1965 AC Arntz Cobra Shelby Restored Over $120K Invested Rare Show Quality Racer

Price: US $56,900.00
  • Location: San Clemente, California, United States
  • Condition: Used
  • Make: Shelby
  • Model: Arntz AC Cobra Rare
  • SubModel: Racer Show Car
  • Type: Convertible
  • Trim: Racer
  • Year: 1965
  • Mileage: 12,111
  • VIN: CA458600
  • Color: Viper Graphite Metallic
  • Engine size: Chevrolet 406 V8
  • Number of cylinders: 8
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: 4-Speed Muncie M22
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Interior color: Black
  • Safety options: 4-Wheel Disc Brakes
  • Vehicle Title: Clear

1965 Shelby Arntz AC Cobra Rare Racer description

1965 AC Arntz Cobra

Probably the “NICEST” Restored/Modernized Arntz Cobra in Existence

Builder: Steve Arntz Engineer: Ron Butler
(both former Shelby Team Members)
Year Built: 1978

Restored 2002-2012

Over $56K in Documented Restoration Receipts

Three Time Winner at Sacramento Autorama
First Place Winner 2013, 2014, 2015
“Production Road Racer Class”

CA SB 100 Title

(Smog Exempt)

12111 Miles
Weight: 2700 lbs


Ace by A.C. Cars Ltd.: Thames Ditton, England
Chassis # CA458600

Parallel Ladder Frame:
3” x 4.125” main rails; wall tubed, massively X-Braced

Engine & Trans

Small Block Chevrolet

406 cubic inches

Ported & Polished Roller Engine

512 HP Comp: 10.0 : 1

Builder: Horse Power by Gerolamy
(complete specs attached in picture section)

750 Speed Demon Carburetor
Accusump Oil Accumulator

Muncie M22 4-speed “Rock Crusher”

Front Suspension

MGB Front Coil Over by Hawk Cars, Ltd. England

QA1 Coil Over Springs/Shocks

Rear Suspension

Jaguar XKE IRS with dual QA1 Coil Over Springs/Shocks

Final Gear Ratio: 3.08 : 1


by Jay’s Hot Rods

ET 2-Piece Bolt Together 15” ET-III Racing Wheels
($800 EACH)

Nardi Wood Steering Wheel
Autometer Gauges
AC Pedals

Extra Stuff

Hot Rod Magazine
June 1980 Issue
Cover Story Arntz Cobra

Secondary Battery Holder
(built for Heavy Duty Optima Battery or other)
Various Plexiglass Visors
Full Tonneau Cover

Fire Extinguisher w/Billet Style Holder
Book of Build Receipts from Restoration
Folio of Engine Specs - Documentation
Instructional Manuals for Almost Every Component

2012 Appraisal by American Icons (see pics)

Fair Market Resale Value: $78500

Start-up Video:


Walk-Around Video: (super sunlight condition, washed out)


There are over 150 pictures of the automobile hosted to this ad that load below the text. If you have a older/slower computer or internet connection it may take several minutes for all the pictures to load. If they do not load you can access my Photobucket account to view all the pictures in large format at this link:


I am selling this car for a friend. I have been involved with classic automobiles for almost 40 years. I have built and restored many Corvettes and Porsches and am a member of numerous car clubs including PCA & NCRS. I have judged at many concour events in and around Southern CA. This is a stellar, turn-key automobile at the highest-level of restoration. I hesitate to call the car concour because it is driven, but it is indeed very close. An undercarriage detail (it’s very clean, but not detailed to perfection) would be required to make concour. I would call this car a #1- based on everything that I see. The body & paint as well as interior and engine bay are all in #1 condition.

This Arntz Cobra is an exact “replica” of a 1964-65 Shelby Cobra was built by the legendary Steve Arntz in 1978 and from 2002-2008 was completely restored and further modified to near perfection. Arntz from South San Francisco worked with Carroll Shelby on the original Cobras and went on to be the first builder of Cobra replicas. His cars were built with incredible attention to detail, significant improvements to the Cobras, especially in the area of performance and safety. He designed his cars as turn key examples for possible sales to Ford Motor Co, but were never put into Ford’s production line. All his cars were built with Ford or Chevrolet engines during his production run. Later the company was sold to a former crew chief for the Shelby Racing Team, Ron Butler.

This quality of this build and the amazing handling capabilities of this vehicle will surpass any original factory Cobra or aftermarket kit car available today. It is the strongest, sturdiest and heaviest frame of any Cobra ever made, and with the Jaguar XKE center section, this car is capable of withstanding incredible torque output from modern aluminum Chevrolet power plants as used in McLaren Can-Am race cars.

