Auction Highlights with Ron Kowalke

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Mecum Auctions ( will offer a historically significant 1963 Shelby Cobra race car at its sale in Kissimmee, Fla., on Jan. 25-27. It is the famed Costilow/Larson 289 DragonSnake, first driven by future funny car legend Bruce Larson and later by Ed Hedrick.

"We're excited to be featuring the Costilow/Larson DragonSnake at our Florida High Performance Auction," said Dana Mecum, president of Mecum Auctions. "For the second time in less than a year, a car as rare as a Shelby DragonSnake will be crossing our auction block."

CSX 2093 was the 93rd Cobra built and is one of only eight cars to receive the Shelby-developed DragonSnake package, designed to maximize drag racing performance. Depending on options, the package could swell to a whopping $8,990, a huge sum in 1960s-era dollars.

The Larson-piloted DragonSnake competed in NHRA's A/SP, AA/SP, B/SP and C/SP classes and literally cleaned house. It set all new records in the '65 season and won the NHRA Springnationals, Winternationals and U.S. Indy Nationals that year. The Cobra was so successful that it overshadowed Shelby's factory-sponsored DragonSnake, much to the dismay of Mr. Shelby. Factory support for the privateer effort began to dry up as a result.

Later, with subsequent owner Ed Hedrick behind the wheel, CSX 2093 went on to win the '66 Springnationals and U.S. Nationals. It also chalked up class wins at the 1967 Springnationals, Winternationals, U.S. Indy Nationals, as well as securing that year's World Points Championship. It continued to set records for the rest of the '67 season. All told, CSX 2093 held national titles in four separate classes.

The Costilow/Larson DragonSnake is in its as-raced condition, including the Weber-carbureted Ford 289-cid V-8 with sidemount headers, four-speed transmission, removable hardtop and magenta metalflake paint.

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