Steve M 1962 Shelby Cobra 260 2dr Roadster

Could of, should of, would of.

In 1973 I was working at a Lincoln Mercury dealer. The state had recently started a requirement that all used cars must be inspected to insure their safety prior to being allowed to apply for tags and registration. A gentleman bought in an Excalibur Series I, this one one of the original Brooks Stevens designed Excalibur's, early Studebaker frame, Corvette motor, no top, side piles, a beast of a car. The guy who was selling the car wandered around the backlot of the dealer and spotted my GT350H on the back lot and asked who owned the Shelby. My friend who worked in the parts department directed him to me and he said he dealt in used exotic cars and said he had a car I might be interested in. He gave the directions to his building and on that rainy Saturday my brother and I drove over to Virginia to see the car. It was a real Cobra, CSX2017, the 17th Cobra ever built. It was red, it had been retrofitted with a 289, it had two AFB's on it and a set of Webers and the manifold in the trunk. The car was not pristine, it was an 9 year old sports car that had been rode hard and put away wet. The leather was cracked, the car had chips and scratches all over it, but it was a real AC Cobra. The odometer showed 14,000 miles on it and it appeared to be all there. It was raining so I was not able to drive it on the street, but just sitting in it, looking through the little windshield, holding onto the wood wheel, made me think I was Ken Miles or Dave McDonald thundering around the track. I had to have it. He said he had a buyer for the GT350H and the negotiations began. I had about $1500 saved up and he offered $1500 for my car, but he wanted $4500 for the car, so I was $1,000 short. My brother who had just gotten out of the service and had $2,000 and he offered it as a loan. I tried to get him to come down on the price, but he wasn't budging on the price. I tried to explain the car had no roof or heater (it was a competition car, not a street Cobra after all) and I would be driving it as a daily driver. After all, this was the early 70's and gas was still cheap at under .50 cents per gallon, so I really needed a car to drive. Needless to say I turned down the deal and left him with my counter offer of $4,000 and my car. As we were leaving he said he did have a wrecked 427 Cobra, it needed a left front fender fixed and had a spun main and two spun rod bearings and I could have it for $1500 the damage was a little worse then he indicated as it had a slightly bent frame also, so again I turned it down. My brother has never left me forgot about this "one that got away", a real small block Cobra. By the way I have always tracked the car and watched the car, watching its price rise and just recently it appeared for sale at a slightly higher price than what I was offered , $1,900,000. I still think about what should of, could of, would of, if I had purchased the car

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