Classic Car Overview
1964 Shelby 289 Factory Comp. Cobra For Sale- Raced As A Factory Team Car By Shelby LMC is very proud to offer for sale this 1964 Shelby 289 Factory Competition Cobra The car offered here is one of the rarest of all Cobras: a Factory-Prepared Full Competition Car, the latter being the designation of cars prepared to full-race specification by Shelby. Only 38 Factory 289ci Competition Roadsters were ever produced from 1962-1965 and have accounted for winning a substantial number of races all over North America backing up their reputation as a light, reliable, winning machine. Of those 38, only 24 Cobra roadsters had raced under the Team Shelby American banner. This car was campaigned by “Gentlemen” racer Tom Payne and raced as a factory team car by Shelby American in many events. The infamous Tom Payne of Ann Arbor, Michigan, first started racing in 1954, when he first got behind the wheel of an Arnolt-Bristol whilst in Put-in-Bay, Ohio, and Sebring. He then later raced a Porsche RS61 stateside before trying his hand at Formula Juniors. Interestingly, the ambitious young businessman even tried his hand at politics on two occasions, running for Congress in 1960 and 1962, which was a campaign that attracted John F. Kennedy, who visited Michigan during a “whistle-stop” tour and spoke on behalf of the young Democratic candidate. Over the next 8 years Payne raced over a dozen different race cars in nearly 100 races before co-driving a Shelby Cobra owned by an acquaintance Dan Gerber. Payne first met Gerber at an SCCA race in Northern Michigan, where he hopped out of his RS61 and into Gerber’s Cobra, and from that moment he was instantly smitten! Jacques Passino, vice president of Fords Special Vehicle Division approved the build of the 1964 Competition Cobra for Tom Payne, Shelby American began work right away on the car with the understanding that it would remain the property of Ford. The Factory built the Cobra it into a factory-specification competition car with its equipment list including but, not limited to; hood scoop, chrome roll bar, 6½-inch Halibrand front wheels (8½-inch at the rear), flared wings, Koni shocks, front and rear sway bars, competition brakes, quick-jack points, side pipes, dual long-range fuel tanks, Monza snap-open fuel cap, racing seat, Sun tachometer, fuel- pressure gauge, differential cooler, oil cooler, electric Stewart-Warner fuel pump, and an aluminum Harrison header tank. Of course, the soul of the roadster was a full race-specification 289ci V-8 that had Weber carburetors and 12:1 compression, which could deliver about 400 horsepower. Once completed the car was billed to Ford Motorcar Company and delivered to Detroit in late July. Under the ownership and sponsorship of Ford, Payne campaigned the car through the 1964-1965 seasons with many races as a Shelby American Team entrant. Payne’s debut race was at the Greenwood raceway USRRC event, and his first victory came less than two weeks later at Waterford Hills SCCA Divisional in August of 1964. The season consisted of; Lyndale Farms, the extremely dangerous Meadowdale USRRC finishing 3rd, Mid-Ohio USRRC finishing 3rd, Kent Fields and Greenwood SCCA with a 1st overall in both events. Tom finished off the season racing in the Nassau Bahamas Speed Weeks. Payne had a remarkable 1964 season in America, in which, every race that he completed resulted in a podium finish. Payne was able to capture, three 1st place finishes throughout the season. Tom Payne started off the 1965 season as a factory team driver racing the famous Daytona Coupes at Daytona, Sebring and The 24 Hours of LeMans, the trifecta of endurance racing. The first event of the 1965 season for this Cobra was certainly Tom Payne’s most notable race. After showing up late in Canada for the 1965 Mont Tremblant Pepsi Cola Trophy races, with no time to change into his racing clothes, he piloted his car at breakneck speed whilst still donning the Glen Plaid suit and necktie with which he had left work! He was known as “Gentleman Tom” thereafter. After much success at Tremblant the team travelled west to one of Motorsports most famous and challenging tracks, Mosport. After a disappointing DNF at Mosport, Payne headed back to Tremblant and scored a 1st place finish in both the Saturday and Sunday events. Ray Cumo and Tom Yeager took over the driving duties for the car at the next race at the Road America 500 where they finished 5th in class. The car’s next race was back across the border, returning to Tremblant finishing 1st in class for his fourth time of the season at the circuit. At the end of the season, Payne and the crew headed back down to Nassau searching for better results than the previous year. Payne finished the first two preliminary races with 2nd and 3rd place finishes but, could not compete in the final 56 lap Nassau Trophy Race due to a fall in a warehouse nearby breaking his ribs. As a result, Bob Grossman who was an avid Ferrari racer decided to swap seats moving from his red Ferrari 250 GTO to the red Cobra for the final race. After winning both of his races earlier in the weekend, Grossman was sandwiched between a 250 GTO and 275 GTB/C Comp Speciale on the starting grid, the mockingly red Cobra and its Ferrari pilot managed to score a 1st in class and 5th overall beating out all the Blood red Ferraris. After this Bob Grossman was bit by the snake, sold his Ferrari 250 LM and purchased a full competition 427 Cobra which he placed 1st in class at the 1966 Sebring 12 Hours. After the 1965 season, Shelby American supplied Tom Payne with a full competition 427 Cobra to race the following year. The car was then sold off to John “Scotty” Addison who campaigned the car through the 1966 season, kicking it off with the 12 Hours of Sebring resulting in an impressive 3rd in class. Scotty kept the car’s winning reputation going through the 1966 season by winning at least 4 events in class including the Road America Badger 200.