CSX2588 Vehicle Information and History:
This 1965 Shelby Cobra Roadster, Serial No. CSX2588, holds a special place in Cobra history as the last Shelby 289 Cobra sold to the public and the penultimate built.
Constructed in 1965, CSX2588 is the very last 289 Shelby Cobra sold new to the public and the second-to-last example built, the final example having been retained by the Carroll Shelby family since new. It is also the last 4-speed 289 Cobra Roadster built, as the final car, CSX2589, was fitted from new with an automatic transmission personally for Carroll Shelby.
Both the first and last small-block Cobras built, CSX2000 and CSX2589 respectively, remained in the Shelby family’s ownership for decades until the prototype, CSX2000, was sold at auction in August 2016 for $13.75 million. Since then, the family has made it clear they have no plans to sell CSX2589, making its immediate predecessor, CSX2588, serially the last small-block Cobra available to the public.
CSX2588 is a prime original example that carries the legacy forward as it presents complete with its original chassis, body, engine and drivetrain, and though mechanically sorted, has never required a full restoration. Indeed, the car is very correct with the steering wheel, gauges, original exhaust manifolds, radiator and the like all there. One of 56 leaf-spring Cobras finished in Rouge Iris, it was professionally repainted in its rare original color back in 2006 during ownership by expert Colin Comer, who also sorted it mechanically and installed new carpeting. CSX2588 retains its 289 CI Hi-Po V-8 with aluminum intake and Holley 715 CFM Le Mans-design carburetor, and it was optioned with “Class A” accessories from new; weather equipment includes the original side curtains, top frame and a new tonneau cover.
This stunning car was delivered new to Vel’s Ford Sales in Torrance, California, by Don McCain of the Shelby marketing office, and it stayed in California until 1993, when it was sold at auction in Las Vegas during an FDIC liquidation in 1993. Comer bought it from the succeeding owner in 2006 and performed the minor refreshing; a collector out of New York then acquired it prior to this gem joining the Mecum Collection.
It has been professionally maintained ever since, participated in Tom Cotter’s Cobra 1000 Rally in 2010 without incident, and it is fully documented in the SAAC’s Cobra World Registry.
All images courtesy of Mecum.