Carroll Shelby’s hugely influential sports car destined for the RM Sotheby’s auction in Monterey.

What auction house RM Sotheby’s says may be the most important American car of all time is headed to the auction block. The very first Shelby Cobra – VIN CSX 2000 – will be offered by the Carroll Hall Shelby Trust at the RM Sotheby’s auction in Monterey this August.

This car was born in 1962 when Carroll Shelby first squeezed a 260-cubic-inch V8 engine into the chassis of the British AC Ace sports car. That paved the way for the future of the Shelby Cobra, an iconic machine known for its brutal performance. Contemporary road tests show a 4.2-second run to 60 miles per hour and a 13.8-second quarter-mile sprint.

This particular car, CSX 2000, was used for research and development, and also for media drives and auto shows as Shelby and his team drummed up interest in the car. The car was personally owned by Carroll Shelby until his death, and has frequently been used at promotional events around the country.

“When it comes to American sports cars, CSX 2000 is without peers. Its historical significance and impact on the global sports car scene cannot be overstated,” RM Sotheby’s Car Specialist Shelby Myers said in a statement.

RM Sotheby’s hasn’t listed an estimated auction price for the car, but there’s no question its provenance and importance will command a healthy sum. Shelby Cobras always pull in big money at auction. Earlier this year, two Shelby Cobras pulled in $1 million – and neither had the name recognition of this CSX 2000.

Source: RM Sotheby’s

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