SCOTTSDALE, Arizona – An 800-horsepower Shelby Cobra, once the personal car of the racing veteran who developed the iconic vehicle, has sold for $5.5 million at auction, a record for an American car.
The sale of the 1966 Shelby Cobra “Super Snake” brought a packed house to its feet Saturday at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction after a pair of bidders drove the price up.
Carroll Shelby, 84, who created the Cobra in the ’60s using Ford engines and a British sport car chassis, said he built the Super Snake — with twin superchargers on a 427 cubic inch V-8 — and drove it for years.
“It’s a special car. It would do just over three seconds to 60 (mph), 40 years ago,” Shelby told the crowd before the sale.
“I killed a buzzard with it,” he said. “Nasty, nasty.”
The car had a twin, built for comedian Bill Cosby, but that car was destroyed in an accident while being driven by another owner, according to the Barrett-Jackson Web site.
Barrett-Jackson said the $5.5 million price tag for the Cobra was not an overall world record car price; others have sold at auction for more than $11 million. However, it is a world record for American cars, said Steve Davis, Barrett-Jackson president.
The winning bidder was car collector Ron Pratte of suburban Chandler. Last year, he paid $4.32 million for the Futureliner, one of 12 futuristic buses used for shows in the 1940s and ’50s by General Motors.
Ron Pratte also snagged several other Shelbys.
He bought Caroll Shelby’s personal ’69 GT500 convertible for $675,000
He also grabbed the glass-roofed 2008 Shelby GT500KR for $550,000
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