The Shelby Cobra, originally known as the AC Cobra, is a British-American sports car which is produced intermittently in both, the UK and the USA, since 1962. It was built as a 2 door roadster, which is an open 2 seat car with emphasis on sporting appearance and character, and was designed as an FR layout car, which stands for Front engine, Rear wheel drive layout, meaning that the engine of the car is located at the front of the vehicle and the driven wheels are located at the rear end of the car. The Shelby Cobra was assembled in Thames Ditton, Surrey, England, as well as, in Los Angeles, California, USA.
It is no ordinary car by any standards; it was introduced as a result of a desire to have a powerful V8 engine fit into a car which would be rather small in size. In September, 1961, Caroll Shelby, a retired race car driver and an automotive designer, wrote to AC expressing his desire to have a small car built for him that would accept a V8 engine. Having been requested by a retired race car driver, AC agreed to manufacture a car of that specification, provided a suitable engine could be found. Filled with desire, Shelby approached Chevrolet for a suitable engine, only to be refused by the company as they did not want to add competition to their Corvette model. However, Ford was eager to compete with the Corvette, and happened to have manufactured a brand new 3.6L lightweight V8 engine, which would be just perfect for this endeavor. Ford provided Shelby with two engines, and then, the AC Shelby Cobra was produced.
The Shelby Cobra was a mark of high esteem and prestige ever since it was first introduced into the market and on the road. The car had a value for itself and promised a desire to be driven by everyone around. Ever since its first produced car came out in the market, the brand offered several packages such as, the Dragon Snake package, the Slalom Snake package, and the Super Snake Package. The Dragon Snake package won several NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) national events. Under this package, only six 289 Dragon Snake Cobras were produced by the factory, namely, 2019, 2357, 2248, 2416, 2427, and 2472. Out of which, 2019 and 2357, were produced as factory team cars, while the rest of them were produced as private team cars. Moreover, there was only one 427 Dragon Snake car produced under this package by the factory called 3198.
Furthermore, the Slalom Snake package was designed for auto-cross events. Under this package, only 2 examples were produced by the factory, namely, CSX2522 Slalom Special, and CSX2537 Slalom Snake. Both these models had white exterior paint with red racing strings, and red leather interiors, giving it an iconic sporty appearance.
When speaking of the packages offered by the legendary brand, it would be impossible to not mention the Super Snake package, more popularly known as the “Cobra to End All Cobras”. The Super Snake package was introduced in 1966 when the CSX3015 was selected and converted from the original racing model to a street legal model. The CSX3015 is special because of the fact that Caroll Shelby used it as his personal car for several years and also entered various local races with it. However, on the 22nd of January, 2007, at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event, the CSX3015 was auctioned for a record breaking 5 million Dollars.
Moving on from the classic original Shelby Cobra to the new and modified Ford Shelby Cobra Concept. In 2004, at the North American Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, Ford unveiled the new and modified version of the Shelby Cobra. This new version of the Shelby Cobra manufactured by Ford has been designed and classified as a concept sports car, and is equipped with a powerful 6.4L V10 engine with a horsepower of 645hp (481kW). This new version of the Shelby Cobra is capable of attaining a speed of 333km/h (207mph), and has got a 6 speed manual transmission system.
Over the years, although more than 60,000 Shelby Cobra replicas have been produced all over the globe, but only 348 original Shelby Cobra 427 were manufactured between 1965 and 1967. As of now, only 1 genuine, original 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 is left in the world, which was auctioned at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event for 5 million Dollars.
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