July 23, 2024

Linkage Mag

Geared for the Automotive Life

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The Snake Charmer’s Cobra Comes to Monterey

As Monterey Car Week 2024 draws closer, the auction houses continue to release information about star cars planned for this year’s events.

This week, RM Sotheby’s announced the addition of a 1964 Shelby 289 Cobra to its Monterey auction lineup at the Portola Plaza. The car — CSX 2227 — was owned from new by WWII hero, medical professional, jazz musician and racer Hank Williams.

The car features its numbers-matching body and engine and has never been restored — only maintained since new. It was repainted early on in Silver Mink and retrimmed in red Naugahyde, and Williams added the dual fours, hood scoop and five-spoke wheels the car wears today.

Williams drove the car during the week and raced it on the weekends, racking up nearly 400 starts over the course of his ownership. As the story goes, Williams befriended Shelby, and after the Shelby win at Le Mans, Williams was able to talk him out of a team shirt. Thus, the “Snake Charmer” name was born. 

Williams put over 140,000 miles on this car over the course of his ownership, with the last of the miles covered at his birthday celebration in 2022 when he was 98 years old. He lived to be 99.

RM Sotheby’s is offering the car from the Hank Williams Trust, and the car is still in Williams’ name on the original 1965 title. It comes with great paperwork, including the original build sheet, Buyer Form and Cobra New Car Warranty. It also comes with trophies, Williams; racing jacket, and of course, the famous shirt that Williams talked right off of Shelby’s back so many years ago.

The RM Sotheby’s auction in Monterey takes place from August 15-17 in downtown Monterey, CA. Learn more here.