Shelby Cobra Dragonsnake

CSX 2093 was the 93rd Cobra built and is one of only eight cars modified with the Shelby-developed Dragonsnake package designed to maximize drag racing performance. Depending on options, the package could swell the bottom line to a whopping $8,990, a huge sum in 1960s-era dollars.

Owned by Jim Costilow and piloted by drag racer Bruce Larson, later of USA-1 Funny Car fame, the Dragonsnake dominated the NHRA’s A/SP, AA/SP, B/SP and C/SP classes in 1964. It set all new records in the 1965 season and won the NHRA Springnationals, Winternationals and U.S. Indy Nationals that year. The Cobra was so successful that it overshadowed Shelby’s factory-sponsored Dragonsnake, much to Shelby’s dismay, and thereafter factory support for the privateer effort began to dry up.

Later, with subsequent owner Ed Hedrick behind the wheel, CSX 2093 went on to win the 1966 Springnationals and U.S. Nationals. It also chalked up class wins at the 1967 Springnationals, Winternationals, U.S. Indy Nationals, and finished out the season with the World Points Championship. It continued to set records in 1968. All told, CSX 2093 held national titles in four separate classes.

The Costilow/Larson Dragonsnake has been authenticated and certified by the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) as a true and correct original car, and has also won that organization’s Senior Award and Race Car Certification badges. It has undergone a completely accurate and show-quality restoration by Ziegler Coach of Los Angeles, CA and is presented exactly as it competed, including the Weber-carbureted 289 Ford V-8 with Ballanger side mount headers, 4-speed transmission, Cobra Sunburst rear wheels with slicks, wire front wheels, removable hardtop and eye-grabbing Magenta metalflake paint.

Offered with full documentation of its NHRA national records, this is not only the most famous and successful of the eight Shelby Dragonsnakes; it is in fact the winningest competition Cobra in history.

Source: Mecum Auctions as part of Houston auction in April, 2014

Photos by David Newhardt Courtesy of Mecum Auctions

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