An original 427 Cobra today is in the $1.2M range and is an amazing collectable no doubt, but here we have a substantially better machine at less than 1/10th the price. Arntz Cobra’s are extremely rare, with a number less than 100 (from my research 65 were made) ever built by the Arntz/Butler factory team as replicas. I want to emphasis, this was not a kit car. This car was similar to what Ford did in the 2005-2006 Ford GT’s. These were a replica in modern standard formulation to emulate the original Ford GT’s. Arntz was essentially doing the same thing with his Cobra “Replicas”. These were not some car pieced together by some guy in his garage. The restoration process to this particular vehicle was done to concour quality standards with many modifications to make it even more desirable than it was when originally built by Arntz.

I cannot emphasis this enough, you are not looking at some pieced together kit Cobra, this is the real deal built by two guys that worked hand and hand with Carroll Shelby, building race-cars. These guys were engineers of the highest order. If you live in Southern California or have the ability to fly in and look at this elaborate piece of automotive history please try to come check it out. The sight, the sound and the driving experience is like no other Cobra I have ever witnessed. The handling capabilities are simply superb. The “stout” frame gives the car a definitive feeling of confidence. Please take the time to read the specifications built into the Arntz Cobra.

About Steve Arntz & His Cars

A bit of Steve Arntz information and history: Steve Arntz worked with Carrol Shelby on the original Cobra's and after that project ended he continued and was the first man to build a Cobra replica. Steve Arntz started the kit Cobra industry, enabling so many to own their dream car.

Here are some comments of what others say about the man and the cars he built..

"This all started with the first clone Steve Arntz body…”

"Virtually all the Cobra Replica manufacturers that came in the years after us bought cars and chassis from us - ALL."

"Produced by Steve Arntz in the late-70s, this American made Cobra reproduction is as rare as it is stunning. Arntz was a pioneer in the concept of reproducing Shelby Cobras & this vehicle is testament to the quality of his workmanship. These cars are not the same as the kit cars that are being sold today. There were very few of these cars built and even fewer on the road today."
"Steve Arntz started building replica cars in 1972 in South San Francisco. Steve is and always will be an R&D man. He'd build a car, drive it for an hour, and then tear it apart again. This went on consistently. By the time I met him in about 1989, he had a shop at Sears Point. The one thing that everybody agrees on, is that Steve was light years ahead of any other replica builders. He never sacrificed quality for price. If you could see a Arntz car, next to pretty much any other manufacturer, you would see the difference in quality and safety features, many of which are incorporated in other cars today."
“The Arntz Cobra has a unique steel structure that separates it from all other Cobra replicas. One of these features is the steel door beams and hinge designs that are fiber glassed into the doors during construction. There were dozens of jig fixtures that were included with the tooling and fixturing of the body mold "package" that insured the proper location of all these components. You might have a similar "body" mold (the body is easy enough to splash), but without all the other components and the knowledge that it takes to put it all together in order to duplicate the Arntz design, you don't have anything any better than 90% of the rest of the wannabe’s out there. These were some of the primary things that made (makes) the Arntz so different and so much better that most (if not all) others. Giving credit where credit is due, the Arntz was originally designed to be a Cobra that one could drive every day, as a daily driver. I saw a demo that Steve Arntz had which had well over 100K mi. on it. It was in better condition than a lot of production cars of today.”

“What most people don't realize is that the Arntz Cobra, back in the 70’s-80’s, was a FULLY engineered car. When he went to Ford, there was a manufacturing blueprint drawing for every single part on that car. Hundreds of the best quality (back then hand drafted) drawings and spec sheets you could imagine. I saw them. There isn't another replica out there which can match it's quality and engineering, even to this day, AFAIC. I was willing to put my name and stake my reputation on it.

The Shelby Cobra was so successful that once production ended in 1967, it became the car that spawned the most replicas ever in the world! Steve Arntz was among the first to start producing a roadster in 1976 that replicated the Cobra 427 S/C. Consisting of a square tube frame and a fiberglass body whose molds were formed from an original model from 1965, and thus offering an almost perfect likeness, the car we offer is equipped with a Chevrolet 406 cu in V8 with whose tuning, according to the previous owner's information, is good for 512 hp, with an Edelbock intake manifold & Speed 750 Demon carburetor. The engine is mated to a Muncie 4-speed “Rock Crusher” and the car features independent Jaguar rear suspension, plus four disc brakes. The interior displays beautiful Auto Meter instrumentation, and G-Force harnesses. Many of the detail accessories are from Shelby American, which gives the car a certain flavor of authenticity. Only 65 units were produced between 1976 and 1981. This car has incredible performance and offering dragster acceleration! The ideal car for seekers of sustained excitement.


