The Shelby 427 Cobra: Epitome of 1960s American Muscle Cars
Carroll Shelby is probably the most known name in the automobile world. Though his racing career was cut short by a hereditary disease, his racing exploits are still legendary. From racing, he went ahead to produce tire-smoking Cobras. Over the years Shelby has gone to create exceptional Cobra sports cars.
It all began with the Shelby 427 Cobra which is regarded as the best thing on 4 wheels that came out of the United States. The vehicle is also termed as the pioneer of other supercars of the era. At the time Ferrari was the dominant force in track racing and Carroll Shelby as well as Henry Ford were both looking to make an American-born sports car that would thrash Ferrari on the tracks.
Shelby 427 Cobra Specs
The first Cobra hit the streets in 1963 but was much heavier to Carroll Shelby’s liking. Looking to make it much more lighter and faster, he sought help from Ford which delivered their 427 cubic inch engine hence the name. The car got better and better and in 1965, Shelby unveiled the best car of the time “the Shelby 427 Cobra”.
The new car featured a fairly large 7 liter engine which started with 425 hp and later tuned to produce 485 hp in some variants. The car could bolt from 0-100 mph in only 13.2 seconds towards achieving a top speed of 165 mph at the time.
Originally meant for the race tracks, Shelby failed to finish production of the mandatory 100 units in time for the 1966 FIA World Championships due to pressure from his friend and business partner Henry Ford II who wanted Carroll to drop the Shelby 427 project and take over the Ford’s GT-50 racing project. Convinced, Carroll put the program on hold after finishing only 53 units. Though Shelby was forced to convert the models to suit road driving standards, they would soon become a major hit with privateer racers.
The company produced a single racing Shelby 427 Cobra which went ahead to win many races up to the 1970s. To commemorate the vehicle’s 50th Anniversary, the company decided to finish the last of the car which can be described as the most iconic car in post-war history.
The 50th Anniversary Shelby 427 Cobra
To commemorate the model’s 50th Anniversary, Shelby completed only 50 units of the Cobra 427. All models feature a symbolic gold badge stating which one of the line it is. The vehicles also feature hand sculptured aluminum or laid fiberglass bodies.
The bodies are either polished for the metal variants or painted in guardsman blue with Wimbledon white stripes. On the inside, the cabin features Shelby’s famous vinyl and customized leather seats and carpets.
Each model features the original swept forward shifter, Raydyot mirrors, Lucas headlights and horn button to compliment their aesthetic authenticity. They also feature a MSO listing them as 1965 Cobras with the late Shelby’s signature.
The models were interestingly offered without an engine or transmission system for a whole $ 119,995 in January of this year. That is a lot of money for a car that does not run signifying the iconic and legendary nature of the model. Each model has a designated serial number ranging from CSX4550 to 4599. The cars went on sale from January 13th and were out of stock within “moments”.