This one-of-one 1964 factory Stage III Shelby 289 Street Cobra Roadster is one of the most extensively factory-optioned Cobras ever built. Billed to Shelby American on April 27, 1964, and shipped to Los Angeles on May 6 aboard the SS Dintledyk, Serial No. CSX2416 was ordered by Frye’s Ford of Belleville, Kansas, and was specified with a sufficient number of options to attract the attention of the Shelby American accounting department, which listed every item adding up to its staggering $8,684.05 original MSRP in the company ledger.
Ordered in Princess Blue with a black interior, the breakdown of its list of optional extras began with a Stage III-spec 289 CI engine with four Weber downdraft carburetors, adding an extra $2,595 to the car’s $5,195 list price (minus a $608 credit for the standard 289 CI engine) right out of the gate. The dealer invoice dated August 6, 1964, also listed a hood scoop and cold air box, finned aluminum Cobra rocker-arm covers, engine-oil cooler, anti-freeze, polished American Racing magnesium wheels, a front grille guard and rear bumper guards, wind wings, sun visors, auxiliary hardtop, sway bars, side curtains, a heater, seat belts, radio with antenna, a custom exhaust system that rerouted the standard exhaust under the car with all four pipes passing through glass-pack mufflers, and unique quad chromed exhaust tips. These items, together with a freight charge of $200 for shipping from Shelby American in Los Angeles to Frye’s Ford, amounted to that breathtaking $8,684.05 total.
While it was specially ordered, it is not known if Frye’s Ford ordered CSX2416 for inventory; in any case, it was sold to Brent Ascough Jr. of Topeka, Kansas, who immediately sent the still brand-new Cobra back to Shelby American to have it repainted in Ford Rangoon Red. After its completion, legendary Shelby photographer Dave Friedman recognized CSX2416 as more than “just another Cobra” and photographed it in front of Shelby’s office at 3221 Carter St., adjacent to the famed original Shelby shop at 1042 Princeton Dr. in Venice, California. The photo later appeared on page 86 of Friedman’s book, “Shelby Cobra: The Shelby American Original Archives, 1962-1965,” and on page 20 of Colin Comer’s “The Complete Book of Shelby Automobiles.”
Any early racing history by either Ascough or Frye’s is unknown, but in 1972, noted Cobra and GT40 collector Les Lindley of Anaheim, California, purchased CSX2416. Lindley added wide wheel flares and had the car repainted in Bronze Metallic by none other than Junior’s House of Color. He also exchanged the original American Racing wheels for wider chromed wires, added chromed side pipes and a chromed roll bar, and replaced the original black interior with tan leather upholstery. CSX2416 finished in second place overall at the inaugural Monterey Historic Automobile Races in August 1974, and then appeared in the fall 1975 issue of “Old Cars Illustrated” with California vanity plates reading “SUNCAR.”
Lindley kept CSX2416 until 2011, when he quietly offered both it and his Gumball Rally 427 Cobra, CSX3243, for sale to a select few collectors. Donnie Gould quickly took ownership, then sold CSX2416 to Donn Vickrey of Carlsbad, California, with an odometer reading of 49,830 miles. After a mechanical restoration completed in late 2011, CSX2416 appeared at the 2012 Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca, still wearing bronze paint but with the flares returned to the original configuration. Vickrey initially planned to further restore CSX2416, but then sold it to David Lerian of Los Angeles in April 2014.
By this time, Steven Juliano, with the help of Ned Scudder and Colin Comer, realized that this bronze-colored 289 Cobra was the ultimate-specification Stage III car featured in Comer and Friedman’s books. That was all it took for Juliano to move, quickly, to acquire CSX2416 and embark on what would be his last, but perhaps his most significant Cobra restoration of all. In typical Juliano fashion, meticulous research was paramount to not only determine exactly how CSX2416 looked when it left Shelby American but also to find every correct original or NOS part to do so. Thankfully, the research and restoration team of Juliano and Dave Riley were no strangers to this routine, and after four intense years of painstaking effort, CSX2416 was completed and back in the Juliano garage just weeks before his passing. Juliano described having all four members of his ultimate Cobra collection finally under one roof as an “indescribable joy.” And it is certainly understandable, even by just admiring this singular and indisputably ultimate-specification Stage III 289 Street Cobra known as CSX2416.