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1964  AC COBRA  CSX 2493

One owner for  36 years old - rare original hard top - prepared and maintained by Yvan Mahé (Equipe Europe) since 2010

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French translation available soon

Ownership history know since the beginning and well documented

In the early  1960's Shelby's new Cobra was the dream of almost every gearhead in the country and Lewis Downs was no  exception. He had been reading all the road tests, going to all the races, and saving for the day when he could buy one of his own. In 1965 he was finally ready and purchased his new Cobra from Hayward Ford. He flew down to Los Angeles to take delivery  and drove the car home to Castro Valley CA.


Downs used the car for his daily transportation for the next year. Always the Hot Rodder (he had a cool 39 Ford Hot Rod while in  High School) Downs added a Factory chrome roll bar and hood scoop. He also sold the original wire wheels and fitted American  mags. The fenders were slightly flared to accommodate the wider Goodyear Blue Streak tires.  To improve the handling he lowered the front and fabricated custom front and rear anti-rail bars.


Downs was working in the Hi-Fi industry and became involved with a number of the major rock bands in San Francisco such as

Jefferson Airplane. He sold his Cobra and became a 'roadie "alt the while thinking he could always get another Cobra.


Raced in period by Tom Barbour and  remained untouched and undriven for the next 36 years!

The Cobra came back to Hayward Ford and was purchased by Tom Barbour of Modesto CA in late 1966. Barbour also owned a  GT35O at the time and was an active autocrosser with the Shelby club.  Barbour had the engine rebuilt by Chuck Bell (Ray Elder's  NASCAR engine builder). Very rare Crane heads and a Crower flat tappet cam were installed. The carburetor was modified to  make it function as a double pumper. A larger radiator and Cobra scattershield was also fitted along with Belanger headers.  Tea  fenders were flared even more to accommodate larger tires and the car was painted Fire Mist Green la Cadillac color). In addition  all the chrome was re-plated.  


Barbour autocrossed the car from 1967 to 1970 winning almost every event he entered. The car was retired at the end of 1970 and put into storage. It remained untouched and undriven for the next 36 years!


Barbour sold the car to its third owner in 2006. The new owner felt that a full restoration could erase the history and originality of  the car and elected to perform a mechanical restoration so the car could be driven again. The body and interior were thoroughly cleaned but left essentially just as found.  All of the mechanical components were carefully removed from the car and the chassis  was inspected and refinished in the proper factory satin black. The suspension and brakes were completely rebuilt and restored  to new condition. Spax adjustable shocks were installed along with alt new ball joints and wheel bearings. Down's front and rear  anti-roll bars were retained, as was the lowered front suspension.


The original engine, transmission and differential were completely rebuilt. Tony Oddo rebuilt the engine. The Belanger headers  were restored and refitted to the car along with new exhaust system from the headers on back. The Belanger headers can be "un-corked" when the car is run in competition by removing the end caps.


No mechanical component was overlooked including rebuilding the pedals and even the wiper assembly. A new aluminum gas  tank was fabricated along with all new fuel lines and filters. All the original hardware was re-plated to new condition.  

Restored and race prepared by Yvan Mahé - Equipe Europe

In 2010, Yvan Mahé (Equipe Europe) one of the best AC COBRA specialist  in Europe as completed a race preparation. A 400 HP new engine has been bought and a  new gearbox have  been fitted into CSX 2493. The original engine and the gearbox have been carefully stored.

During this restoration, CSX 2493 has been repainted in its original white color. The two red strips have been added by the current owner  in memory of the FERRARI 512 S he had recently sold ...


Since 2010, CSX 2493 has been entered in several Peter Auto's events: Spa Classic, Porto Classic and several rallye like Club AC  France Rallye, Entre 2 Mers and Megêve Saint-Tropez organized by Cyril Neveu


Original engine - Original gearbox - Original hard top and tonneau cover

The car comes equipped with a very rare hard top and the original tonneau cover that was custom made to fit the roll bar. A convertible top, side curtains, top bows, and jack are included as well as the original spare wire wheel which is still  fitted  with a Bruce's Recap racing tire from 1966!  The car comes complete with historic documentation, registrations, invoices, and the original engine and gearbox.


AC Cobra CSX 2493 detailed ownership history

23/06/1964:  Shelby American Incorporated, Venice, California, USA

-  Shipped to Los Angeles 07/02/64 aboard “SS Paci fi c Fortune”

-  fitted with 289ci 4.7 liter Ford V8

-  painted white with black interior - invoiced for $ 5195


30/03/1965:   Hayward Ford, Hayward, California, USA

-  Shelby dealership

-  with Class “A” accessories

-  including WSW tires

-  with chrome roll bar - uninstalled - invoiced for $ 5572


05/20/1965:   Lewis Downs, Castro Valley, California, USA - Pictured

- original order inquiry 04/17/64

- road registered CA: MOB 190

- invoiced for $ 6300

- engine rebuilt in 1966 by Jim Culleton, Marina Automotive

- train Shelby American mechanic


09/1967: Hayward Motors, Hayward, California, USA

-  traded back

  1967:  Tom Barber, Merced, California, USA

-  re-registered CA: UXR 651 - black plate

-  front and rear fenders flared for wider tires

-  repainted GM Light Firemist Green

-  engine rebuilt in 1969 by Chuck Bell

-  with new Crower fl at tappet camshaft

-  new crane heads

- autocrossed with the Shelby club between 1967 and 1970

- stored and unused for next 36 years

- advertised for sale summer of 1971 for $ 6700 - unsold

- advertised for sale in 1980 for $ 40,000 - unsold


01/2006:  Roger Hoffmann, Point Reyes, California, USA

-  dismantled for chassis frame restoration

-  engine rebuilt by Tony Oddo

-  rebuilt with all original components

-  shell cosmetically restored only


2008:  Bruce Canepa Design, USA

-  for sale - recorded mileage 39,488


2010: Ivan Mahe, Team Europe, France

2010: Current owner


Price upon request

Technical characteristics

: AC


: 1965

: CSX 2493

: Steel

: Aluminum

: Ford V8 289 - Original engine is included  

: 400  ch. at 6,500 rpm.

: 4 speeds





Chassis No.







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