Shelby World HQ

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THE SHELBY WORLD HEADQUARTERS, LAS VEGAS: I started developing my Shelby World Headquarters coverage on the very date of Carroll Shelby's 'reported' 89th birthday on the 11th January 2012, the month appropriately coincided with the 50th Anniversary of the Shelby Cobra and Shelby American. Historically, Shelby American was established by Carroll Shelby in 1962 to design and manufacture high performance cars. A wide variety of cars were produced including the Shelby Cobra, Mustang Shelby GT350, Mustang Shelby GT500 and even Shelby Go-Karts. Shelby were heavily involved in competition, winning races at the Le Mans 24 Hour Race, including the United States winning the World Manufacturer's Championship in 1966. That same year Shelby American provided support for Ford to win the 1966 Le Mans 24 Hour Race.

In 1995 Shelby American moved to Nevada, becoming the first automobile manufacturer in the State. In 2003 the Shelby American company name was changed to Carroll Shelby International Inc., and the Company was made public. In December 2009, Carroll Shelby International announced that Shelby Automobiles was to be renamed to Shelby American Inc., a wholly owned subsidary of the parent company, to celebrate the 45th Anniversary of the Shelby Cobra and the Shelby Mustang GT350.

THE SHELBY WORLD HEADQUARTERS: The home of Shelby American Inc., the building is located adjacent to the Las Vegas Speedway, the building houses a Museum, Gift Shop, Administration and a substantial Workshop Facility at the rear.


DEVELOPMENT AND LINEAGE: There appears to be a wide range of views on the exact development and lineage of Shelby Cobras over the first fifty years, this is my assessment of the CSX# nomenclature as at January 2012, it is generally supported by the images and historical data I recorded during my visit to the Shelby World Headquarters. Note that many Cobras have been built in South Africa and Mexico which tends to cloud the issue regarding the exact lineage data!

bulletCSX1000 Series:   British AC Ace chassis and vintage aluminium bodies, these cars are marketed by Shelby Autos USA, at premium prices.
bulletCSX2000 Series:   The first Shelby Cobra's, 1962~1965, using British AC Ace chassis with slab sided bodies and small block 260cid engines.
bulletCSX3000 Series:   Generally the same car as the #CSX2000, manufactured from 1965~1967 with either Ford FE427 or 428 big block engines. In the early 1990's Shelby American built a handful of #CSX3000 Series aluminium bodied 427cid powered Cobras for the race track.
bulletCSX4000 Series:   Current Cobra model, manufacture commenced in 1996. Built in Las Vegas, sans engine and drive train.
bulletCSX5000 Series:   Carbon Fibre bodied car known as the Carroll Shelby Series 1 car, surprisingly fitted with a General Motors Oldsmobile engine.
bulletCSX6000 Series:   Similar to the #CSX4000 Series, incorporating aluminium bodies and small block engines.
bulletCSX7000 Series:   Current Cobra model, FIA sanctioned, built in Las Vegas with large fenders, cut back doors and small block engines.
bulletCSX8000 Series:   Current Cobra model, albeit limited to fifty cars, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Shelby Cobra.
bulletCSX9000 Series:   Cobra Daytona Coupe, released in 2009.

1962: THE FIRST SHELBY COBRA 260 - #CSX2000: The Shelby Cobra took the sports car world by storm when it was introduced by Carroll Shelby in 1962. Shelby American used the British AC Ace chassis, inserted a new small block Ford engine and re-engineered the car to handle the additional power. With an overall weight of 2,020 pounds, the Cobra easily outperformed sports cars from the likes of Aston Martin, Chevrolet, Jaguar and Porsche. In 1965 Shelby's Cobra Team won the Sports Car World Championship from Ferrari. With a US$5,995.00 MSRP, a total of 655 'small block' 260cid engined Cobras were built from 1962~1965.

#CSX2000 was the first Shelby Cobra ever built and is arguably the most valuable American Sports Car in the world. #CSX2000 has been personally owned by Carroll Shelby since it was built and is in 'survivor' condition. The car still incorporates it's original four speed Ford 260cid engine, brakes, interior and body. The car was used in various magazine stories and has been repainted several times.

