This is an early Independent Comp. Cobra out of Southern California. The 1997 Shelby American World Registry reports the history of CSX 2085 as follows.
“Black/black interior. Invoiced to Shelby American 2/1/63. Shipped to NY. 2085 was invoiced on 3/20/63 to European Cars (Pittsburgh, PA) as ‘1 Shelby AC Cobra, CSX 2085’. ($4,995.00), with a heater ($62), for completion and retail sale. It was shipped via FoMoCo truck on 8/10/63 to W.J. Jannar, Car Sales Promotion, FoMoCo (Dearborn, MI) along with 2083,2119, 2120, and 2122 on a consignment basis. It was invoiced to Jacques Passino of FoMoCo 9/16/63 at a cost of $5,195.00 with Class’A’ accessories ($224.50), a luggage rack ($40); and whitewall tires ($32.50) the FoMoCo discount of $300); for a total of $5,182.00. On 11/6/64, a FoMoCo Special Vehicle Performance Work Order (#1101) estimated/authorized repairs totaling $1,023 to ‘recondition Ford Division Cobra #2085 including a complete repaint, metal work ($120); engine and cockpit labor ($190); 6” wire wheels ($110); a carpet set ($85); G-8 tires ($80); a soft top ($71) ; side curtains ($55); front uprights ($32); rear bumper ($16); seat belts ($15); muffler ($14); and front bumper ($120). Repairs were not made, however, and the car was returned to Shelby American. It was then sold to Hi Performance Motors (Los Angeles CA) as ’63 COBRA, chassis #2085, black/black’ with group ‘A’ accessories for $3,500. The car was purchased by Bob Gage (CA) a friend of Shelby’s to whom Ken Miles was a godfather. The car was modified for racing and fitted with a 45 gallon gas tank, 5 spoke American wheels, enlarged flares, sway bars, konis, an oil cooler, a hood scoop, a roll bar, side vents, and Webers. Gage not only autocrossed 2085, but also drag raced it, winning the ‘66 Winternationals in A/Sports with an 11.6 ET. His said to have entered some 11 SCCA events and won 9 of them. Overall, Gage accumulated over 200 hundred trophies in 2085 in various competitive events. The car was pictured in Speed and Supercar, 6/67 (p.3 upper right). Gage advertised the car sale early in ’69. ‘289 Cobra. All competition options, has all street equipment. New Goodyears, American mags, completely fresh throughout. Webers. Excellent condition., just repainted. 2085 was sold to George Rollin (FJ) who painted it red and traded away the Webers for repair work before advertising the car in March of 1970. ‘Cobra roadster. The sharpest street Cobra ever. Flared wells. American mags. All road equipment. Professionally maintained, perfect throughout. Inspections invited.’ It was sold to a dealership in Orlando, FL, and was acquired a year later from a dealer in Columbus GA by Donald May (GA), who repainted it blue. Clive Darvell (Vancouver, BC, CAN) acquired the car in 5/75, but was uncertain of its VIN until it was brought out of storage some 10 years later, at which point it was mechanically restored, re-wired, and Webers were re-installed.”
Darvell sold CSX 2085 to Michael Stott, of Ho Ho Kus, NJ. During Stott’s ownership, CSX 2085 became the subject of a complete frame-up competition restoration by Donovan Motorsports, of Lenox, Massachusetts. The Cobra was also converted from worm & sector steering, to Cobra period correct rack & pinion. The original worm and sector system comes with the car.
Mike Stott raced CSX 2085 extensively across the U.S., from Watkins Glen to the Monterey Reunion. The car was also shown at prestigious concours events, including Amelia Island.
In 2012, Mike Stott sold CSX 2085 to its current owner, who has continued to race the car at prominent vintage races. The Cobra is in excellent condition and comes with significant competition spares, as well as its original street parts, and a freshly rebuilt, completely period correct, 289 Cobra street engine. See the Description section below for information regarding the spares.
During his ownership of CSX 2085, Mike Stott commissioned a history report to be prepared for CSX 2085. All former owners were contacted and interviewed. A summary of that history is provided here. The full report will be included with the car.
