Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Classic Car: Shelby Cobra

Last week, the automotive community lost an icon. On May 10, 2012, the world lost Carroll Shelby. After a short racing career, Shelby help create some of the most iconic cars to ever hit pavement. He help with the Shelby Daytona, Ford GT40, Dodge Viper, Shelby Series 1, and the Ford Mustang based Shelby GT500. But his most famous car is the Shelby Cobra, which is based on the AC Ace two-seater. Shelby got the license to import the AC Ace and removed the Bristol engine from the car and replaced it with a Ford V8 engine. The Shelby Cobra had a decent racing history, but it could not beat Ferrari. Phil Hill set the fastest GT lap at the 1963 Sebring race. Dan Gurney drove the Cobra to victory at the 1963 Bridgehampton 500KM. The Cobra won the 1964 24 Hours on LeMans and also won multiple SCAA A-production championships. The Shelby Cobra paved the way for the Shelby Daytona Coupe and the Ford GT-40, both with vast racing success.

I have seen all types of Shelby Cobras, both real Cobras and replicas. Real Cobras will have a commemorative plate and will have been signed by Carroll Shelby himself. There are some replica Cobras that are nearly identical to the real thing. The Cobra itself is a two-seater roadster with a V8 engine. It has an open oval in the front and exhaust pipes going down the sides. The Cobra is an open air race car that you can drive on the roads. 

The Shelby Cobra was powered by different V8 engines, all paired four-speed manual transmission. The 260 cubic inch (4.3L) V8 produced 260 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. The 260 Cobra goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and reaches a top speed o 152 mph. The 289 Cobra is powered by a 289 cubic inch (4.7L) V8 that produces 271 hp and 314 lb-ft of torque. The 289 Cobra goes from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and reaches a top speed of 135 mph. The 427 Cobra is powered by a 427 cubic inch (7.0L) V8 that produces 425 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and reaches a top speed o 165 mph. The Cobras were quick and fast by 1962 standards. The cars are still quick by modern standards. However, to get a real Cobra will cost at least $1000,000. The more racing history a Cobra has, the more valuable and collectible the Cobra becomes.A Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake went for $5.5 million. 

Real Cobras and Cobra replicas have been featured on Jay Leno's Garage. A few Cobras have been featured on Chasing Classic Cars. The Cobra has also been featured on Pawn Stars, Mischief: Joyride, Mischief V: Dynasty, 2 Fast 2 Real I, 2 Fast 2 Real II, Classic and Sport Car, and Broom. The Cobra is playable in Driv3r, Drift City, Kinect Joy Ride, vDream Racing, Roadkill, Auto Modellista, Car & Driver, Vanishing Point, VDrift, Forza Motorsport series, Enthusia Professional Racing, Motor City Online, Gran Turismo series, Test Drive series, Project Gotham Racing 3 and 4, Asphalt: Urban GT 1 and 2, Midnight Club: Los Angeles, Midnight Club: L.A. Remix, Shift 2: Unleashed, and Driver: San Francisco.

The Shelby Cobra has a lot of racing history. It is highly desired by car enthusiasts. Even Cobra replicas are quite popular at car auctions. If you cannot afford to pay over $1 million dollars for a classic car and want a Cobra, there is no shame in getting a replica Cobra. There are many quality replicas out there. You get a similar experience in a replica but without paying a hefty price tag. I have seen rows of Cobras at Houston Cars and Coffee events and replica Cobras get almost the exact amount of attention as a real Cobra. Whether it is the real McCoy or just a replica, the Shelby Cobra is a great addition to any car collection. It has so much history to be ignored.The only two American cars that should get priority over the Shelby Cobra are the Shelby Daytona (only six were built) and the Ford GT40. Carroll Shelby help with creating three of the best American cars of all time. This was a huge lost for the automotive world.

R.I.P Carroll Shelby, an Americn Legend (1923-2012)

Cobra photos were taken by a digital camera.
Carroll Shelby photo was taken from Pack Automotive Museum website.
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