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The Six Cobra Daytona Coupes

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Racing ScheduleCoupe SpecsSix Daytona Coupes

Chassis # CSX2287 – The Prototype

The very first prototype Cobra Daytona Coupe. The only coupe that was built entirely at the Shelby American race shop in Venice, California. The other five coupes were built in Italy.

It has an extensive race history, competing at Daytona, Sebring, Reims, Spa Francorchamps, Oulton Park TT, and Tour de France.  It was driven by Dave MacDonald, Bob Holbert, Jo Schlesser, Phil Hill, Jochen Neerpasch, Innes Ireland, Andre Simon, Maurice Dupeyron, Bob Johnson, Tom Payne. 

Chassis CSX 2287 won the GT race at the 12 Hours of Sebring in March 1964 with Dave MacDonald and Bob Holbert driving. The race at Sebring was the first time that a Cobra Daytona Coupe won the GT III category in an FIA race! 

At Le Mans in June 1964, the car was finished in Viking Blue metallic very distinctive white  painted front fenders. The drivers were Chris Amon and Jochen Neerpasch. They led the GT class until the car was disqualified in the 10th hour for an illegal jump start due to battery and alternator failure.

This coupe ended its racing career by setting 25 USAC/FIA world records at the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, in November 1965. It was driven by Craig Breedlove, Bobby Tatroe and Tom Greatorex.

This particular Daytona Coupe has been missing for over 30 years. Recently, it was “found” again. The story reads as another unique chapter in the Shelby cars history. Click here to read more about this rare and long missing coupe.

Chassis # CSX2299

#5 Daytona Coupe  This was the second Coupe built and the first completed at Carrozzeria Gransport (Italian for “Grand Sport Coachbuilders”) in Modena, Italy. It competed in nine FIA races (LeMans, Reims, Goodwood Tourist Trophy, Tour de France, Sebring, Oulton Park TT, LeMans, Enna, Daytona), won four times (LeMans ’64, Tourist Trophy ’64, Daytona ’65, Sebring ’65), and driven by Dan Gurney, Bob Bondurant, Maurice Trintignant, Bernard de St. Auban, Jo Schlesser, Hal Keck, Jack Sears and Dick Thompson. At LeMans in 1964, drivers Gurney & Bondurant, took First Place in the GT III Class. It was painted Viking Blue with white stripes. At LeMans Gurney and Bondurant clocked in at 196 miles per hour on the Mulsanne Straight taking first place in the GT III Class.

Dan Gurney in 1965 driving this Cobra Daytona Coupe took the World Manufacturers Championship from Ferrari. 

It set a record laps at LeMans, Reims, Rouen and a distance record at LeMans and Goodwood. In 1965 it set a record lap time at Oulton Park.

Chassis # CSX 2300

This was the only time that a Cobra Daytona Coupes was painted with a white body finish with blue and red stripes. Chassis CSX 2300 was leased from Alan Mann by Ford of France for this race only. It competed in the national “Tri-Colore” of France. Well known French drivers Andre Simon and Jo Schlesser drove this coupe at the very tough Nurburgring 1000 km course. The Alan Mann GT won the race driven by Bondurant and Neerpasch.

The car finished 3rd in the GT III category, and 12th overall. After the race, this white coupe was returned to Alan Mann Racing in England where it was repainted in the official Guardsman Blue metallic and white stripe of the 1965 Shelby American team.

Chassis # CSX2601

This was the fourth Coupe built and the third completed at Carrozzeria Gransport. It competed in eight FIA races in 1965 (Daytona, Sebring, Monza, Spa, Nürburgring, LeMans, Reims, Enna), won four times in GT III class, at Monza, Nürburgring, Reims, Enna), and driven by Bob Johnson, Tom Payne, Bob Bondurant, Allen Grant, (German) Jochen Neerpasch and Jo Schlesser (an outstanding French driver who was killed in an accident at the French Grand Prix in 1968). 

At Reims, 3-4 July 1965, drivers were Bondurant & Schlesser. It was painted Guardsman Blue. They won the GT III Class. It was at Reims on July 4th that this car earned the points needed to secure the 1965 World Manufacturers Championship. 

CSX2601 was in the 1965 Movie Red Line 7000. It was purchased by Bondurant after that.

Chassis # CSX2602

This was the fifth Coupe built and the fourth completed at Carrozzeria Gransport. It competed in six 1965 races (Daytona, Sebring, Monza, Spa, Nürburgring and LeMans) and was driven by Rick Muther, John Timanus, Lew Spencer, Jim Adams, Phil Hill, Jack Sears, John Whitmore, Peter Sutcliffe and Peter Harper. The #59 Swiss Red Coupe was campaigned in 1965 by Scuderia Filipinetti. Prior to the Le Mans race, chassis CSX 2602 was also raced at Daytona (driven by Rick Muther and John Timanus) in 1965, Sebring (driven by Lew Spencer, Jim Adams, and Phil Hill) in 1965, Monza (driven by Jack Sears and Sir John Whitmore) in 1965, and Nurburgring (driven by Jack Sears and Frank Gardner) also in 1965. 

The #59 Daytona Coupe with British drivers Sutcliffe & Harper, ran in the distinctive Red & White Swiss colors only for the ’65 LeMans event June 19-20, 1965. 

This interesting color combination was the well known colors of the famous Swiss racing team, the “Scuderia Filipinetti”. The latter had already earned a reputation for themselves racing Ferraris. When Ford used up their allotment of entries for the 1965 Le Mans race, they asked Georges Filipinetti (owner of the team), to buy a Coupe and enter it as his annual entries. Thus the unusual color scheme. Peter Sutcliffe and Peter Harper (well known Ferrari drivers) were the team’s drivers at Le Mans. They vigorously raced the red and white Cobra Daytona Coupe until the 10th hour when a blown engine put them out of the race. After Le Mans, chassis CSX 2602 was returned to Alan Mann Racing. It was repainted in the Shelby American team colors and never raced again.

Source of information: Chassis History of the Six Daytona Coupes by Peter Brock. 10-27-2015