Gerolamy Engine Specifications: (picture included from stat book)

Engine: 400 Chevy Block: Chevy Deck Height: 9.0 Hone Finish: 400

Main Bolts: Chevy Crank Shaft: Eagle 4340 Mains: STD Rods: STD Stroke: 3.750

Rods: Pro-lite I Beam RPM-6000 Rod Length: 6.0 Bolts: ARP # 7/16

Pistons: Ross #99531 Type: Dish Top -20.0

Top Ring Groove: 1/16 2nd Ring Groove: 1/16 Oil Ring Groove: 3/16

Rings: C2A # RS-500 Type Top Ring: Moly Second Ring: Cast

Cam: Crower Type: Hyd-Roller Lifters: Hyd-Roller

Timing Set: Cloyes Type: Hex Adjust

Oil Pump: Melling M-55 Pump Drive: Melling #SH-55

Gasket Set: Fel-Pro Freeze Plug Set: Brass Fastener Set: SS

Cam Bearings: Duro-Bond #CH-8 Main Bearings: MS909P #STD

Rod Bearings: CB663-P #STD Timing Cover: Cloyes 9-221

Head Gasket: Fel-Pro #1014

Cylinder Heads: Edelbrock Chamber Volume: 64 ca

Valve Job Int: Edelbrock Exhaust: Edelbrock

Intake Valve: Edelbrock Head Dia: 2.02 Stem Dia: 11/32

Exhaust Valve: Edelbrock Head Dia: 1.6 Stem Dia: 11/32

Valve Guides: Bronze Clearance Int: .002 Exh: .002

Valve Stem Height Int: —- Exh: —- Springs: 6105 #Isky

Spring Pressure Closed: 135 lbs Open: 325 lbs

Installed Ht. Int: 1.80 Exh: 1.80 Coil Bind: 1.120 Retainer to Seal: .900

Retainers: Edelbrock Spring Cups: Edelbrock Studs: 7/16 #ARP Guide Plates: Manley

Rocker Arms: H&S 1.5 Int: 1.5 Exh: 1.5

Int Push Rod Length: Stock Dia: 5/16 Ends: 5/16

Exh Push Rod Length: Stock Dia: 5/16 Ends: 5/16

Port & Polish and any other modifications: F.E.S. port work Tom Lucas, 10 + 01 C.R.

Webster Stud Girdle

Geology Engine Balancing Specs: See Pictures

Camshaft Specs: See Pictures

The 406 small-block engine in this beast is the perfect blend of power and torque fitted to a lightweight racing specimen. The power is incredible, the sound is intoxicating and the ride quality and safety features of this machine are about as good as it gets. This is about as much fun as you can have with an automobile.

This little gemwas meticulously restored over about a seven to eight year period as far as I can tell from all the receipts that come with the car. The receipts total over $56K since 2002. However, there are a lot of things that are not found in the receipts. For example the ET Racing Wheels are somewhere in the $800 each category. My personal opinion is there is probably closer to $75K in the car to get it to its current restored show quality condition. Most everything was done by professional shops dedicated to racing type of cars. The car has been meticulously cared for and has less than 12K miles

on the odometer.

Paint & Body

The color is a Dodge Viper Graphite Metallic on the Hood/Truck Stripe and the body color is a 50% reduction of the same color. The most interesting thing to me was how many different shades it takes on during the day, depending on how much light is directly or indirectly on it. The beach pictures were taken on a very blue-sky morning and the color takes on that blueish hue. It’s one of the most striking colors I have ever photographed on a car and is just stunning when viewed in person. It’s a very similar color to the 2005 Ford GT Tungsten Gray Metallic; albeit more vibrant. The picture with the people gathered around the car at the Sacramento Autorama seems to capture the truest color of the car to my eye.

Make sure you check out the pictures showing the hood and trunk (in open position) stripes as they are “flip-flop” painted on the inside to match the outside. It’s a total WOW. I cannot stress enough the quality of this paint job. The current owner was a painter for many years in a very high-end shop in Southern California and he is most impressed with the body and paint. If this Cobra was rolled onto the lawn at Pebble Beach, there would be a crowd around it all day. It’s just that nice.

