The history behind the Shelby Cobra is very fascinating. It is one of the greatest American sports cars ever made. Yet, it is not entirely American. Sure, the most important part of the Cobra’s success is the American powerplant — the Ford V8. However, the chassis is borrowed from the British AC Ace. Originally powered by a 260 cubic inch V8, Caroll Shelby succeeded in beating the American competition. However, let’s face it, the real competition in Shelby’s eyes was Ferrari. Competing against European sports cars was a fairly new venture that meant participating in the international race circuit known as the World Endurance Championship, sanctioned by the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile). So, In 1962, Shelby American was established to make an impact on the European sports car world and beat Europe’s finest. Although beating Ferrari was the motivation behind the creation of the AC Cobra, it only won once against Ferrari.
The Cobra was featured in many races between 1963 and 1965. The most important of these was the Bridgehampton 500 in Long Island, New York, when Shelby American won its first World Sportscar championship. It was the first for any American team. This victory sparked the rivalry between Shelby and Ferrari, which ultimately culminated into the famous Ford versus Ferrari chase at the 1966 24 hours in Le Mans — ending Ferrari’s winning streak. Although the AC Cobra only won a single FIA race, Shelby’s team was able to pull off a top ten finish seventeen times in the 1963 and 1964 seasons. Even though Carroll moved on to other ventures, such as developing the GT 40, he continued modifying his Cobra concept in order to satisfy the American sports car market, and in doing so there exists the Cobra 427. The most iconic of all Shelby Cobras and perhaps, of all American sports cars.
Some of the rarest of those modifications include the 289 Sport, Slalom Snake, Dragon Snake and the Supersnake. The 289 Sport, was intended to tame the powerful 427 but boast more power than the original 260. This complemented the AC chassis creating a more balanced sports car. Next, the Slalom Snake, timed events with quick turns and the Dragon Snake, drag races. And last but not least, the Super Snake. Shelby wanted to create a “Cobra to end all Cobras,” so he equipped it with twin Paxton superchargers and a 427 cubic inch powerplant, putting out a whopping 800 horsepower. Even by today’s standards that is an insane amount of power for a street legal car!
So if you’re in the market for one of America’s greatest sports cars and don’t want to break the bank for an original, Maxmotive has a very unique version of the 1965 AC Cobra. At an affordable price, you can own a Cobra 427 with a powerful 429 cubic inch Ford V8. For more information click the link below!
By: Matt Maxwell