Affectionately known in Cobra circles as The FoMoCo Blue Demo, CSX 2360 was shipped to Lew Spencer’s Hi-Performance Motors on 29th January 1965 as a street demonstrator. Lew Spencer was a key figure in Shelby American from the start. He was an AC distributor, a Shelby Team driver, Team Manager and part of the Shelby Trans-Am Program. In 1961 Spencer received a call from Carroll Shelby asking if he could figure out the cost of an AC Bristol rolling chassis less engine. Spencer famously said “Carroll told me of his plan and I remember thinking, as we left the restaurant, ‘There’s no way Shelby’s ever going to put that thing together’” In mid-1964, Spencer started Hi-Performance Motors Inc with Shelby, Al Dowd, Peyton Cramer and Tom Reece, a dealership to sell the GT350s and Cobras based on the west Coast in L.A. CSX 2360 was their factory demonstrator, painted blue. Hi-Performance Motors were deeply involved with the Shelby race programme, running a GT350R and also a Cobra Drag car, CSX 2357 the Dragonsnake, in 1965. CSX 2360 has been restored to race condition with the paint scheme taking its cue from its sister car CSX 2357.
Peter Brock, designer of the Daytona Cobra and Split Screen Corvette, worked for Carroll Shelby from 1961-65, took customers out for dozens of demo runs in this very car. Says Brock; “It had such incredible performance for the time, going from 0-100mph in 12 seconds. Customers were often so utterly gobsmacked by the Cobra’s performance that they would come back and simply want to write a cheque immediately”. “We had a sort of arrangement with the police back then. As long as we didn’t create a problem with the local populace running around the area at absurdly high speed, and stuck to one area, they didn’t bother us too much”. “There was a regular route that we would use where we would demonstrate the car for potential customers. Out there within the limited confines of public roads, we had one long, sweeping fast corner where we could get up to around 100mph in third gear and there was a long stretch behind our workshop in Venice where I could get the car up to good speed”. “There were some other corners on route back, but then we were getting back into an area with more traffic and had to be a little more restrained”.
Designer of the Cobra Daytona Coupes, Pete Brock is reunited with the FoMoCo Blue demo Cobra
CSX 2360 after 44 years. Seen here at Goodwood FoS 2019.
KeKi with legendary factory team racer, Allen Grant.
FoMoCo poster can be purchased from the shop.