Amie Williams Associate Online Editor
February 4, 2014

The Historic Vehicle Association (HVA) announced that the 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe (CSX2287) will be the “first automobile to be recorded under the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Heritage Documentation.” The documentation will be archived in the Library of Congress as well as part of the HVA’s National Historic Vehicle Register and Historic American Engineering Record (HAER).

The 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe (CSX2287) was the very first out of six Daytona Coupes ever produced just over fifty years ago in January of 1964 in L.A. at Shelby American, Inc. Designed by Peter Brock, the Daytona Coupe permitted the race team at Shelby American to compete successfully and go on to win the International Manufacturer’s GT Championship in 1965 – the first time an American manufacturer won the international race series.

Known as the CSX2287, it is among one of the most significant American vehicles in history surrounding important people and events as well as an aerodynamic design. It is also one of the few cars from the era that has not been completely restored. It is part of the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia.

“Today is an important day for national automotive heritage,” said Mark Gessler, President of the Historic Vehicle Association. “It has been nearly 120 years since the first automobiles were produced in the U.S. During that time, we have implemented national programs to recognize our historic buildings, airplanes, spacecraft and vessels but not our historic automobiles. Through our work, we hope to celebrate the contribution of the industry’s pioneers, the vehicles they produced and the preservation efforts necessary to ensure future generations appreciate the unique roll of the automobile in shaping America.”

“We look forward to working with the Historic Vehicle Association to promote the cultural and historical significance of the automobile, protecting the future of our automotive past, and making a record of this rich history available to the public,” said Richard O’Connor, Chief, Heritage Documentation Programs, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.

Over the course of this year, the HVA plans to document additional vehicles and continue working with the U.S. Department of the Interior to refine guidelines and processes for future submissions.

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Process of the documentation goes as follows:

• A fully-referenced narrative and description of the vehicle

• Technical drawings of important elements of the vehicle

• Detailed photographs and film negatives for permanent archival in the Library of Congress

“Having my Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe design recognized as the very first car to be included in the permanent archives of the Library of Congress is a great honor and the thrill of a lifetime,” said Peter Brock, Brock Racing Enterprises and the designer of the car. “I’m very proud that the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe helped lead the way to American’s first win in the FIA International Manufacturer’s GT Championship in 1965. The Coupe’s revolutionary design contributed to new standards for automotive aerodynamic efficiency. “

Executive Director of the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum, Dr. Frederick Simeone, said, “We are honored that our 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe was selected as the first vehicle to achieve national heritage status. Part of our mission is to ensure the preservation of historically important automobiles, like this Cobra. With efforts like this from the HVA and Department of the Interior, future generations will be able to appreciate the tremendous contributions these cars made to automotive history.”

One of the most important collections of racing sports cars in the world, the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum is home to over 60 of the rarest and most significant racing sports cars in racintg history. The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum was assembled by renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Frederick Simeone over the course of 50 years and was given the title of “Museum of the Year” by the International Historic Motoring Awards in London.

1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe CSX2287 Specs:

• Ford 289ci V-8 with about 375hp

• Four Weber 48mm IDM downdraft carburetors

• Four-speed manual transmission

• Four-wheel independent suspension with transverse leaf springs

• Four-wheel disc brakes

• Top speed of 180mph

• Wheelbase: 90-inches