It’s one thing to hold on to any car for 47 years without selling it. It’s another entirely to keep a Shelby Cobra for that long while waves of replicas flooded the streets and then prices for original CSX-numbered cars shoot through the roof. Yet that’s what one Kansas doctor did, and it’s only with his passing that his Cobra will appear at The Branson Auction this weekend in Branson, Missouri.
Ed Johnson bought a Shelby 289 Cobra, CSX2305, at Broadway Ford in Kansas City in 1964 and never let it go. The Johnson County, Kansas, Medical Examiner, Ed Johnson raced, autocrossed and later toured in the Cobra, which will be auctioned including trophies, documents, books, badges and clippings associated with the car. Auction host Jim Cox told us that Johnson was probably a better autocrosser than racer, but he earned trophies in both disciplines.
While the Branson Auction does not normally share estimates for their lots, Cox believes that Doc Johnson’s Cobra should fetch between $450,000 and $600,000, believing it is in “better condition than other 289 Cobras sold the past six to nine months.”
It’s certainly not every day that a one-owner Cobra pops up for sale. And short of Carroll Shelby’s personal cars, this might have been the second-longest held one-owner Cobra, after the one owned by jazz great Herbie Hancock, who used his 260 Cobra as a daily driver from 1963 through 1990.
Another intriguing car to be offered at the annual southwestern Missouri auction is a 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona, which the auction house bills as one of three numbers-matching Hemi four-speed Daytonas. Considering that those four words in the same auction sentence – Hemi, four-speed, and Daytona – usually draw a lot of attention from bidders, this lot promises to draw a lot of attention.
Along with that one-of-three-with-matching-numbers provenance, this car is also claimed to be the most optioned in existence with power windows, power steering, tinted windows, the A34 Super Trac-Pac (which included the super low 4.10 Dana 60 rear differential) and even an 8-track player, among other options.
Branson Auction will send another 1969 Hemi car across the block. This matching-numbers 1969 Plymouth GTX is not only one of 98 four-speed Hemi models, it also has a very interesting race history – and not the typical drag strip kind. Roger Jensen set a class record in the car at 195.86 MPH on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Restored in the early 1990s to its original condition, the GTX was recently removed from a museum in California.
Just 59 Hemi Road Runners were produced in 1971 and two are being auctioned at Branson this weekend. One is a numbers matching automatic car that also includes all of its original documentation: the window sticker, original broadcast, purchase contract, warranty papers and even a full ownership history back the original dealership. The auction catalog lists it as the first 1971 Hemi Road Runner produced.
Although not numbers matching, the other 1971 Hemi Road Runner features a correct four-speed transmission and 426 Hemi as it had been delivered from the factory. Its 24,000 miles showing on the odometer are also believed to be correct.
For fans of pre-war muscle, little can top this over-the-top 1931 Marmon Sixteen. Featuring a whopping 491-cubic-inch V-16, this close-coupled sedan is one of 68 known survivors according to the auction house. Featuring a design by Walter Dorwin Teague, Jr, then an MIT student moonlighting for his father’s renowned industrial design studio, the body was manufactured by LeBaron.
For Crosley fans – we know you’re out there – how about a 21-passenger Crosley? Okay, that includes the driver and 20 kids on this hook and ladder “fire truck.” Originally built as an amusement park ride from a converted Crosley truck, this one has been restored.
And, finally, a car that lives up to its Branson offering: a 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk once owned by Conway Twitty.