What’s in a car? This is a question Cobra kit car manufacturers are very keen on asking the average car enthusiast, as one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Some people prefer the illustrious sheen of a brilliant paint job. Others want a car that can outperform the competition without breaking a sweat. Whatever you look for in a car, you’ll want a replica car kit that has the weight of history on its back. The Shelby Cobra kit has been around since the 1960’s, cementing itself as a popular piece of American culture and still being a coveted example in many car enthusiast circles.
Before we get into which replica suits you best, let’s learn a little more about the AC Cobra kit and why it has withstood the test of time. Carroll Shelby built over 600 small-block Cobras, as well as some 350 big-block versions, in-between 1962 to 1968. His original AC Cobras were designed from the start to be Corvette-Beaters, despite weighing a stunning 500 pounds less than the Chevrolet Corvette.
How did this replica cement itself as part of American history almost overnight? Look no further than the results that wowed everyone at a British motorway back in 1964. An AC Cobra Coupe famously exceeded 185 miles per hour, something previously thought near impossible for a car at the time. Among average races there are a few different kinds of tracks. You have short tracks, speedways and the superspeedways that are as short as 0.5 miles and as long as 2.5 miles.
Although many racing cars and roadsters weigh up to 3,400 pounds, Cobras are known around the world for weighing much less and still providing incredible speed. There were only 538 1964 Mark II models built, but that hasn’t stopped manufacturers from creating the replica of many peoples’ dreams. The advertised horsepower of the Shelby Mustang GT 500 was 335, a low estimate considering its actual horsepower was much closer to 400.
The lightweight version of the Cobra first debuted at the 1990 Geneva Salon. The weight was down by a few hundred pounds (2,360 from 2,620). Despite this, its horsepower was up to 370. Cobra kit car manufacturers go out of their way to create the most authentic replication possible. They know car enthusiasts take their hobby very seriously and want nothing but the best as they seek out the ultimate tools to supplement their road and track ventures.
If you’re not sure which replica car kit to seek out, take a look at the SFI Foundation. This is a non-profit organization that regularly sets the standards for various pieces of racing equipment to ensure they’re up to snuff. These ratings range between 3-2A/1 (three seconds of protection) to 3-2A/20 (40 seconds of protection). Of course, these are more applicable if you plan on racing your vehicle. For those that just want to drive, there’s a Shelby Cobra kit with your name on it.
Beautiful, lightweight and filled with decades of fascinating history that have now become an inexorable part of the American fabric. How can you go wrong with a Shelby model?