My Car Quest

September 30, 2023

More About AC Cobra 427 CSX 3129

The history of one AC Shelby Cobra 427 – No. CSX 3129.

by Bob Wachtel –

I was theoretically the 4th owner of 1966 AC Shelby Cobra 427 CSX3129. The car was in British racing green with a black interior. Harr Motor Company in Worcester, MA was the first owner on 9/17/65. Harr Motor Co. then traded or sold it to Larsen Ford of White Plains,NY in March of 1966. The next owner was John King who traded CSX2521, a 289 Cobra, for the 427 Cobra and took delivery of it on 3/11/66. By May 1966 King had accumulated 4,500 miles on the odometer and decided the black upholstery was excessively hot during the summer and had the seats reupholstered in tan leather.

The following year CSX3129 was traded in on a Mustang 390 GT fastback through Larsen Ford again. Bill Kolb Jr. of Larsen Ford brought it to the NY Auto Show at Coliseum in the spring of 1969. Bob Wachtel of Brooklyn, NY’s Fiberfab “Valkyrie” (Ford GT40 replica/kit car) was also there on display where it won a trophy and was sold to a gentleman from West Orange, NJ for $6,200. Bob then bought CSX3129 from Bill Kolb Jr. for $5,850, that’s all he could spend. Bob then registered the Cobra with New York plate #2320-DY.

AC Shelby Cobra 427 CSX 3129

In 1970, Bob offered the car for sale in Road & Track magazine. The ad read “1967 Cobra 427 roadster, 19,000 miles, very good condition, BRG, tan leather interior, AM/FM, Halibrands, competition cooling system, shop manual and parts catalog. Asking $6,700.”

It took about 2 months for the classified ad to appear and then it was bought by Melvin Segal of North Carolina who enjoyed it for just over one year before advertising it for sale again: “Shelby Cobra 427, 28,000 miles, BRG, black hard top, tan interior, immaculate condition, Halibrand mags, stereo tape player and new tires. Make offer.”

The next buyer was Hexagon Motors, a London-based car dealership. They sold it to Roger Hart of London, England. Within a short time, he destroyed CSX3129 in a road accident. In 1972 the car was rebuilt by AC Cars, run by Rod Leach and Brian Angliss. The damage to the original chassis and body being sufficiently severe as to preclude their reutilization. A cut-down AC428 (Frua) chassis became the basis for the reconstruction of a new car, which was finished in right-hand-drive. It was then given a maroon paint job and 7.5”/9.5” Halibrands. The replacement bodywork featured somewhat bulbous rear flares which in marked contrast to original fender flares. However, they easily swallowed the larger Halibrands.

Upon completion, the car was sold to Rod Leach, a big time Cobra collector and trader from Hertfordshire, England. An article in the 3/75 issue of Game magazine quoted Leach as saying that the car was the only RHD 7-liter Cobra built from new. I certainly can’t consider this car as “new”. It’s also the only Cobra built by AC since they finished production in 1968.

Leach covered 1,690 miles on it since he acquired it in 8/73. Leach registered the “new” CSX3129 with the plate “COB 1” which he retained when the Cobra was sold in 1976 to Bob Alexandra of Hempstead, England. It was re-registered with the plate “HNX 947K”. David Anderson of Herts, England purchased CSX3129 in the late 70’s and sold it in 1983 to Peter Maria Bruner of SWI. Over a four year period, the car was again redone, at which point it was also converted back to LHD. Repainted maroon, the car was fitted with an oil cooler, modified ignition, a trunk-mounted battery, stainless steel fuel tank and exhaust system and a bare aluminum dashboard. Bruner also noted that Sunburst wheels were then used, with the rears having been widened to 9.5”.

AC Shelby Cobra 427 CSX 3129

AC Shelby Cobra 427 CSX 3129

CSX3129 was pictured in Trevor Legate’s book “Cobra” on page 39 (bottom) and page 54 (bottom). When it was plated as “COB 1” by Rod Leach it was on the front dust jacket of Philippe Hazan’s book “AC COBRA 260-289-427”. This book is written in French but it has a lot of illustrations.

On going back to Bill Kolb Jr., it’s quite a coincidence to know that he’s the same guy that not only sold CSX3129 to me but also sold about six years earlier the 1965 or 1966 Shelby GT350 Mustang to a Richard Klein for $4,000 when it was brand new. The number on that GT350 is SFM6S499 to anyone who want’s to research this car which Richard still owns and has over 200,000 miles on it now. He’s been using this car in rallies all over the country and being quite successful with it in all these years. Recently he reunited with Bill Kolb Jr. at the annual Greenwich Concours in Connecticut. That car and owner is a story in itself that possibly Richard himself might tell someday.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

THE AUTHOR: Bob Wachtel has written stories for My Car Quest before here.

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  1. Glenn Krasner says


    Great column – great history!!! There was a guy who used to do the car column for Dan’s Papers years ago, who sold his Cobra for $1,300. What would be the value of that Bruner Cobra today, about $1.2 million or so?

    Glenn in Brooklyn, NY.

  2. Any car is just an amalgam of metal , glass and rubber ! It’s the stories behind them that make them cherished by us today. Thanks for sharing yours.

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