In 1968, Road and Track deemed the Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake "the Cobra to End All Cobras." That superlative statement stands true more than half a century later, but it only touches on why gearheads are reeling for their chance to cop the King Cobra of Shelby Cobras, if you will.
Barrett-Jackson is selling Carroll Shelby's personal Cobra 427 Super Snake—VIN CSX3015—for the third time. The first was for $5.5 million in 2007, when the automotive mastermind himself was present to provide commentary on the block. In 2015, the auction company again sold CSX3015 for $5.1 million.
This time, Barrett-Jackson has released a six-minute teaser that delves into the Super Snake's origin story.
"His friend and former attorney [Stan Mullin] used to drive up to Tahoe, and he was driving a regular Cobra, and at high altitudes, [Mullin's] Ferrari would start leaving him," explains Craig Jackson, Chairman & CEO, Barrett-Jackson.
As race team leader of the Ford GT40 crew at 1966's 24 Hours of Le Mans, Shelby had dominated Ferrari's 330 P3 on the track. He wanted to do the same on the street.
"He went back to Shelby American and told them, 'Take that car, 3015, make it my car. Take out the four-speed, put in an automatic transmission, add two blowers to it,' Jackson says. "And that is where the Super Snake was born. And, as Stan Mullin said, the car at 140 mph just exploded. 'It ate my Ferrari alive.'"
Footage of Shelby at the 2007 auction recalling the experience of piloting his creation puts the icing on the cake. "Stopped doing 190 mph in Nevada, and it would do just a little over 3 seconds to 60 45 years ago."
Powered by a 427 cubic-inch (7.0-liter) V8 engine with two Paxton superchargers and an automatic transmission, the 427 was originally built as a competition car before it was reverted back to S/C (Semi-Competition) for Shelby's road use. However, it retains the competition-spec rear end with its original rear end oil cooler and pumps. The headers and chromed side pipes are also original.
The 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake hits the block at Barrett-Jackson's Scottsdale sale, which is scheduled to take place from March 20-27.