SUPER once again: Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake CSX 4404 shows what happens when a great idea goes back


Written by independent automotive journalist Steve Statham

Carroll Shelby’s Cobra 427 Super Snake CSX 4404


Carroll Shelby was a larger-than-life figure who built some larger-than-life cars. But even sifting through the legends of the various racing cars and tire-smoking muscle cars his company built, some of Carroll’s designs really stand out. The story of the Super Snake Cobra is undoubtedly one of the most outrageous episodes in Shelby’s long career.

Seeking to improve himself, not to mention some European sports car makers, Shelby commissioned his crew to create a pair of 427 Cobras – already one of the most brutally powerful sports cars ever built – equipped with twin Paxton compressors. After a lot of custom manufacturing, they have succeeded beautifully. The power delivered was perfectly within race car territory and the cars were visually striking too, with unique and oversized hood vents needed to provide space for the pair of compressors.

One of the cars (CSX 3015) was owned by Carroll himself for a while before passing into the hands of a number of high profile owners. More recently, that car has crossed the Barrett-Jackson block on more than one occasion, generating front-page sales. The other original Super Snake was destroyed in the 1960s and is irrecoverable.

The story, however, does not end there.

Decades later, in the mid-1990s, Shelby began producing a series of 427 S / C “Continuation Cobras” which incorporated some modern upgrades but were otherwise a complete revival of the originals. Available with fiberglass or hand-molded aluminum bodies, these Cobras offered the raw look, feel and performance that earned the Cobra fame in the 1960s. The continuation Cobras 427 S / C received the CSX 4000 and, later, CSX 6000 designations from Shelby American.

It was inevitable that someone would understand that this development was a great opportunity to build a continuation of Super Snake Cobra.

And so it happened. The Cobra presented here, Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake CSX 4404, scheduled to cross the 2022 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction block without reserve, is one of three licensed continuation Super Snakes known to exist. It rolled off the assembly line and was handed over to its owner at the time of Carroll’s death in May 2012.

In essence, the aluminum-bodied CSX 4404 is a very close cousin of the CSX 3015. It is powered by a 427 cubic inch V8 powered by two Paxton superchargers that power a pair of 4-barrel Holley carburettors mounted on a cross intake. collector. That engine sings a throaty song through the black side pipes. Like all the best high-performance Ford classic cars, the engine is mated to a 4-speed manual Toploader gearbox.

The Guardsman Blue Cobra incorporates all the 1960s details that made the 427 Cobra so special, such as the chrome roll bar behind the driver. Like the Cobra Super Snakes of the 1960s, it has the special cavernous scoop hood that makes room for the Paxton twins.

The interior also follows the classic Cobra script, with bucket seats in black leather, Cobra steering wheel with wooden edges and S / C gauges with additional tools to monitor thrust and fuel pressure. The dashboard bears Carroll’s signature.

The provenance of the car is as safe as any Cobra from the 1960s. It has only one owner and has been driven less than 20 miles from new. Documentation includes the original build sheet and original Shelby Automobiles, Inc., MSO signed by Carroll himself. This is a Cobra that has all the tools to achieve greatness, just waiting for a new owner to start blazing trails that will become part of the Shelby tradition of tomorrow.


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