Engineering the Arntz Cobra (from Hot Rod Magazine June 1980 Issue)

As good-looking and as quick as the Arntz Cobra is, the thing Steve Arntz is proudest about is its engineering; and he would rather talk about the strength of the doors than discuss how faithfully the body resembles the original 427 Cobra. Steve set out to make his car better than the original (having owned several AC Cobras, he was well acquainted with the car’s shortcomings) in terms of safety, reliability, handling, passenger comfort and performance.

As an example of the improvements made, the original Cobra was nose-heavy, which caused excessive rear wheel spin during hard acceleration and rear wheel lockup under braking. Steve moved the engine back (10 inches), which improved weight transfer during acceleration, and gave more rear wheel weight (negative weight shift to the front) during braking. Both features improve handling and acceleration.

The frame was designed to be more than twice as strong as the original, and the Arntz Cobra can handle the most powerful of today’s high-performance street or racing engines. The rear fender-well design allow 50 percent wider tires than could be fitted to the original Cobra. This means improved traction and smoother ride.

No one know the Arntz Cobra better than its designer, so we asked Steve to expound on the features of the car.

FRAME - “After considerable discussion about what the frame should actually be, we arrived at a parallel ladder design that incorporates 3 X 4-inch steel members of 1/8-inch-wall material comparable to a 1018 SAE grade steel. The perimeter frame rails are 4 X 1.5-inch 1/8-inch-wall steel. These surround the entire perimeter of the passenger compartment, providing not only substantial frame rigidity but some additional safety features as well. The torsional rigidity theses rails create translates into improved chassis stiffness for better braking and cornering.

The X-bracing portion of the frame is constructed of 4 X 1.5-inch box steel tubing laid out to accommodate standard-shift 4-speed and Doug Nash 5-speed transmissions, as well as an assortment of automatic gearboxes.
Other features, such as solid=mounting the Jaguar rear suspension member, add to the net chassis stiffness. The design of a frame that meets our standards is a blend of handling and safety features. If a particular chassis feature looks good but doesn’t contribute to safety or performance, we omit it. The Arntz Cobra is intended as a pure automotive design, not simply something meant to sell.

The addition of strengthening gussets and fish plates brings the total weight of out frame to about 240 pounds. Considering the design strength of the frame, it’s very lightweight. Part of this results from use of single-bead, hili-arc, aircraft-quality welds throughout the entire frame.”

BODY- “The body is an exact reproduction of a 1967 427 Cobra shape, and we’d like to emphasize “shape”. Structurally, we’ve designed a fiberglass body of superior durability compared to the original aluminum skin. Our body thickness varies from 3/16- to 1/4-inch. Bodies are permanently bonded to the inner panels, which are also constructed of similar thickness fiberglass.

All the original Cobra external feature integrity is preserved in the Arntz version by offering exact reproductions of the windshield frame and glass, front and rear bumpers, front and rear lighting fixtures, rear-view mirrors and comparable pieces. In fact, we have been able to locate and contract most of the original vendors for AC Cobra accessory parts and offer this for of authenticity with the Arntz package.

Each body door has a steel guard rail constructed of 2 X 4-inch 1/8-inch wall mild steel tubing connected to hinges that have been pressure-formed in a huge press. These guard beams and hinges are of sufficient strength that the entire car can be jacked off the ground simply by placing the jacking member beneath the guard beam of the door, which will support the entire raised vehicle weight.

Inside the driver/passenger compartment, we have given considerable design thought to the dimensioning of foot boxes, arm leg and hip room, so that both persons are functionally comfortable and have optimum road visibility.

Our brake and clutch pedal assembly operated on roller bearings with a single hydraulic slave cylinder for clutch actuation and two independent hydraulic cylinders for the brakes. This special-design assembly is also adjustable forward and rearward to accommodate variation in driver leg length. A race-car brake balance bar is also included for front-to-rear brake pressure proportioning.

Arntz Cobras have four-wheel disc brakes. This includes the stock inboard-located Jaguar rear disc brakes. In the front, we provide a special Huffaker/Arntz design of superior street capability and worthy of race-car use. (Joe Huffaker’s association with the Arntz Cobra is only one of several -including that of master race-car fabricator Ron Butler-that have arisen from the interest among true automotive professionals who recognize the potential of the Arntz Cobra.)”

SAFTETY, DESIGN & PERFORMANCE “Our steering system is rack and pinion, the same design used on the original 427 Cobras. Perhaps the best available anywhere, it adds to the precise control required of any high-performance vehicle.

Working in conjunction with Koni shock absorber engineers, we have developed a unit that is tailored specifically to the Arntz Cobra.

Race-prepared rear suspension “center sections” are available from Arntz Engineering.

