|Photo Credit: sparaforum.com|
One of the originals and arguably the best of all-time the ’66 Shelby Cobra is a dream muscle car restoration project for millions of enthusiasts. A dream because of its beauty and a dream because of its scarcity. Kit cars abound but an original ’66 is worth a fortune. Literally. Sold for $9,500 in its year of production a ’66 famously fetched $5.5 million at auction!
Like many of the early muscle car classics the ’66 Shelby Cobra was built for the racetrack. Working with Ford and AC cars, Shelby American adapted the AC chassis to fit Ford’s 427 big block V8, noted for the side oil passage that sent oil to the crank before the valvetrain, giving a big boost in horsepower, up to 400 bhp during chassis dyno testing. Shelby ordered only 100 chassis from AC.
Shelby American had finished just under 50 when the FIA informed them that they didn’t meet the minimum number of cars to compete in the upcoming World Sports Car Championship. Stuck with finished primer grey cars and 53 nearly completed, Shelby was at an impasse. They sold a number of the primer models to American racing teams. The 53 nearly finished models they added a windscreen, painted with the now iconic racing stripe and released them as the fastest street car in the world!
And fast they were! The ’66 reached 0-100mph in 13.2 seconds. By comparision the Aston Martin of the day could barely dip below 20 seconds! In fact there was only one car in the world that was faster and that was Carroll Shelby’s own Super Snake which used twin turbochargers to crank out 800bhp!