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All eyes will be on the RM

Sotheby’s auction in Monterey in Au-

gust as the very first Cobra, CSX2000,

goes across the block. By some amaz-

ing stroke of – depending on who you

talk to, either genius or luck – the car

never left Carroll Shelby’s ownership.

It has been touted as the most [


pick one

] valuable, significant, desir-

able or historic Cobra of them all. And

with some justification. Shelby never

parted with it, although at times dur-

ing the 1970s and early 1980s, he had

it buried in a corner of his warehouse,

an afterthought to a history rife with

excitement and punctuated by howl-

ing Daytona Coupes, thumping 427

Cobra S/Cs, screaming Ford GT40s

and thousands of Shelby Mustangs.

Just prior to his death on May 10,

2012, many of Shelby’s affairs were re-

organized. A family trust was created

to shelter some of his assets from

being consumed by taxes, among them

CSX2000. Since the announcement

that the first Cobra was to be auc-

tioned off, rumors sprang up linking

that decision to a slump in business at

Shelby American, Inc. and the re-

ported layoff of thirty employees. Not

understood by many people is the fact

that the financial fortunes of the com-

pany (Shelby American, Inc.) and the

trust (the Carroll Hall Shelby Family

Trust) are entirely separate. When

CSX2000 is sold, nothing from that

will go into the company’s coffers.

It is interesting that despite

Shelby’s fifteen year association with

Barrett-Jackson and his reported good

friendship with Craig Jackson, the car

was consigned to the RM Sotheby auc-

tion house. Sotheby’s represents the

pinnacle of automobile auctions in this

country, noted for the quality of the

cars in their auctions – compared to

Barrett-Jackson, which is better

known for quantity and the spectacle

with which the cars are presented.

The decision to sell the car

through RM Auctions was explained

by Joe Conway, one of the CHS Trust’s

co-trustees (the other being Neil Cum-

mings, Shelby’s long time lawyer and

business partner). Conway, who mar-

ried one of Shelby’s nieces in 1971, had

an extensive business background

when he was invited by CS in 2009 to

run Shelby American, Inc. Cummings

is the CEO of Carroll Shelby Licensing

which handles copyright and trade-

mark matters. Both companies are

wholly-owned subsidiaries of Carroll

Shelby International, a publicly-

traded company on the NASDAQ

(symbol “CSBI”). Conway and Cum-

mings both serve as co-CEOs of Car-

roll Shelby International.

Carroll and Rob Myers


and CEO of RM Auctions]


Cobra #1 many times, and they were

good friends. Their agreement, that

Rob would offer the car for Carroll’s

Trust after he was gone, was a very

emotional one for both of them.”



“Neil Cummings and I are

now simply carrying out Carroll’s

wishes, with no disrespect meant to

the other individuals who meant so

much to Carroll and did so much for

his business and his Foundation over

the years.”

The value of CSX2000 has been

the subject of speculation for years.

Shelby once claimed that he was of-

fered $20M by a Japanese business-

man and turned him down. He also

said an Arab Sheik was willing to pay

$25M for the car. While neither claim

can be verified, that could well be the

price when the hammer comes down

in August.

Summer 2016 1