An Alaskan grizzly bear treated this 289 Shelby Cobra like a tuna can


When Tom Cotter walked outside into the crisp Alaska on Wednesday morning, he stopped dead in his tracks. His 1965 289 Shelby Cobra was right where he parked it the night before, except for one teensy development—the convertible top had a gaping hole it. In fact, it looked like it had been violently ripped apart by a grizzly bear.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/07/26/289-shelby-cobra-bear-tom-cotter


The road out of Whittier is shared by a railroad. It is a one-lane rail AND car tunnel. It is how EVERYONE who drives in and out of Whittier gets there. It is a shared tunnel. When trains aren’t going through it (and they aren’t in it continuously), cars go through. One way on the hour, the other way on the half hour.


So Tom, Did Hagerty cover the loss?


In Boy Scouts, we were trained to use bear bags to protect ourselves by hoisting anything that smelled, including soap and toothpaste, up into a tree. And if the bears didn’t get to our stuff, then there were the “mini-bears” to deal with as well, pretty much anything else in the woods.

I’m glad that it didn’t hurt much else, Tom. As you know, aluminum dents easily and repairs with difficulty. Keep the stories coming!


Bears i Girdwood? Oh my! Never heard of such a thing! Can’t count the number of times we had bears and moose creating vehicular issues - in Girdwood and up on the hillside above Anchorage.

Back in the early 90’s (maybe late 80’s) there was no ‘driving to/from Whittier’, you put your car on the train flatcar and were taken to/from by the (Great) Alaska Railroad - ask Hobo Jim.


Been to Whittier and Girdwood many times, but I would have been totally stoked to see four Cobras outside the Seaview in Hope. Hope you made it there on open mike night. It’s the best entertainment in Alaska short of watching a bear remove food from your convertible.


Can’t believe, after seeing the AC Cobra in a previous episode go for almost a million bucks, that people are actually driving them. Unless they are replicas, which I doubt. More power to you guys for driving them, assuming they are real! Good luck repairing it.


If anyone mentioned taking their car on a tour like this to the Hagerty phone rep when applying for their policy, they would get the classic “it doesn’t look like we are the right fit for you” response from Hagerty.


In Colorado where I live, bears frequently eat their way into and out of cars. Nearly every news story about bear
v car, the car is a Subaru. Extensive theories of how bears have figured out Subaru door handles. Yesterday a bear got locked into an Impreza, and the creative police strapped a rope to the door handle and yanked it open from a safe distance,allowing the bear to leave on its own. The bear completely trashed the interior, as they have in every report of this. The bears may have the exterior door handles down, but apparently not so much on the interior door handles. Looks like Alaska bears dont mess with door handles if they can avoid them.


I am amazed that fortune smiled on this guy. Leaving a package of fig newtons in his Cobra was inexcusable. He says it was behind the driver’s seat, but, unless the Grizzly bear had a socket set with him, he would have torn the interior of the car apart to get to the goodies. The fact that the only damage to the car was to the roof structure would tend to indicate that the cookies were within easy reach of Bruno and not sequestered behind anything. Bears are big, powerful animals who are food driven. When you are adventuring in their back yard you need to be cognizant of where you leave your lunch.


My son is a park ranger in the Lake Tahoe area. He does four days on and three days off. They have a ranger cabin to sleep in in the park. After his first day of a recent shift he went to the cabin to grab some Zs and realized there was a black bear up a tree right next to the cabin. He made a bunch of noise and the bear started down the tree until they heard another snort coming from the cabin. The first bear went right back up the tree and a bigger black bear emerged from the cabin. Apparently the previous ranger had left a window open and some food in the cabin. The smaller black bear must have gone up the tree when the larger competitor had arrived. My son got into his truck and waited for the two bruins to get out of the way. He said he was fortunate in that neither of the bears had whizzed on the bed or dropped a deuce in the cabin. He secured the windows and went to sleep.


Oh so very very true!