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Midnight Blue Mistress

Shelby CSX4188 offered for sale

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, eBay

In our upcoming spring issue, you’ll hear from a Cobra owner who has both a 427 Cobra and a 289 roadster in his collection. Maintaining that every enthusiast should have one of each, he relates each car to female dancers, likening the 289 car to a ballerina, and the other to a lady from the Vegas strip. I appreciated the reference when I read it, but it wasn’t until I saw this CSX4000 Series Cobra on eBay that his reference truly resonated with me. See there are dainty slabsides with wire wheels, purpose-bred 289 USRRC racers and iconic 427 S/Cs built for the big time. But with its black 17-inchers, 468 ci Side-Oiler and midnight blue paint, this car is a guilty pleasure built for nothing but fun.

So what gives this roadster its character? To start, there hasn’t been an over-the-top effort to make the car the most authentic Cobra possible, but at the same time, it isn’t some playboy roadster that throws convention to the wind for sake of an image. It’s a beautiful and proven formula with just a few clues to suggest that this is one mean machine. Beyond all the black accents, the 17-inch, knock-off wheels are likely the first thing you’ll notice, and in addition to looking great on some cars, they also provide more clearance for big brakes than standard 15s — important when you’ve got 600 hp to play with.

Oh yeah, that’s 600 hp and 600 lb-ft of angry, big displacement Ford FE power, courtesy of a 468 ci Side-Oiler V8. Considering the number of cubes, this is likely an aluminum-block FE similar to the ones currently sold by Carroll Shelby Engine Company, probably based on a 4.25-inch bore and a 4.125-inch stroke. Those numbers are up from the 427’s stock 4.233-inch bore and 3.784-inch stroke. Even though the engine is topped with aluminum heads and all sorts of aluminum accessories, it looks the part thanks to a turkey pan surrounding the carb and the polished expansion tank.

That shade of blue, which could be my new favorite color for a Cobra, is not actually listed as midnight blue, but instead as teal blue metallic. While it doesn’t appear to be on the Ford color pallet, it looks right on the haunches of the muscular 427 Cobra body, with the metallic shimmer highlighting all the right areas with a little overhead light.

One of my favorite quotes from a reader in RCN history was something to the effect of “a car that does not require sorting out is a car that has not been driven much,” and I feel that this Shelby is likely well sorted with around 5,600 miles on the clock.

If you’re after a righteous Cobra with just enough attitude and way too much horsepower, this car could be the one. Check out CSX4188 here on eBay.

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