1965 Shelby 427 Competition Cobra to be Auctioned at RM Auctions London

The 427 Shelby Cobra is one of Carroll Shelby’s most well-known cars, and examples fetch huge sums of cash. This 1965 Shelby 427 Competition Cobra is a special example of that car -- David Piper and Bob Bondurant raced it to victory in the 1966 Ilford 500 at Brands Hatch.

Shelby’s Cobra originally started life with a 289-ci engine producing 390 horsepower in racing form, but gained the venerable 427 in 1965. The 427-ci engine, producing upwards of 600 hp, was added to help the Cobra regain its supremacy on the track.

Unfortunately for Shelby, the cars did not originally meet homologation requirements and could not be raced. With a later rule change, the cars became eligible to compete, but were competing against Ford’s GT40 and were only raced by private racing teams. The car offered in London, chassis number CSX 3006, is one of the original sixteen 427 Competition Cobras sold to private racing teams and is only one of nineteen competition Cobras.

The car's complete history is fully documented. The original owner, William G. Freeman, bought it from the factory and raced it twice before taking it to France. There it was bought by an Air Force captain before making its way to Chequered Flag of London, where it was converted to right-hand drive to compete in various races. Under the ownership of Chequered Flags of London and at the hands of David Piper and Bob Bondurant, the car won the 1966 Ilford 500 at Brands Hatch.

After winning that race, the car made its way through various owners and was restored to its original condition -- left-hand drive and blue paint -- in 1985. In 2003 the Cobra was converted to the way it was when it won the Ilford 500. It is being offered in the same condition, right-hand drive with white paint, a black hood, and black side pipes.

The 1965 Shelby 427 Competition Cobra is expected to fetch between $990,000 and $1.3 million when it goes up for auction at RM Auctions Automobiles of London on October 28.

Michael F. Henninh
Richard, I knew Bill in Beloit before I moved to Vermont in 1958. Was somewhat aware of the Cobra and the last I heard about him, he was in southern California and involved with Newman Racing. Don't know if this correct, but would love to hear from him if you locate him. Mike Henning Grass Valley, ca
Richard Terrones
I am attempting to locate Wm G. Freeman for a 50-year class reunion-1962 in Beloit, WI. He did purchase a Shelby Cobra of that vintage and he did drive it in Beloit, WI, his hometown before heading west. He was into racing and the last time we spoke he was living in CA setting up race cars for Hollywood movies. If you might have a contact information for Mr Freeman, could you please pass it on via e-mail, and, if there is no connection, thank you for checking. Richard Terones

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