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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

427 Cobra

Muscle  car or just plain race car?   A question to ponder, however, this monster of a car was destined for the streets in 1961.  With the help of famed race car driver Carroll Shelby, Ford, and British car maker AC, the 427 Cobra was eventually born.  Carroll had initially approached GM for an engine to drop into this fiber glass body, however GM was reluctant because it would add competition to its race dominating Corvette. Ford on the other hand was more than eager to develop a significant challenge for the Corvette and so happily donated any and every V8 engine the engineers deemed could fit into this beauty.  After a series of engines were fitted, the dominant engine and the one this blog focuses on is the 425hp, 7.0 litre, 428ci.  Capable of a top speed of just under 300km/h (298km/h according to most sources) this car was a rocket well ahead of its time.  Back in the ‘60’s, this car posted terrible sales figures and Car and Driver is actually quoted as calling it a ‘sales disaster’!  Fast forward to present day however and this ‘failure’ can be seen fetching dollar amounts upwards of $400,000 at class car auctions.  Complete with a Carroll Shelby signed dash plate, this car is not only a car collectors must have, but it is certainly an absolute work of art.  From its intimidating side exit exhaust pipes to its open top design, this car is truly an iconic nameplate to automotive history.  In fact, Carroll’s company, Shelby Automobiles still produces a modern variant of the car.  Although perhaps not record breaking but surely eye opening is Carroll’s sale of his own personal Cobra, which sold at Barrett Jackson’s auction in Arizona for a cool 2.8 million dollars.  His parents may have named him Carroll, but surely no one is laughing now…

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