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Visiting CSX2287

It's not often that one runs across an old racecar with provenance like this one: Daytona Cobra Coupe CSX2287. THE FIRST Daytona Cobra Coupe! These photos were taken at the Simeone Museum in Philadelphia by my nephew, Patrick Saia.

THIS is the FIRST Daytona Cobra Coupe...the real deal! Known as "The Prototype"; the first of only six coupes.

This storied car was built in Southern California by the Venice Crew at Shelby American. It's based on the Cobra roadster's chassis, but with a completely different body. This shape's intent was to make the Cobra much more competitive in the FIA's European races, especially in top speeds. The unique shape also heavily contributed to significantly better fuel mileage resulting in fewer fuel stops.

The aluminum bodywork (coachwork?) was completed in Los Angeles at Cal Metal Shaping.

This remarkable machine competed in eight FIA races, won at Sebring in March 1964 and then a month later set the fastest official time in the GT category at Test Day, Le Mans.

Finally, at the end of this storied racing career, CSX2287 set 23 USAC/FIA world records at the Bonneville Salt Flats including a 150 MPH average speed for 12 straight hours!

Today, the car resides in the Simeone Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Since its 'retirement' years ago, CSX2287 still gets some regular exercise at the Museum when driven in 'demonstration mode' outside in the Museum's large lot. This was one of those days...

Here's a few close-up details...

This setup was learned by Shelby American because of a, well, "incident" at Le Mans...

A "Rubber Floormat Special" of sorts...

A VERY short shifter...

All business!

...and function!

And in January 2014, CSX2287 made history again when this old racecar became the first automobile ever to be recorded under U.S. Heritage Documentation Standards and will be part of the Historic Vehicle Association's National Historic Vehicle Register and Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) that is permanently archived in the Library of Congress.

Quite a feat for the fifty-year old!

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