Since we have recently been on the subject of unrestored vintage race cars that still have their original patina anyways, we figured that it would be the perfect time to bring up this 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe (CSX2287). Rather than delve into anything regarding Phil Spector’s later ownership of the car after it was retired from racing or the twisted legal battles it has been involved in since, we felt that the only appropriate focal point should be this Cobra’s glorious competition heritage. Apparently we weren’t the only ones, as the Historic Vehicle Association (HVA) announced a week ago yesterday that CSX2287 “will become the first automobile to be recorded under the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Heritage Documentation.” We had been feeling the gravitational pull of this particular car in our Daytona Coupe-shaped hearts, and now we know the reason why.
Until recently, there has been no authoritative figure to officially document a vehicle as an important milestone in our automotive history. Now, the same validation that is given to such objects as historic building is being granted to cars that have been significant to our collective automotive past, as well.
The story of CSX2287 starts with the help of Peter Brock, who designed the Daytona Coupes and appears as a commentator in the following video below. Only six of the hardtop competition Cobras were ever produced, this one being the very first.
It’s 289 cubic inch Ford V8 produces approximately 375 hp through four 48 mm Weber IDM downdraft carburetors and is capable of slipping it’s aerodynamic body through the air to over 180 mph, with the right gearing.
This car assisted in the Shelby American Cobra race team’s clinch of the 1965 FIA International Manufacturer’s GT Championship title, making them the first Americans to win an international race series.
After it’s European competition foray, it later raced at the Bonneville Salt Flats driven by Craig Breedlove where it was used to set several land speed records.
Since retired from racing, this Daytona Coupe went into private ownership and was street driven before being put away in storage for over 20 years. There, is sat largely untouched while tied up in legal battles until more recently when it became part of the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia.
On January 22nd, 2014, the HVA acknowledged the historical significance of this particular Daytona Coupe and made it the first recipient of their honored recognition. They chose the car “…based on it’s association with important persons and events; it’s construction and aerodynamic design; and informational value as one of the few racecars from the period that has not been completely restored.”
We couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome, ourselves.