One Owner Cobra For Sale For The First Time

Picture of By Rob Harvey
By Rob Harvey

Marketing Manager

RM Sotheby’s is offering the legendary 1964 Hank Williams “Snake Charmer” Cobra for sale at their Monterey auction in August. This historic vehicle, celebrated by West Coast SCCA racers and Shelby enthusiasts worldwide, is available to buy for the very first time.


The story of CSX 2227 began in 1964 when a Princess Blue over red Cobra 289 Mk II was delivered to Norman Ford in Pomona, CA. Hank Williams, a WWII hero who fought in Normandy, played in the jazz and blues clubs of LA and worked as an ambulance driver, living east of Los Angeles.

Seeking a fast car for both weekday and weekend racing, Hank initially set his sights on a Corvette. However, during the Civil Rights Movement, local Chevrolet dealerships ignored him due to his race. Instead, he turned to a nearby Ford dealer where he found CSX 2227, a rare 1 of 3 Princess Blue 289 Mk II Cobra, and paid a deposit there and then. Despite some challenges in delivery, Hank secured the car, beginning a legendary partnership that lasted 60 years.


Hank drove the Cobra during the week and raced it on weekends, adding a removable hardtop and repainting it in Silver Mink, a 1964 Lincoln colour. His racing career with the Cobra earned him the nickname “Snake Charmer” from Carroll Shelby, along with a Shelby Le Mans Team shirt, which is also included in the sale.

CSX 2227 became one of the most raced Cobras, with nearly 400 races and over 260 trophies and awards (also included in the sale). Surprisingly, it retains its original engine, body, and chassis, displaying a patina from its extensive racing history. The Cobra’s nearly 60-year-old Silver Mink repaint and red Naugahyde interior remain intact. It is one of the best-documented Cobras, with original build sheets, buyer forms, warranty cards, and competition licenses, and has been featured in numerous magazines, SAAC Club publications, TV shows, and even a Union 76 oil advert.


At 98 years old, Hank was still driving his Cobra. After a remarkable life, Hank “The Snake Charmer” Williams passed away aged 99, leaving behind a legacy and a Cobra driven over 140,000 miles. This legendary Cobra, still in his name on the original 1965 title, presents a unique opportunity to own an unrestored “time capsule” Cobra 289 Mk II in “as raced” condition with single ownership from new.

  • Hank Williams, a decorated WWII hero, musician, and racing driver, secured one of three Princess Blue 289 Mk II Cobras in 1964.
  • Nearly 400 races and over 260 trophies and awards included, with the original engine, body, and chassis.
  • Includes original build sheet, warranty card, competition license, and decades of photos.
  • Hank Williams earned the “Snake Charmer” nickname and received Carroll Shelby’s Le Mans Team shirt, included with the car.
  • Unrestored, single-owner “time capsule” Cobra in “as raced” condition, offered for the first time.
  • To view the car, click here.

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