Carroll Shelby Notation: 'The #CSX2000's DNA can be found in every Shelby Car and high performance part we have ever built'.

1965~1967: SHELBY COBRA 427 - CSX3178: In 1965, Shelby American introduced the 'big block' Cobra. The #CSX3000 Series Cobra weighed 2,300 pounds and featured a sophisticated chassis, updated bodywork and improved braking to match the 485HP, 427cid V8 engine. Only 348 'big block' Cobras were built between 1965~1967 at US$7,995.00. Some cars were fitted with a race ready 427cid engine whilst the remainder had the more street orientated 428cid engine. #CSX3178 is a street version 'big block' Cobra with the optional roll bar and automatic transmission, the car is part of Carroll Shelby's personal collection.

Carroll Shelby Notation: 'The Shelby American team made the 'big block' Cobra one of the most feared sports cars in the world'.

1990's: SHELBY COBRA 427 - #CSX3056: In the early 1990's, Shelby American built a handful of continuation CSX3000 Series aluminium 427 Cobras that were identical to those manufactured in 1967. These big block Cobras were not for public highway use and were intended solely for enjoyment on the race track. Build #CSX3056 was the first in the short production run and it was featured in the media, worldwide.

#CSX3056 had an unfinished aluminium look with a 'meatball 98' on the sides and hood for the majority of the car's life. In 2002 Carroll Shelby decided to have the car's aluminium body polished, necessitating some 1,000 man hours to achieve the appearance shown below. The polishing shows the blemishes of the original handmade Cobras. The '98 CAR' is considered to be the most photographed Cobra in the world.


1996~2012, CURRENT MODEL: SHELBY COBRA 427 S/C: The 427 S/C or Street/Competition initially carried the #CSX4000 code and was available with either fibreglass or aluminium bodywork, the #CSX6000 coded cars are generally a continuation of the #CSX4000 Series.

1996~2012, CURRENT MODEL: SHELBY COBRA 427 S/C: The 427 S/C or Street/Competition initially carried the #CSX4000 code and was available with either fibreglass or aluminium bodywork, the #CSX6000 coded cars are generally a continuation of the #CSX4000 Series.

2011~2012: SHELBY COBRA 427 - 50th ANNIVERSARY COBRA - #CSX8000: Honouring the original #CSX2000 Series, fifty limited edition #CSX8000 Series cars were produced each with a dedicated serial number in the range 8950~8999. The cars were finished in Shelby Black and included a premium wine red coloured leather interior, 15" chrome plated wire wheels, unique 50th Anniversary badges on the front, rear and sides and unique 50th Anniversary floor and trunk mats.

Shelby American announced their intention to build the fifty limited edition vehicles in January 2011, all fifty cars were sold out within forty eight hours! The owner could specify either a fibreglass or aluminium body, the cost variation was significant, fibreglass US$69,995.00 and aluminium US$134,995.00, note that these prices did not include an engine or transmission! The cars were sold through Shelby American Dealers and the buyer specified which drive train to be fitted prior to delivery.

MORE SHELBY WORLD HEADQUARTERS COVERAGE: For more coverage of the Shelby World Headquarters, please select from the following pages.

Up Shelby World HQ P2

MORE CAR SHOWS AND MUSEUMS COVERAGE: For more coverage of Car Shows and Museums, please select from the following pages.

Up Mercedes Museum Mercedes Benz 125th Porsche Museum Porsche 60th Aust. Honda Hall Cars Honda NSX Dicks Museum Texas LoneStar Rod Run 2013 LV The Auto Collections Petersen Auto Museum Shelby World HQ St Judes Car Museum San Diego Car Museum Beaulieu Car Museum Coventry Museum Gaydon Motor Centre Motor Race Museum Redlands Rally 2012 Motorclassica 2010 Mustang 30th Anniv. Ormeau Classics 2013 Street Rod Nats 2013 Garters HotRods 2013 Garters Soapbox 2013 Garters HotRods 2012 Garters Soapbox 2012 Garters Gasoline 2011 Maclean Lakeside 2012 GC StreetRodders 2012 Veteran Tour 2012


Copyright 2013   Derek J. Hanbidge,  (aka Deejay51),  all rights reserved.
Revised: August 25, 2013.

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