Michael Johnson
Technical Editor
November 7, 2018

It is said that membership has its rewards. For being a part of the Mustang360 crew, we were fortunate enough to get some private time with CSX 2000. For those unaware, the CSX 2000 is the very first Cobra ever built. Numero Uno, Genesis, Alpha, whatever name you want to give it, CSX 2000 is the car each of us owe for even being a Ford and Mustang enthusiast. Without CSX 2000, it’s hard to tell what the Ford performance landscape would look like even today. This car spawned Shelby American, which gave birth to GT350s, GT500s, 427 Cobras, and GT40s that dominated the performance world in the ‘60s.

The CSX 2000 legend started when Carroll Shelby mixed an AC Ace body and chassis with a Ford small-block. Shelby had the car painted in various colors after each magazine tested it to fool the automotive press of the day into believing he had several cars already built. The original color was yellow, but that was followed by a couple other colors, and eventually the current blue. The car even appeared in bare aluminum at one press junket back in the day. The now-ingenious plan worked, and the rest, as they say, is history. It’s safe to say the birth of CSX 2000 changed the entire performance landscape, and we all benefit from it to this day.

The occasion we were able to capitalize on was that CSX 2000 was being transported to Shelby American from the Miller collection during the Thursday afternoon of SEMA. Of course, we weren’t going to miss this opportunity to see the car, and bring it to you, so we left the show early that day to make sure we wouldn’t be late.

To have the opportunity to be up close and personal with the car was a religious experience. Not only were we able to grab a look at CSX 2000, we gathered a full gallery of Shelby American’s Heritage Center. If you’re a Ford fan, you owe it to yourself to check it out, but until then, this gallery gives you an idea of what you’re missing.

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Photography by Michael Johnson