Bob Gage History
Bob Gage purchased CSX 2085 from High Performance Motors in Playa Del Rey California in early 1964. Bob was the son of a Goodyear tire business associate of Carroll Shelby. In a 1997 interview, Bob Gage related the following details of his time with CSX 2085.
In early 1964, Carroll Shelby was at a meeting with Bob’s father regarding a Goodyear tire business deal. That’s when Carroll learned that Bob was at a local Jaguar dealership attempting to purchase an XKE Jaguar. Carroll immediately left the meeting, found Bob at the Jaguar dealership, and told him to buy one of Shelby’s Cobras instead. He let Bob have CSX 2085 for the rest of the day to try it out. Bob bought it.
The Gage family, originally from England, was in the Britsh car business in Southern California. Through this business, they came to know, and became close with, Ken Miles. Miles eventually would become Bob’s godfather. Because of Bob’s connection with Miles, and his father’s business relationship with Carroll Shelby, Bob had direct access to Shelby’s factory racing and high performance parts and information. Miles, and fellow factory Cobra racer, Dave McDonald, helped Bob set up his Cobra, including driving it at Willow Springs Raceway to set up and develop the car. Miles also taught Bob how to race. Bob related harrowing tales of sitting on the floor of the passenger side of CSX 2085 and hanging onto the roll bar while Miles tossed CSX 2085 around the Willow Springs course.
Some of the modifications made at the time included adding a roll bar, and fender flares for the wider American Racing mag wheels. Aluminum brake cooling scoops were also installed along with side fender vents. The windshield was replaced with a small windscreen. A hood scoop was installed, and the bumpers were removed as well.
In the spring of 1964, Bob, members of his family, and two mechanics, took CSX 2085 to England to race it. Bob first raced the car at a club road racing event at Oulton Park. The car caused quite a stir as it was the first time many people had ever seen a Cobra in person. The officials made Bob remove the small windscreen, and reinstall the windshield. The windshield was reinstalled, but Bob leaned it back as far back as possible to reduce drag. Bob finished second in class.
Bob next raced CSX 2085 at Goodwood, winning his race. As the season progressed, Bob and his team continued to modify the car. They installed domed pistons, a custom ground camshaft, and moved the engine back two inches for better weight distribution. However, the engine relocation did not work out very well, and they put it back to its original position. They also installed a larger, illegal, fuel tank, but stenciled “18 Imperial Gallons” on it, and it were never challenged. Bob said he won a total of eight races that season, including a race at Silverstone.
Bob and CSX 2085 returned to the U.S. at the end of the summer in 1964. Bob converted the car back to street use. He began auto crossing the car throughout Southern California. Bob ran the car at Riverside International Raceway, Del Mar, Willow Springs, and other courses. He won many Top Time Of Day awards. Bob said he acquired over 200 trophies during his years auto crossing CSX 2085, along with his girlfriend, Diane Hildebrand, who also auto crossed the car.
Unfortunately for Bob, in the late 1960’s a neighbor’s car port caught fire from an outdoor barbeque. The fire spread to Bob’s beach house. Bob’s house, and the neighbor’s house, were burned to the ground. Bob lost everything, including his trophies and the memorabilia that he had collected about him and the car. The few photos and documents Bob had remaining were those that friends had and gave to Bob after the fire. One of those documents is a San Fernando Drag Strip track record certificate. See the certificate, and other early Bob Gage photos that he provided during the interview, in the More Pictures section.
In addition to auto crossing the car, Bob also successfully drag raced CSX 2085. He raced it at Long Beach, Lyons, San Fernando and Pomona drag strips, as well as others. Bob said he won the 1966 AHRA Winternationals at Irwindale in A/Sport, and in Street Eliminator with a recorded 11.60 ET. He also raced the car at the NHRA Winternationals.
Bob also ran CSX 2085 against local Southern California Cobra racer, and rising star, Elliot Forbes-Robinson. They both attended SCCA driver’s school with their Cobras. They battled each other in the end-of-school race, with Bob passing Forbes-Robinson for the lead, but then overheating and giving the win to Forbes Robinson. In a 1998 interview, Forbes Robinson remembered that race, and said to remind Bob who won!
