The following story was sent to us by one of our customers. It is a fascinating, three-part series that we will share will you over the next three weeks. Please enjoy and stay tuned for more!
My first encounter with a true sports car was in 1961. My roommate, Bill, had a relative visiting who brought along his Austin Healey Sprite, and was gracious enough to let me drive it! I couldn’t believe how fantastic the handling was on that car, and I also loved that it was designed for driving, not necessarily for comfort. I truly believed that cars should be built for efficiency and design, and if creature comforts could be incorporated, great. If not, the car shouldn’t be judged on that basis. I could only hope that one day I too would own such a car.
One day, in March of 1964, I was on my way home from work and I travelled by Jerry Alderman’s Ford dealership, noticing the familiar silhouette of a Shelby Cobra in their showroom. I quickly wheeled my 1959 Twin Cam MGA into the parking lot and began to imagine myself behind the wheel of the Cobra. It was quite a beauty, the latest design with a Silver Mist exterior and a gorgeous red leather interior. When the salesman noticed me, he asked me if I’d like to take it for a ride (as if he had to ask?).
Later that afternoon, the salesman allowed me to drive the car home to show my wife what I was determined would be “our new car”. A few days later, I drove out of Alderman’s without my Twin Cam, but behind the wheel of my new Shelby Cobra, CSX2159, the brain child of Carroll Shelby himself. I was in love with the blend of lightweight English body and frame and the dependable Ford V8 power.
Serial number CSX2159 was the 159th of the original 515 Leaf Spring Cobras produced by Shelby American. The basic construction was a Steel Tube Ladder Frame with a Handmade Aluminum Body. The car’s power was by a Ford Hi-Performance 289, coming through a Borg Warner T-10M Transmission and Salisbury 4HU Power-lok Rear End. The car had rack and pinion steering and 4 wheel discs to provide braking for the 15 inch by 5 ½ inch, 72 spoke silver painted rims and thin whitewall Goodyear Wingfoot tires. The CSX2159 was the first production car with factory installed side louvers, and the first to be painted in Silver Mist with the red interior.
About Classic Auto
Drew Yagodnik is Vice President of Classic Automobile Insurance Agency, Inc. Classic Automobile Insurance Agency has been protecting collector, classic and exotics since 1992.