We’ve written at length already about the history of the legendary 1960s Shelby Daytona Coupe – the sportscar built by Shelby American to overcome the aerodynamic limitations of the open-top Shelby/AC Cobra on high-speed road racing courses like the Le Mans Circuit.
But what about the very first of the total six original Shelby Daytona Coupes ever built? For that, we’ll defer to Los Angeles Shelby American Automobile Club President Randall Richardson.
Mr. Richardson appears in the video above from Goodwood Road & Racing, talking us through the significance of Shelby Daytona Coupe No. CSX2287 – the first ever built. “The first time this car was ever tested at Riverside Raceway,” says Richardson, “it broke the track record… This car was 20 miles an hour faster than a roadster.” Shelby American’s attempt to create a more slippery counterpart to its drag-limited Cobra, then, was an unequivocal success.
Interestingly enough, Shelby Daytona Coupe No. CSX2287 was the only one of six original examples to be built entirely in Venice, California; the rest were built in Italy, under supervision of Peter Brock. After racing at venues including Daytona, Sebring, and Le Mans, it was lost for some 30 years and presumed destroyed before being rediscovered.
Thankfully, Shelby Daytona Coupe No. CSX2287 lives on.