Shelby Cobra "flip-top" heads to auction

Legendary '64 Cobra among final consignments to Arizona sale
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The car is one of the final consigements to RM’s Automobiles of Arizona event to be held at the Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix on January 22.

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Its design, build, development and racing were spearheaded by legendary racing driver Ken Miles and after months of testing and modifications, 2196 became the only prototype produced for the famed 427 Cobras that followed. It was raced in period at Riverside, Sebring and Nassau.

Over the years, 2 196 has competed in many of the world’s historic races including Laguna Seca, Monterey Historics and Goodwood Festival of Speed. Today, the well-documented Flip-top sports its original livery of Guardman Blue with white stripes and black interior, and is unquestionably one of the most desirable Shelby Cobras ever built. 

“The 2010 Arizona auction presents one of RM’s most diverse line-ups of automobiles ever offered at the luxurious Biltmore Resort & Spa, ranging from historically significant Shelby Cobras to an unprecedented selection of important concept cars,” said Ian Kelleher, President and Chief Operating Officer, RM Auctions. “Every facet of collector cars is represented at this year’s event with the schedule being extended to two days for a British-themed Thursday evening sale.”

The 1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept Car by LeBaron (s/n 7807943), one of five originally built and four in existence, is also Arizona bound. The full-envelope body with concealed headlights, fully retractable and disappearing hardtop, push button starter and backlit Lucite gauges make the Chrysler Thunderbolt one of the most significant concepts of its time. This multi-award winning motor car with its unique contrasting green and copper exterior has been fully restored and enjoyed considerable success as a show car, including at the famed Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance this year.

The range of notable consignments for the January 22 sale also includes a 1930 Duesenberg Model J Arlington Club Sedan offered without reserve (Estimate: $450,000 - $650,000), a beautifully restored 1933 Rolls-Royce PII Continental 3-Position Drophead Coupe (s/n 74PY) with coachwork by J. Gurney Nutting (Estimate: $400,000 - $500,000) and a 1913 Packard Model 1-38 Runabout formerly of the esteemed John McMullen Collection (Estimate: $400,000 - $500,000).

Now in its 11th year, RM’s Arizona event will present for the first time an additional opportunity to purchase important cars produced by British manufacturers during an evening auction on January 21. A preview of the 2010 line-up will be held January 21st from 9am to 4pm, followed by the British-themed Thursday night auction, billed ‘The British are coming!’, starting at 6pm. The auction action continues on Friday, January 22 at 11am. Admission is by catalog purchase only, which admits two.

For further information, please visit or call 1.519.352.4575.


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