History Of The First Shelby Cobra

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Before he starting to race professionally and won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Carroll Shelby had a dream to create his own sports cars under his personal name.

But in early sixties, that dream seemed unattainable.His worsened health condition forced him to stop racing.

In 1961, he received the news that AC Cars from England it will stop production of their AC Ace model for the reason the Bristol six cylinder engines weren’t available anymore.

carroll-shelby with 2 cobras

Аs a true entrepreneur, Shelby realized that British roadster could be the right choice for a powerful American V8 engine. This was a great opportunity for him to become a constructor, and not just a retired racing car driver.

Extremely soon, he contacted AC Cars and they sent him an engine-less body to his workshop in California.

With help from Ford Motor Company and with a small team of mechanics, the first Shelby Cobra is represented in 1962.

It was powered by Ford’s 260 engine and later with a venerable 289 V8, and in a very short time it takes its place in sports car world.


But Shelby had a higher target because he knew that Cobra had more potential.

So, in 1964, Shelby begin working on Shelby Cobra 427 very extreme version powered by a beastly Ford big block 7 litre engine with around 450 bhp and over 600 Nm of torque.

To put this kind of power in such an easy car really it looked insane. But Shelby was a guy who did not care much about sanity of his vehicles.

He thought there was no such car with such power and was determined to build a top classical muscle car.

Installing the 427 V8 proved to be harder because it was needed improvements to the chassis and suspension.


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