Fifty years after the 427 Shelby Cobra was first introduced, the Carroll Hall Shelby Trust will complete and offer to the public the remaining original Competition Chassis race cars that were started in 1965. Built to the original specifications, the roadsters will be sold as race cars, just as Carroll Shelby intended when he launched the car in 1965.
“The Shelby 427 Cobra is the most iconic car in post-war history,” said Neil Cummings, co-trustee of the Carroll Hall Shelby Trust. “Shelby American didn’t complete the mandatory 100 units in time to race for the FIA World Championship in 1966. This was because Henry Ford II (“Henry the Deuce”) wanted Carroll to drop what he was doing and take over Ford’s GT-50 race program. Carroll famously replied ‘Ferrari’s ass is mine,’ which it was, with the Shelby-led team promptly winning Le Mans and three straight FIA World Championships in the hallowed ‘Prototype’ racing class. Carroll put the 427 S/C program on hold after building 53 of the original 100 homologation cars. The 50 year anniversary of the big block Cobra seemed an appropriate time to finish the last of the Cobras.”
Each authentic 427 S/C Shelby Cobra comes with the CSX VIN and badge number originally assigned in 1965, as well as an “MSO” and “Title” document signed by Carroll Shelby himself. As a pure race car, this vehicle cannot be registered for use on the streets. However, each car will be specially registered and have a unique place in the Shelby American World Registry, not to mention American muscle car history.
Each competition chassis Cobra features an aluminum body clad in a customer’s choice of color and with a black interior. The engines will be period-correct and supplied by the Carroll Shelby Engine Co., which is owned and operated by Bill DenBeste. Each will be fitted with an original cast-iron Ford side oiler 427 block, forged internals and correct medium riser cylinder heads. The engine will be dressed with period correct parts including an Aviaid oil pan, sandcast Cobra valve covers, medium riser intake, Le Mans carburetor and turkey pan air box.
The Shelby features the original style swept forward shifter, horn button, Raydyot mirrors and Lucas headlights to add to the overall aesthetic authenticity. It comes with a MSO listing it as a 1965 Cobra signed by the late Carroll Shelby for ownership purposes.
A portion of the sale from each 427 Shelby Cobra Competition series car will be donated to help construction of the “Shelby Automotive Museum” in Los Angeles, which is now in the design and build stage. This tax exempt 501(9)(3) non-profit public benefit corporation was created by Carroll Shelby to celebrate American racing heritage, including Mr. Shelby’s contributions to that history.