When a car-guy stops by the MHCC garage we know exactly which car he’s walking toward when we hear a little-girl-sees-a-unicorn-squeal – It’s our 1965 Shelby Cobra, and rightfully so.
The man to thank for one of the most historic American cars is Carroll Shelby. He was originally known for having won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but his name lost recognitions after having to quit racing due to health conditions. His return to fame began in 1961 when he heard the AC Ace Model would no longer be producedsince the Bristol six-cylinder engines were no longer available; Shelby saw an undeniable gap in the market and took advantage.
Upon contacting AC Cars, they immediately shipped an engine-less AC Ace to California and the first Shelby Cobra was introduced just a year later. The first Shelby Cobra had a Ford 260 motor under the hood, and the next model with an esteemed 289 V8. A couple years down the road, in 1964, Shelby got to work on the Shelby Cobra 427 which was powered by a Ford Big Block 7.0-litre engine. Sane? Absolutely not, it was absurd to put this much power in such a light car – The car had a 4.0s 0-60mph time and 10.3s 0-100mph time. Shelby, hands down, met his goal to build the ultimate classic muscle car.
Its performance was dangerously impressive, while the Shelby Cobra’s equipment package was incredibly simple, unlike today’s race cars. There was nothing more than full instrumentation. It didn’t even have a convertible top, there was simply a piece of canvas that covered the seats if it rained.
There were just 348 Shelby Cobra 427s produced, 260 of which were just build to be street-cars. Unfortunately, there are few originals left because owners were often unfit to drive such a fast, little car, and commonly crash them. Although 0 of the remaining still run, our Factory Five Racing (FFR) Mk III Cobra will give you a pretty dang close experience. The ergonomics are true to the original, which is to say that ergonomics weren’t really a factor back then, and it has the classic exhaust rumbles and tumbles that are music to any car enthusiast’s ear.