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Daytona Cobra breaks U.S. auction record at $7.25M

The championship-winning 1965 Shelby CSX2601 has made history again
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It sold for a record-breaking $7.25 million at Mecum's inaugural Monterey Auction on Aug. 15. That price tag sets the record for the highest price paid for an American-built car at public auction. 

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High performance collector car specialists Mecum Auction promoted the Daytona Cobra Coupe - American racing's Crown Jewel - for months leading up to the auction. "Selling this amazing piece of American race history at our first Monterey auction has been the crowning achievement of my career and Mecum Auction's 22 years of selling collector cars," said Dana Mecum, president of Mecum Auction. 

"This hand-built car beat the fastest cars in the world and has now added another 'win' to its list of accomplishments. It certainly finished in record form again."

The 1965 Shelby Daytona Cobra was one of six cars built by Carroll Shelby to compete against the dominating Ferrari in the F.I.A. (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile) World Manufacturers Championship for GT race class. An experimental coupe body designed by Peter Brock was built on an existing Cobra chassis, immediately increasing the top speed by 25 mph. That car won its first race, the 1964 Daytona Continental (prompting Shelby to adopt the name), and five more coupes were built, including CSX2601.

After competing at Daytona, Monza, Spa and Nurburgring, CSX2601 made history when it clinched the 1965 World Manufacturers Championship for the United States and Shelby American on July 4 in Reims, France. Driving the car - and America - to victory was legendary race car driver Bob Bondurant. 

Bondurant drove the Daytona Cobra Coupe across the Mecum auction block as it set the new high-bid record.

"Truly the best part about auctioning the Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe has been sharing the stories of its amazing history with millions of people across the country," Mecum said. "This race car's greatest moments and its legacy as America's world champion will be cherished for generations to come."

The CSX2601 had first been offered on the block at Indianapolis this past spring, climbing to $6.8 million during the sale, but remaining unsold.

In addition to the Shelby Daytona, Mecum offered an eclectic mix of more than 200 cars ranging from a 1931 Rolls-Royce to a 2007 Saleen S7.

Auction information and results are available online at or by calling 815-568-8888.

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