Ebay Cobra – 121 Bids And Counting


Ebay Cobra

Like many of you ebay viewers, I have been watching the bids rack up on this 18ft Prerestoric Cobra on ebay. Now I kinda kept this off WoodyBoater because the boat is all over the place, Facebook at first, then ebay and also a great Car Website called BarnFinds. I go to that site several times a day. It’s a more fun Bring A Trailer, Since BAT has become a different sort of site. Anyway, I digress into Websites, this is about the Cobra, which right now is at around $45K with 121 bids. I am sure some of you are some of those clicks.

Sitting on a asphalt Lake!

The interesting part of this sale is on the car site though. The comments are enlightening as to how car guys see our boats, and are getting caught up into the Cobra.

It has a rare golden head! And bilge colored engine wedges!

I did a story on the topic of Cheapening Our Culture and this is a classic case of let them bid this up. I aint saying a word, we are watching live new people to the community get interested and putting their money out there. $45K is not a huge amount in the car world, and the Cobra in photos looks usable in classic car terms. And it seems to have stalled in the $45 range. The seller understands the social media world and has made it very visible. And that in its self is an interesting story.

Yes the glass cover is white! No doubt at some point the owner said, no way am I dealing with that Gold dust varnish thing.

And if you are into Cobras, and who isn’t, finding a prerestoric one is almost impossible. So what is the price? Is it really Priceless? Since it is that rare?

The photos are a bit wonky since the seller I think over achieved trying to be artsy. Filters and so on. But hey it seems to be working. WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND YOU SEE THIS BOAT IN PERSON IF YOU ARE BIDDING.

The fascinating part of this auction is that people are bidding $45K on an ebay restoration project. Has anyone actually gone to look at it? Does it matter? Is it going to be trailer art behind a hot rod? At some point is this a sculpture more than a boat?

Fully restored with a warranty

Now as a comparison, HERE is a fully restored 18 Cobra for $129K at Katzs, who does amazing Cobra restorations. And if you do the math, might just be a better value.


16 replies
  1. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    It’s a local boat. Sat in the back of a marina forever. Was at the cobra convention in Michigan some time back. Just never used much. Has a Buick windshield. Recently sold to a broker that listed it on ebay.

  2. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    That’s a lot more than I would pay for it, but I am not a Cobra fan. There are way cooler and more usable boats for the money, especially if you include cost to restore in the budget.

  3. RH In Indy
    RH In Indy says:

    Matt, glad you made this Cobra more public. It’s been fun to watch the #’s on it. Yes, someone has taken some liberties with it but it can be straightened out cosmetically even without a total professional restoration. Not sure I’ve ever seen one available that hasn’t been perfect. How cool to have a user Cobra at 30% cost of a perfect resto, with the option to go as far as you want with it- or not. I’ve had the pleasure/ honor of riding in one. Once in a lifetime for me I’m sure.

  4. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    Lets see if all the social media exposure he is generating through his use and understanding of the various media platforms translates into higher bids. Subjective I suppose because really, what is a higher and what is a lower bid on something like this, but never the less, the outcome bears watching. I expect the market value, social media or not, is higher than this.

    While I am not a Cobra fan in particular, much like M-fine, these attract $$ because of value. The parameters M-fine applies to ascribe a value proposition are prized by boaters and users, not brokers, collectors and speculators. They couldn’t care less about usability, etc. Most of us here do. $45k in the car collector world is pocket change, at least in the realm of highly collectible, unrestored examples of popular or rare pieces. Don’t forget, rarity alone doesn’t make anything valuable, only a market does.

    Agree with your comments on Bring a Trailer, Matt – I liked it more earlier on, but I suppose they have to make a living. It’s a niche Craigslist at the moment, whereas it used to more interesting.

    • jimmuh
      jimmuh says:

      @PaulH –
      Re: BaT: not so much a niche CL; more of a ‘niche eBay’……and likely to be brought into the fold soon…….(imho of course….;-)

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      From the perspective of a boat to be used it doesn’t have much value, but how valuable is this one to a collector? It looks like it needs a lot of expensive work to me, and when done it will be another 18’ Cobra in a semi-crowded field. For the 6 figures it is going to cost, both the user crowd and the collector crowd will have better options IMHO.

  5. Steve L
    Steve L says:

    The ad says it was owned by a hairdresser so I understand why it says Comb out, and maybe the white fin. But it would be interesting to find out how and why the Buick windshield got there. It looks like a good install with good fit and finish? The ad also says it was around and documented in the early 90’s? So is that when the mods were done? Is that when somebody could have painted the engine wedges from blue to red?

    • Jim Staib
      Jim Staib says:

      It was pretty much the way you see it when the previous owner acquired it in 1963. The “Documentation” is when it was at the Cobra reunion in MI.

  6. Briant
    Briant says:

    Look, I am no expert on these boats, but after viewing the photos, this boat has been quickly tarted up for a sale, portions needing attention are not repaired or restored properly. This boat is either going to be bought for $45k and will stay a $45k boat or it will be bought for $45k and will nail the new owner another $80k to be brought up to the standards of the other Cobras out there. IMO this baby is a pig with a nice new shade of L’Oréal lipstick.

  7. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    I always wonder which way the stern lifting rings are supposed to face on the Cobra. I guess they did not know either.

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