Tom Cotter's 1965 289 Shelby Cobra, Hagerty photo
When a bear senses something to eat, there’s little that can stop it, including the original roof of a 1965 289 Shelby Cobra signed by Carroll Shelby.
Hagerty’s Tom Cotter, who hosts the "Barn Find Hunter" video series, learned that the hard way during a multi-day trip across Alaska.
The insurance company said Cotter stayed overnight in Girdwood, Alaska, and accidentally left a pack of Newtons — which were called Fig Newtons prior to a name change a few years back — behind the seat.
Enter the bear — literally. Cotter received a call in the morning that he should come to the parking lot immediately. When he arrived, he found the convertible top of the Cobra opened up, some dents in the fender and a few muddy pawprints identifying the culprit.
“The car’s top had survived 53 years unscathed, but couldn’t make it 11 days in Alaska,” he told Hagerty.
Cotter typically leaves the top down on the roadster. However, workers in Whittier asked him to put it up to drive through an active railway tunnel because rocks sometimes fall from the ceiling.
“The workers halted train traffic to let us through, but when they saw we were all driving convertibles, they insisted we put up our tops,” Cotter said. “We usually just put on our tonneau covers, because no matter the weather, the tops are sort of frowned upon.”
Cotter continued his drive across Alaska but ran into another snag: His clutch hydraulics went out. He’s working to repair them.
The thieving bear had yet to be caught. It was believed it was heading for Jellystone in the company of another, nicknamed Boo-Boo. Keep an eye on your picnic baskets.
This article, written by Carter Nacke, was originally published on ClassicCars.com, an editorial partner of Motor Authority.