If you’re even sort of into muscle car culture or high performance driving, then you probably know a thing or two about the Shelby Cobra. However, please let us refresh your memory:
History of the Shelby Cobra
This road and track car was built first in England as a direct challenge to the Chevorlet Corvette design (although it cheated a little in the speed department by weighing nearly 500 lbs less). This incredibly light-weight, 400 horsepower car caught the attention of Ford, who bought a prototype and augmented the design for the American market in 1964.
Despite the car’s impressive specs, it was a financial failure and Ford began cutting corners in production to save on cost. During its total production time in the 1960’s, just under 1,000 were made, and the only remaining original was recently bought by a collector for over 5 million dollars.
The Cobra is Dead. Long Live the Cobra.
Of course, just because some millionare bought the only non AC cobra replica left on the market doesn’t mean you can’t create a custom roadster inspired by the Shelby. In fact, there are ample companies that sell what’s called the “Shelby Cobra kit.” The Shelby Cobra kit can vary in completeness and price, however a few questions to ask when searching for a Shelby Cobra kit on the market are as follows:
-Do you need a donor car or is the kit all-inclusive?
-Does the kit come with accurate colors for the exterior? (I.e.yellow, Whimbledon white, deep silver, navy, monza red, Shelby guardsman blue, black, or titanium silver?)
-Is the cobra kit entirely DIY or does it come with pre-drilled sections, hinged and latched doors, etc.
-Does the Shelby Cobra kit come with any upgrade options, especially related to safety?
-Is the suspension adjustable for both road and racing?
Why a Replica Might Even be Better
We know, we know. It’s frustrating that the original Shelby Cobra has definitively become a museum curator piece, forever lost to the annals of historically bad merger decisions. However, we think building your own replica is better. For one thing, the replicas are highly customizable, where as the original sort of came as-is. For another, you can augment your replica with the vital advances in safety technology that have been conceived since the 1960s, including better air bags, a crumble zone, and a reinforced fiberglass body. Finally, we are of the firm believe that any effete collector can stumble upon and cherry pick the vehicular gem that is the Shelby Cobra, but only a true car buff can lovingly build a replica from scratch. Think of the street cred you’ll get at the next car show when you get to show off your creation and explain from start to finish the building process.
We are jealous just thinking about it!