Regardless of the type of engine and exhaust system selected, we provide a special heat shield located between the exhaust manifold on the driver’s side and the outside of the driver’s foot box. Not in contact with the foot box or manifold, this shield provides adequate temperature control during times when air flow through the engine compartment is low.

This proximity of engine to firewall and foot boxes is the result of having moved the engine 10 inches rearward from where it was positioned in the original Cobras. Where the AC Cobra had about 53 percent of its weight on the front end, we’ve been able to redistribute this so that 56 percent of the total vehicle weight is now on the rear end. Given sufficient tire width and traction, lateral G-forces in excess of 1.5 are easily accomplished.

We also build and offer a 4-inch-thick-core, special-design radiator that will accept the cooling requirements of just about any engine our customers might choose to install.

Fuel is carried in a foam-filled, ballistic nylon fuel cell that mounts just behind the driver/passenger compartment. Capacity is rated at 16 U.S gallons. Because of the design of this cell and its location in there car, there are no space sacrifices. There is sufficient trunk space for three standard-sized suitcases.”

To sum up its builders words: in our opinion, the Arntz Cobra is more than just another pretty face-it is a totally engineered car backed by a real commitment to quality.


This rare and unusual Arntz Cobra has got to be one of the most complete and gorgeous examples in the Country. These cars are bona fide rarities and only occasionally come up for sale.

Cobra. For millions of people in the world, just five letters from the alphabet. For some, however, it is the five letter code for a phenomenon that defies technical description. To put it another way: for them, it is the legend of the Shelby Cobra.

For further information please feel free to call Frank at 949-310-6262. The owners number is available to serious buyers.


The car is for sale locally and we reserve the right to cancel this auction at any time before the end of the auction. We do not have a Buy It Now Price listed.

The car will be made available for inspection by serious bidders throughout the auction. Please e-mail us if you would like to see the car. If you prefer, we can arrange to have a qualified, independent, professional mechanic perform a pre-purchase inspection for you (at your expense). It is the buyers responsibility to verifythat all of the sellers information and claims about the car are true and correct prior to the sale of the vehicle. PLEASE NOTE THAT WE WILL NOT ACCEPT PAYPAL AS A FORM OF PAYMENT. THIS IS TRUE FOR BOTH THE INITIAL DEPOSIT AS WELL AS THE FINAL PAYMENT.
Winning bidder must contact us within 24 hours of auction end, and make arrangements for payment at that time. A $1000.00deposit is due within 48 hours of end of auction. The deposit can be made by cash (please do not mail cash!), bank check, cashier's check, or bank transfer (preferred). The remainder is due within 7d days of Auction end. The remaining balance must be made in the form of a bank transfer (preferred) Cashier'scheck, or bank check (all forms of payment subject to verification). PayPal will not be accepted as a form of payment for either the deposit or the final payment. If no contact is made within 24 hours we reserve the right to re-list the vehicle, sell it to the next high bidder, or sell it otherwise. Please arrange financing prior to bidding. Once the final balance has been paid, title transfer paperwork will be initiated.
Buyer is responsible for pickup or shipping of this vehicle. If you wish to have it shipped using a service, we will gladly cooperate, you can locate shippers by doing a search for “auto shippers”. We have relationships with both domestic and international shippers should you need some assistance.

This vehicle is being sold as is, where is with no warranty, expressed written or implied. The seller shall not be responsible for the correct description, authenticity, genuineness, or defects herein, and makes no warranty in connection therewith. No allowance or set aside will be made on account of any incorrectness, imperfection, defect or damage. Any descriptions or representations are for identification purposes only and are not to be construed as a warranty of any type. It is the responsibility of the buyer to have thoroughly inspected the vehicle and to have satisfied himself or herself as to the condition and value and to purchase based upon that judgment solely. The seller shall and will make every reasonable effort to disclose any known defects associated with this vehicle at the buyer's request prior to the close of sale. Seller assumes no responsibility for any repairs regardless of any oral statements about the vehicle. Please Check My Feedback- I value my 100% positive rating, and will do my best to keep it.

The winning bidder should have the car insured from the time the final payment is made to us. Once final payment is made, we will exercise a generally accepted standard of care, but the buyer assumes all liability and risk once the final payment is made.
Before delivery of the vehicle, the winning bidder must provide a photocopy of a valid driver’s license. Delivery is defined as the time at which physical possession of the car is transferred from us, the seller, to the buyer or the buyers’ agent or chosen transport company.
If you are not sure about something, Please ASK. Do not assume anything not listed is included. We reserve the right to cancel bids for excessive negative feedback. We reserve the right to end the listing if the vehicle is no longer available for sale.

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