The Missing Daytona Coupe (CSX2287)
Long-Lost Daytona Coupe
turns up in an Anaheim (California) storage facility!
The grandaddy gladiator of all the Coupes; it’s a little rough, but bear in mind that it played a major role in a lot of combat! It’s fully restorable… all the parts are there!
This true story eclipses the proverbial “I found this ’32 roadster under a stack of hay in a farmer’s barn” yarn.
We just learned from SAAC headquarters that the long-missing first-of-the-series Shelby Daytona Coupe chassis# CSX2287 has been located. The following paragraph regarding this missing Coupe was extracted with permission from the 1997 Shelby American World Registry, p.161 (yet more evidence that you should have this fine SAAC reference book on your bookshelf):
“Although not a high priority, (in 1965-’66) Shelby wanted to sell the Coupes. He had no use for them at that point, and apparently neither did anyone else. One of the maxims in the used car business that there is a buyer for every car, if only the seller is willing wait long enough. The Bonneville car, CSX2287 (the car that Craig Breedlove and Bobby Tatroe set 23 new national and international speed records on the salt flats in December 1965), was cleaned up as best it could be and was purchased by Jim Russell, owner of American Russkit, a company that made model cars and slot car kits. Russell drove it on the street and eventually sold it to rock ‘n’ roll record producer Phil Spector. Spector also drove it through the streets of Los Angeles, and after receiving enough speeding tickets to paper his garage wall, his agent succeeded in talking him into selling the car. It was purchased by another Southern Californian, John O’Hara, a recluse who reportedly managed an orange grove in the Yorba Linda area. O’Hara stopped using the car and it deteriorated over the years. Several attempts were made to purchase it from him in the late 1970s. Each person who was successful in locating him (no small feat in itself) was under the mistaken impression that he did not know the car’s value. He was acutely aware of what he had and what it was worth, and their low-ball bids only served to alienate him. He eventually divorced his wife who was awarded the car as part of the settlement. She expressed no desire to part with it and subsequently remarried. For the past fifteen years, finding her–and CSX2287–and talking her into selling the car has been one of the all-time greatest ongoing fantasies in the Cobra world. The present whereabouts of CSX2287 is still not known.”
For the record, Peter Brock detailed the various exploits of this car, including its stunning performance at Bonneville, in his splendid book “Shelby Daytona Coupes.”
But a legal battle over ownership of the Coupe (now worth in the neighborhood of $4mm USD) has begun. It seems that on 17 October 2000 the reclusive widow of the owner of the car allegedly executed a California DMV “Vehicle/Vessel Transform Form” in which she signed over ownership of the Coupe to one Kurt Goss, the owner of the storage facility. But after her death (on or about 22 October 2000) the car was removed from the premises sold without plaintiff Goss’ knowledge. So only time and the clanky wheels of the U.S. justice system will determine the outcome of this “long-lost Daytona Coupe” drama.
The photo below shows you how this machine appeared in its heyday (as wasproduced by Exoto in die-cast form in its 1965 LeMans livery).
#6 Daytona Coupe (LeMans 1964, drivers Neerpasch & Amon, painted Viking Blue with white front fenders). This was the first Coupe completed, at Shelby American’s Venice, California location, in February 1964. Competed in eight FIA races in 1964 (Daytona, Sebring, LeMans Test Day, Spa, LeMans, Reims, Oulton Park Tourist Trophy and Tour de France) and two in 1965 (LeMans and Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah), and driven by Bob Holbert, Dave MacDonald, Jo Schlesser, Phil Hill, Jochen Neerpasch, Chris Amon, Innes Ireland, André Simon, Maurice Dupeyron, Bob Johnson, Tom Payne–and at Bonneville in November 1965, by Craig Breedlove, Bobby Tatroe and Tom Greatorex, where it put 23 USAC/FIA world records on the books. This CSX2287 condensed history was extracted from Pete Brock’s spectacular book “Cobra Daytona Coupes.”
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