Shelby American, a wholly owned subsidiary of Carroll Shelby International Inc., is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the big block Cobra by offering 50 limited edition versions of the iconic roadster. Each continuation Cobra will be painted Guardsman Blue with Wimbledon White stripes, equipped with a premium black leather interior and other special touches. The 50th Anniversary 427 Shelby Cobra will debut at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., beginning Jan. 12, 2015.
“The big block Shelby Cobra changed the way the world viewed American manufacturers when Carroll Shelby introduced it in January 1965,” said Joe Conway, co-CEO of Carroll Shelby International and CEO of Shelby American. “While the small block cars were successful, the all new FE-powered Cobra took everything to the extreme. Far more powerful and sophisticated, the big block Cobra represented the bold American spirit. Shelby American’s goal was to create the world’s first hyper car and the Cobra lived up to its potential.”
Shelby American built the big block Cobras specifically to conquer all other sports cars, both American-made and European. With an all-new coil spring independent suspension, larger passenger compartment, upgraded brakes, wider track, fatter tires and a big block Ford engine, the Cobra rocked the world. In its first year of production, the big block Cobra captured the SCCA’s coveted “A Production” championship. The Cobras also ran rampant in sanctioned drag racing series nationwide.
“The 427 Cobra is the purest expression of Carroll Shelby’s vision of a performance car,” said Akos Feher, Shelby American vice president of operations. “He believed in combining big horsepower with inspired engineering. The big block Cobra featured an all-new coil over suspension that would allow the lightweight frame to handle a powerful American big block engine. The car just exudes masculinity. The Cobra’s ‘no holds barred’ attitude is still part of the DNA of every car we build today.”
The anniversary Shelby Cobras are component vehicles that can be finished by a customer or an authorized dealer. Each car is built to order and delivered as a rolling chassis, less drive train, with a 1965 MSO. The 427 Shelby Cobras retain everything from the authentic style suspension to the graceful body lines, but are upgraded to contemporary standards. Shelby American uses the same leather that one would find in high-end cars, modern brake discs, a stronger frame and the bodies are available in either aluminum or fiberglass.
The 50th Anniversary Editions (serial numbers CSX4500 to CSX4599) have some unique differences. Special badges adorn the exterior and interior. Premium materials are used on the seats, carpets and dash. A 23-gallon racing style fuel tank, powder coated frame, racing brakes and custom gauges are standard. The paint/stripe schemes are unique and a special optional engine package is being developed by the Shelby Engine Co.
“Genuine Shelby Cobras are very rare and desirable,” said Gary Patterson, Shelby American vice president of strategic sales and media relations. “We wanted to honor Cobra’s unique heritage, while incorporating a few upgrades that Carroll personally approved before his death in 2012. These 50 limited edition cars keep the flame sparked by the race-winning Cobras burning bright. There just isn’t anything like a real Shelby Cobra.”
The 50th Anniversary 427 Cobra will begin at $119,995 for a fiberglass or $179,995 for an aluminum-bodied car, without drive train. Each will be documented in the ‘World Registry’ alongside the original 343 built by Shelby American in the 1960s. Cobras can be purchased through one of Shelby American’s dealers.
Information about the cars can be found at http://www.shelbyamerican.com/50th427cobra.asp.