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AC Cobra tops the bill - Preview: RM Auctions, Biltmore, January 22

  • AC Cobra CSX 2196 prototype - 0
  • AC Cobra CSX 2196 prototype - 1
  • AC Cobra CSX 2196 prototype - 2
  • AC Cobra CSX 2196 prototype - 3
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AC Cobra prototype crosses the block in January

FOLLOWING WHAT CAN ONLY be described as a buoyant 2009, RM Auctions is bullishly looking forward to a continued market recovery in 2010.

Quality ACs with provenance have scored exceptionally well as the collector market took off – so it’s easy to understand why RM feels so confident in the prospects of its headline AC Cobra at its upcoming Automobiles of Arizona sale.  

The one-of-a-kind 1964 Shelby Cobra 427 prototype, chassis CSX2196, has been nicknamed ‘the flip-top’ due to its unique clam-shell body design. The car was the brainchild of legendary racing driver Ken Miles and was significant in the development of the AC Cobra in its transition from 289 to 427 spec. The low-line lightweight body was the result of months of testing and modification – and CSX2196 became the de facto prototype produced for the 427 Cobra. It was raced in period at Riverside, Sebring and Nassau, and has since gone on to enjoy an enduring career in historic racing that’s been topped off by appearances at the Monterey Historics and Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Given that 2009 was a year of record-breaking Cobras, RM is understandably playing its cards close to its chest regarding the estimate…

Other important cars coming up for sale include a 1930 Duesenburg Model J Arlington (
$450,000 - $650,000), 1933 Rolls-Royce PII Continental ($400,000-500,000) and a 1913 Packard Model 1-38 Runabout (also $400,000-500,000). The other big news is the addition of an evening auction the night before the main event called The Brits are Coming.

Needless to say, if you’re after an Aston Martin, Jaguar or Rolls-Royce in Arizona you’ll have to get there a day early. RM’s president Ian Kelleher is confident the sale will prove a winner, saying: ‘Every facet of collector cars is represented.’ 

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