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						Jackson 289 Cobra
Mr. October’s FIA Cobra

Reggie Jackson's ERA 289 FIA Cobra

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, Bring a Trailer

So a baseball Hall-of-Famer with 21 MLB seasons under his belt decides to construct a custom sports car from the ground up — a Cobra roadster in this case. Personally, it’s hard not to imagine an over-personalized finished product with a cringe worthy amount of little details. You know, with baseball stitching on the seats, little personalized mementos and medallions here and there and way too much custom paint. Something like what Paul Sr. and the Orange County Choppers boys would have built back in the early 2000s. With that sort of imagery in mind, I was pleasantly surprised to find this ERA Cobra built by Reggie Jackson (Mr. October himself) on bringatrailer.com, which is a stunning FIA Cobra roadster that anyone would be happy to own and drive.

Reginald Martinez Jackson was born May 18, 1946, and played an impressive 21 seasons in the MLB from 1967 to 1987. Jackson’s professional career started with the Kansas City/Oakland Athletics from ’67 to ’75, before he played a single season with the Baltimore Orioles in 1976, and then started with the New York Yankees in 1977. Jackson’s career in New York concluded in 1981, and he played a few seasons with the California Angels from ’82 to ’86, before returning to the Oakland Athletics for a farewell season in 1987. Jackson played right field, and he threw and batted lefty, but he really made a name for himself at home plate. His .262 batting average was above the median, but Jackson really had a knack for hitting home runs (563 during his career), especially in the postseason, earning his nickname Mr. October. In the years after his professional career ended, Jackson has served as a special advisor for the Yankees and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993. But what really matters to us is that he’s a car guy as well.

Like many of us, Jackson’s love for cars started as a young man, where he and his friends would watch cars go by, acquiring points for correctly spotting high-performance badging and insignia. In 2018, Mecum Auctions detailed that Jackson had roughly 100 high-profile muscle cars and classics in his collection, and Mecum helped him thin the heard that year by auctioning off 10 of his desirable General Motors products. I’m guessing that this particular ERA 289FIA Cobra had a special significance though, as he purchased it as a kit in 2012 to assemble with his nephew.

ERA’s 289FIA Cobra starts out with one of the best steel chassis in the business, which uses 4 x 3-inch rectangular main rails and a tubular structure that mounts the door hinges directly to the chassis. In place of the original transverse-leaf spring suspension design, ERA uses independent coilover suspension front and rear utilizing modified GM uprights and Spax coilovers. Bodies are constructed from fiberglass-reinforced plastic, and ERA uses a mix of hand layup and chop mat.

This particular ERA was completed with a 351 Windsor engine from BluePrint Engines, which the owner ballparks at 420 hp, and a host of period-looking details were used under the hood. A Ford TopLoader four-speed was originally used in the build, but the car has since been upgraded with a TREMEC TKO five-speed with Centerforce clutch, which should improve drivability. During current ownership, the interior was also refined with the installation of leather seats and standard upholstery, where the ERA 289FIA kit (and 289 FIA Cobras) were fit with competition seats and bare aluminum interiors.

The exterior of the car has all the visual cues of a proper 289 FIA Cobra, from the hood scoop, to the FIA pin-drive wheels, three-point roll bar, air ducts up front, under-car exhaust and Avon CR6ZZ tires. The body is finished in Yankee Blue with red stripes up front, which is significant given Jackson’s relationship with the Yankees in the years since his professional career ended. White roundels display Jackson’s number 44, which was retired by the Yankees in 1993.

Mr. October’s FIA was sold at Barrett-Jackson, and the current owner acquired the car in 2019. The odometer shows just 998 miles, and the seller states that the car is in spectacular condition and ready to be enjoyed. Find it here on BringaTrailer, where the current high bid is $53,500 with six days remaining in the auction.

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