rare Shelby Cobra DragonSnake re-debuts

An extremely rare Shelby Cobra DragonSnake is about to re-debut.  Chassis #CSX2416 will be on display at Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion next week before undergoing a full restoration.

These drag race ready Cobras are considered to be some of the rarest of Carroll Shelby’s creations, and this one happens to be even rarer.  The extreme high price resulted in only eight cars total that were created by either the Shelby American factory or independently prepared racers using Shelby’s components.  CSX2416 was one of the two factory-prepared DragonSnakes with the 325 hp Stage III-D competition motor.  The car was ordered with a cold air box and hood scoop, custom two-into-two-into-four exhaust system with low restriction mufflers, polished Torque Thrust magnesium wheels and a hard top.

CSX2416 raced at the first Monterey Motorsports Reunion in 1974.  It was parked soon after that and kept a low profile until 2011.

This rare snake is now in the hands of restoration shop Competition Classics.  The original Stage III motor is not in the car, and the last buyer though this was just a DragonSnake.  So it took some digging by the restoration shop to identify this one as one of the rarest Cobras around.  They are calling this a “Barn Find within a Barn Find”, but that seems to be going a bit too far.

Competition Classics did not release any pictures with CSX2416’s current condition, but a YouTube video we found seems to show this car is already in working order:

Just because the car is running well does not necessarily mean it does not need a full restoration.  We know that at least the paint has been changed from Rangoon Red to a copper color, chrome exhaust installed, fender flares have been added, new wheels bolted on, and a roll bar installed.  Still, for a car that has been “lost” for 30 years, it is quite good condition.

Competition Classics wants to get the car completed in time to run at the 2013 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, just shy of a four decade absence from the race.

It is nice to see a rare machine re-emerge, and this one will be making classic car news for some quite some time to come, but let’s save the “barn find” tag for something a little more fresh from the haystacks.


current photos: SAAC forum

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