8/8/18 8:56 a.m.


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Story by Peter Brock • Photo by Ed Higginbotham

The now classic Shelby Cobra roadster is the most replicated car in history. Copies of Ol’ Shel’s Snakes are now being duplicated in all corners of the world …

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bosswrench
bosswrench New Reader
3/19/22 2:49 p.m.

Most of the thousands of kit-Cobras used to stem from body-molds created around Mr Kunz's real 427 SC- the bulgy fender big-block variant, way back in the '60s. They are probably on the umpteenth iteration of copies. A very careful look will spot those cars, since Kuntz' car was crashed in competition, so the left and right sides are not perfectly aligned due to the repairs. The body molds reproduce the damage. Found this when an anal CA engineer dropped plumb-bobs from his suspended kit-body to the frame, and found the left-side body twist.

wspohn
wspohn SuperDork
3/20/22 12:11 p.m.

A friend had  late model AC (not sure if the original engine would have been AC or Bristol) that had a 260 Ford installed. He had thought that it was a prototype, but the history is hazy and apparently there were some cars converted by AC themselves in addition to the chassis sent to Shelby for completion and I suppose those couldn't be called Cobras. 

He said that the transverse leaf spring front suspension on the early cars could be a bit of a handful on the track.

Guess I should have bought another friend's early Cobra race car for $30K (back in the 80s) when I had the chance, going by values now!

russelljones48
russelljones48 New Reader
5/22/22 11:52 a.m.

Very well articulated, Peter.  I have one of each of the affordable Cobras - a kit (in progress) and a reproduction.  My answer when asked if it's "real" is YES, but it's not an original.   That's presuming the inquisitor doesn't think it's a Corvette..  I often then explain that there's a relative lot of copies around but there were only a few hundred originals and that the originals are unobtainium for me..  I have to admit that I love to drive the replica and enjoy the conversation that often ensues..  BUT I am really enjoying building the kit..  hope to have it drivable this fall..     I'm also not sure that Carroll's "cease and desist" approach worked well for his legacy..

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