Continuation Cobra vs. Replica: A Valuation Examination

Posted December 13, 2016

This 1965 Shelby 427 S/C Cobra CSX4787 recently sold on (BAT) for $115,000. How does the value of a CSX-plated continuation Cobra differ from other replicas? Well, after fetching $115,000 (plus $5,000 buyer's fee) we'd certainly have to say the value of this continuation exceeds that of any replica Cobra on the market – no matter the manufacturer or build quality. So, at least one person places greater value on the fact that this particular model came with Carroll Shelby's signature of approval.  

A little research shows other continuation Cobras offered for sale anywhere from $125,000-$175,000. Finding documented sales proves a bit more difficult. Barrett-Jackson sold CSX6162 at Scottsdale 2015 for a whopping $161,700. That example was one of the last VINs to still have a Shelby-signed MSO. CSX6162 was offered for sale as a roller in October 2012 for $86,499. It's possible, but doubtful, that there is another $80,000 invested in an engine and drivetrain – though it does have a very accurate and potent 452-cubic-inch V8 with a number of accurate parts. One could argue the CSX6162 comparable sale makes this recent BAT price a relative bargain – given it bears the earlier 4000-series serial number and similar components.

What makes this particular continuation worth twice as much as a replica without a CSX serial plate on it? Typically a continuation very closely follows the build details of an original example. In certain cases upgraded components are swapped out for lighter or more durable modern parts, but the spirit of the car is certainly carried forward. In the Cobra world only a true enthusiast could most likely pick the continuation car out of a lineup of well-done replicas. The added value of this particular model belongs primarily to the attached Carroll Shelby provenance, and not from any substantially better build quality or performance.

Collectors have a tendency to put dollars behind their marque of choice. In this case that marque happens to be Shelby. An avid Porsche, Jaguar or Bugatti collector would certainly place a higher value on a continuation car produced and certified by the original manufacturer than it would a similar replica – regardless of what might actually be the "better" car. While a nicely done, pre-owned replica Cobra may struggle to fetch a $60,000 asking price, CSX4787 was able to grab twice that. A tip of the black cowboy hat to Mr. Shelby for that valuation.

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