A rare 1963 Shelby 289 Cobra is up for grabs at the March 12 Amelia Island Auction through RM Sotheby’s. We’re expecting the iconic American sports car to go in the range of $950,000 - $1,200,000

In the early 1960’s, there were two approaches concerning performance cars. American cars were built for size, power, and driving straight lines, while European machines were small, lithe, and focused on finesse through handling.

Virtually no sports car combined the best of both schools of thought like Carroll Shelby and his Cobra.

The heart of the Cobra comes from Ford’s 289–cubic inch V-8. It was the third powerplant Shelby experimented with in the Cobra, and it ended up being the optimal balance of handling performance and pure power. The car was also nice and compact – 500 lbs lighter than a Corvette – which combined with the new V8, made for an instant success.

This particular 1963 Shelby 289 Cobra has changed hands a few times, even being used as a drag-racer at one point, but now fully restored by marque specialist Dave Wagner of Detroit, Michigan. The engine was fully rebuilt by the Ford experts at Roush; the rest of the engine bay is highly detailed and finished with correct style hoses, clamps, and hardware throughout.