Before Bob was done with CSX 2085, he took the car to Bonneville to attempt a speed record. He was unsuccessful in his attempt. He tried again, running the car at a Southern California Timing Association event on the El Mirage dry lake bed in Southern California. A scary ride after a blown tire convinced Bob not to make any further speed record attempts.
George Rollin, R.C. Hill, and Donald May Histories
Near the end of 1969, Bob sold the car to Floridian, George Rollin. Rollin traded the Webber carburetor set up for bodywork and a red paint job. Rollin later sold the car to R.C. Hill. Hill, a Florida used car dealer, ran the Cobra on dealer plates for two years before selling it. The next owner appears to have been Southeast Imports in Columbus Georgia. It was from there that the next owner, Donald May, purchased CSX 2085.
When May purchased CSX 2085 from Southeast Imports in February, 1973, he said it was set up for racing and was not a street car. He had to trailer it home. He then set about returning the car back to street use. He also painted it blue.
Clive Darvell History
In 1975, Clive Darvell spotted May’s Cobra driving around the Columbus, Georgia area, and told May he wanted the car. Darvell then purchase CSX 2085. Darvell moved from Georgia to Alabama, then to Canada, taking CSX 2085 with him during each move. Neither Darvell, nor May, knew the real chassis number of CSX 2085 at that time, as the car had been titled for several years by the engine number because no one knew where the chassis number was stamped on a Cobra.
In 1985, during engine removal for a rebuild, Clive discovered the CSX 2085 number stamped on the frame of the car. He contacted SAAC, and began to trace this history of the car. During the engine rebuild, Darvell had Webber carburetors reinstalled on the car. Darvell ran the car on the street before beginning a short vintage racing career with CSX 2085. Darvell’s racing career ended when he had a heart attack. The Cobra then stayed parked for the next seven years until it was sold again.
The next owner was Michael Stott. Michael Stott had the Cobra fully restored for vintage racing and raced it across the U.S., as mentioned above. The car is still actively vintage raced by its current owner.
CSX 2085 is fully race ready. It has a 289 cubic inch, 480 h.p., engine currently installed. The Cobra also comes with a spare 425 h.p. “Monterey Legal” engine. Also included with the car is a period correct, fully rebuilt, complete 289 Cobra street engine with correct sandcast Webers producing 350 h.p.
Additional spares include:
5 Extra wheels and tires
1 Top Loader transmission
1 Five bolt bell housing
1 Five bolt block (289)
3 Boxes spare parts for track use.
2 Anti Roll bars
4 Calipers, aluminum and iron
Box of hub bearings and seals
Original taillights, one pair
Original hand brake parts
Original tonneau cover
Original side windows for street use
Original front and rear bumpers
Original front and rear hubs, two pairs
Original worm & sector steering box and front cross member
Original seats, one pair
The Cobra also comes with log books from 1997 to date
If you are seriously interested in acquiring CSX 2085, please contact Art Hebert directly at 707-328-2452, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Art conducted the interviews with the prior owners of CSX 2085 in 1997-98.
Also, if you have any information about CSX 2085 and its early history, please contact Art. We are interested in filling any gaps, correcting any errors, and adding any heretofore unknown information, to the CSX 2085 history.
Below for reference purposes are links to some recent, reported, sales prices for similar Cobras.
1964 Shelby 289 Cobra Competition Roadster: Sold in 2013 for $1,485,000.00
1964 Shelby 289 Cobra street car – no race history: Sold in 2017 for $1,100,000.00
1964 Shelby 289 Cobra – later vintage racer with no period race history: Sold in 2016 for $968,000.00
1964 Shelby 289 Independent Comp Cobra: Sold in 2016 for $1,320,000.00
1964 Shelby 289 Cobra Competition Roadster: Sold in 2014 for 1,176,000.00 GBP. Converted to current U.S. Dollars equals $1,521,186.00. This is the same Cobra as at the top of this list that sold a year earlier in the U.S. for $1,485,000.00.
Below is a link to some Cobras sold just by the auction house Gooding & Company from 2008 into 2017. While there are some outliers, such as factory team cars pushing the prices higher, or cars that may have some authenticity issues pushing their prices lower, the general trend appears to be markedly upward.
Please contact us if you are seriously interested in acquiring the Cobra and its collection of parts and spares.
Chassis Number: CSX 2085