When it comes to the Shelby Cobra, there are basically three different types, and the cost varies widely. If you search Shelby Cobra’s for sale, you’ll find prices ranging from $25k to over $1,000,000. The most valuable are original Shelby Cobra’s from the 1962-1967. Whether it’s a Shelby 289 or a 427, both command high six figures for originals.
Shelby Cobra Production Numbers
655 leaf-spring 289 Shelby Cobras
343 coil-spring 427 Shelby Cobras.
Original 1967 Shelby Cobra’s
These were produced by Carroll Shelby as part of the original run. They are extremely rare, and basically too valuable to even drive. They are upper six figure investments. In total, 998 were produced with the majority being the 289 Shelby Cobra. As a result, the 289 commands a slightly lower price at auctions than the 427. However, it’s worth noting that many of the 427’s were actually 428’s due to supply issues. These command slightly less than the true 427.
Authorized Continuation Series by Shelby
In 1996 Shelby began production of the continuation series beginning with serial number CSX4000. They continued with production through CSX6000, CSX7000 and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Cobra, a special 50th anniversary CSX8000 edition.
Authorized Continuation Series Shelby 427’s can be purchased pre-owned for anywhere from $90-150k, while some specific models are higher, most are fairly reasonable. These have the stamp of approval (literally when signed by Carroll Shelby), as being an authorized reproduction of the original Cobra.
You can also order a brand new continuation series Shelby Cobra, which allows you to specify the engine, etc.
While some replicas are good, as an investment, they’re not going to hold their value. While some are of great quality, others are not. For somebody who wants to enjoy a Shelby Cobra as a daily driver, or somebody who wants to purchase a kit to assemble themselves, the unauthorized replica does serve a purpose. For for somebody like me who can only justify buying an expensive car for the fact that it’s a speculative investment, I’d never buy a replica.